Tarver-Jones 3

Roy Jones Jr.’s Careful Sort of Reckoning            

By Alex Pierpaoli

originally published 10/4/05 on KOFantasyBoxing.com

 

On Saturday night Antonio Tarver bested Roy Jones Jr. a second time in their third meeting as professional fighters.  This time in front of an all Florida crowd at the St Pete Times Forum in Tampa; the Magic Man, Antonio Tarver defeated Jones by lopsided unanimous decision.  A resident of Tampa, Tarver proved himself the better half of the one-hundred seventy-five pound picture in the Sunshine State by convincingly defeating his Pensacola rival yet again though not as emphatically as he did in May of 2004 when Tarver knocked Jones cold in two rounds.  Roy Jones Jr. was beaten by kayo again in September of 2004 by Glencoffe Johnson and hoped to recapture some of his past greatness by coming back Saturday night against the first man that truly challenged him as a professional.

 

Because Jones’ decline was so rapid and so severe it was tempting to think that Roy would be able to recapture at least some of the skills and style he used in fights past.  On Saturday night there were flashes of the Roy Jones that resembled the fighter he once was but for the most part he was stymied by father time and Antonio Tarver, a fighter who would have plagued him with trouble no matter when they met in Jones’ career.

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La Bomba & Darchinyan win

Edwin La Bomba Rodriguez Thumps Jason Escalera at Foxwoods’ MGM Grand

By Alex Pierpaoli

originally published 10/1/12 on BillyCBoxing.com

 

Edwin La Bomba Rodriguez lived up to his nickname last night at Foxwoods’ MGM Grand, shelling Jason Escalera from the start of their USBA Super Middleweight title bout and stopping him at 12 seconds of round number 8. Although never off his feet, Escalera, of Union City, NJ, took a pounding throughout the Main Event, culminating in a series of blasts from Rodriguez in a neutral corner that brought a stream of blood from his ear and prompted Ref. Steve Smoger to finally step in and halt the action. Edwin Rodriguez’ victory capped off the exciting 8 bout card promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Star Boxing and Gary Shaw Promotions which featured 3 televised attractions on HBO’s Boxing After Dark.

With the victory Rodriguez is now 22-0 (15) and Escalera, losing for the first time, is 13-1-1 (12).

 

In the second attraction of the boxing triple-header, thirty-six year old super bantamweight Vic Darchinyan turned back the clock on his career in wresting the NABF title from previously undefeated Luis Orlando Del Valle in a rough, one-sided but exciting unanimous decision. Darchinyan, of Sydney, Australia, used his roughhewn aggression and southpaw style to bash, butt, batter and bang-away at young Del Valle, of Newburgh, NY. A credit to his character and toughness, Del Valle endured elbows and butts from the pressuring Darchinyan but simply had nothing to stop or even slow up the assault of the Australian. When the decision was announced two of the official judges gave Del Valle just one round with scores of 99-91, while the third was far more generous seeing the bout as much closer with a score of 96-94.

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RIP Omar Henry

RIP Omar Henry

2/8/87-2/1/13

by Alex Pierpaoli

originally published 2/1/13 on KOFantasyBoxing.com

 

 

So much in boxing depends on timing. From early on it seemed despite tremendous skills and amazing potential undefeated junior middleweight prospect Omar Henry was suffering from dirty tricks of timing. Promotional hand-offs and renegotiations with the very biggest promoters in the sport seemed to delay the promising career of the Chicago-native but when he did appear in the squared circle his record was unblemished, scoring 12 victories in 13 fights, 9 by way of the knockout(12-0-1(9)). The heavy-handed youngster was to make his debut on ShoBox in November 2012, when he was hospitalized just days before the bout due to pain in his abdomen that was suspected to require the removal of his gall bladder. Unfortunately, during the surgery doctors discovered Henry had Stage 4 cancer and after struggling against it for several months, last night Omar Henry succumbed to the disease in hospital in Chicago.

Omar Henry stayed in contact with his fans throughout his illness with updates to his Twitter and Facebook accounts from his hospital bed. Just days ago he tweeted that he hoped he would live to see his 26th birthday on February 8th. Tragically, he did not.

Our sister site, FistThingsFirst spoke to Omar Henry back in June of twenty-eleven just days before he stopped Chris Tyler in just one round on a Don King Productions undercard in Saint Charles, Missouri. The interview is hopeful and forward-looking as is typical when talking with an up and coming prospect. Henry describes his experiences in the camps of several of the sport’s very best fighters and perhaps what is most apparent is the confidence and joy he brought to the sport to which he dedicated his life.

I first learned about Omar Henry when a friend of mine met him in Las Vegas and told me about this talented young fighter with overwhelming confidence and the tenacity one hopes to see in a young boxer. It is with a heavy heart that we at KOFantasyBoxing extend our condolences to friends and family of Omar Henry. He will be missed.

 

FTF Podcast: Omar Henry, undefeated jr. middle prospect

Contact Alex Pierpaoli with comments or questions at:  kofantasyboxing@gmail.com

Pereira wins; Candelo & Reid Draw

Pereira takes 126 Pound IBF Bauble, Candelo and Reid settle for Mystifying Draw

By Alex Pierpaoli

originally published 1/20/06 on KOFantasyBoxing.com

Enthusiastic members of Connecticut’s Brazilian population were treated to a visit from undefeated featherweight Valdemir Pereira, who outpointed Thailand’s Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym at Foxwoods Casino on Friday night in the 2006 return of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights.  Pereira picked up the vacant IBF version of the one-hundred twenty-six pound title with the lop-sided decision win; all three official judges saw Pereira defeat the rugged Thai fighter by scores of 118-108.

Thailand’s southpaw, Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym, was relentless in pressuring Pereira all night, but he was unable to mount much of an offensive against the Brazilian’s solid defense.  With arms held high by his cheeks throughout the bout, Pereira fended off or blocked most of Rakkiatgym’s wide hooks to the head and body.

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Castillo-Corrales preview

Castillo-Corrales: Passion versus Pressure

by Alex Pierpaoli

originally published 5/6/05 on KOFantasyBoxing.com

 

A dangerous fight is one where both combatants risk more than records, more than their professional futures, but life and limb as well.  Such a fight can be envisioned on paper just by pitting the strengths of one, not against the others’ weaknesses but against his strengths.  It is then, in the opposition of strength versus strength where real fights are made.  On Saturday night Showtime Championship Boxing presents a Main Event that has danger written all over it and that usually translates into thrills for boxing fans.

Lightweight champions Diego Chico Corrales (WBO) and Jose Luis Castillo (WBC) make up the best of the bunch at 135 pounds and the coveted distinction as undisputed champion certainly awaits the victor of this bout.  No disrespect is intended for the talented WBA Champion, Juan Diaz, but he is a boy with much to prove compared to these two giant men at 135.  Both Castillo and Corrales are cut more like welterweights with Corrales’ nearly six feet of height opposed by Castillo’s bulk; it is often rumored he can weigh as much as 150 pounds by fight time.

These combatants are elemental in their differences.  Corrales is the stalking contradiction, a six foot beanpole with lightning-quick thunderbolts in both hands, versus Castillo, the square-shouldered scrapper whose weapon is nose and brow-busting craft, coupled with a sociopathic relentlessness: it’s sure to be a thrilling fight.

Jose Luis Castillo is probably the pound-for-pound best kept secret in boxing and could quite possibly be one or two fights from being considered the all-around best fighter pound-for-pound.  Of course to call him a secret is insulting to the thousands of Mexican fans who worship and herald him as the best fighter since the great Julio Cesar Chavez.  But today Mexican fans are spoiled in terms of champions and great fighters; in fact even J.C.Chavez himself fights again in another final comeback outing later this month.  Besides Castillo there is Morales, Barrera and Marquez’s, both feather and bantam, that also lay claim to the pride of Mexican boxing.  Most would agree however that of the four best fighters in boxing, along with Erik Morales, Jose Luis Castillo completes the Mexican half of the pair of twos at the top of the sport; Mayweather and Hopkins being the American half.

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Mayweather-Hatton pre-fight P4P

KOFantasyBoxing’s Dynamite Dozen Pound-For-Pound

Hatton Mayweather Prediction

By Alex Pierpaoli

originally published 12/8/07 on KOFantasyBoxing.com

 

Pound for pound lists probably tell us more about the writers creating them than the fighters listed.  Most boxing fans have an idea about who the best guys in the sport are but it’s putting them one in front of the other that leads to heated debate.  The attributes which are usually considered are quality of opposition, ability to move up or down in weight effectively, dominance in one weight class, longevity, skill and what have you done lately.  These lists are really all about arguingラif you can make an argument for your guy then he’s worth listing.  It’s the validity or strength of your argument that supports or contradicts your guy’s position on the list.  And so, let the arguments beginナ

 

Tied for first place- Manny Pacquiao & Floyd Mayweather Jr.

 

  1. Bernard Hopkins- Joe Calzaghe

 

  1. Israel Vazquez – Rafael Marquez

 

  1. Juan Manuel Marquez 

 

  1. Ricky Hatton

 

  1. Winky Wright

 

  1. Miguel Cotto

 

  1. Ivan Calderon

 

  1. Kelly Pavlik

 

And what of Pretty Boy and the Hit-Man?  How does that outcome effect this list?  We’ll have to wait to see what happens…

 

Logic says that Floyd Mayweather wins a unanimous decision tonight.  Logic says that as aggressive as Ricky Hatton will be Floyd is far too skilled enough and definitely large enough to absorb that pressure and keep the kid off balance and coming forward, whiffing punches as the Pretty Boy lands counters and makes it look pretty like he usually does.  That’s what logic suggets, it’s happened so often and yes, Floyd is that good.

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Ortiz-Berto 1

Victor Ortiz out-guts Andre Berto in 12-round thriller at Foxwoods

by Alex Pierpaoli

originally published 4/17/11 on KOFantasyBoxing.com

 

 Vicious Victor Ortiz lived up to his nickname in capturing the WBC Welterweight Title from Andre Berto in the Main Event of the East-West Showdown on Saturday night at the MGM Grand.  Sporting what looked like several days growth of facial hair and an air of menace seldom seen around him before, Vicious Victor came to the Connecticut woods with clearly just one thing in mind, beating Andre Berto.

After a first round assault that put Berto down in his own corner, Ortiz used relentless aggression and supreme focus to beat Berto by 12-round unanimous decision, exorcising any demons the Vicious One from Ventura, California might have been plagued with coming into the bout.  After suffering a 2009 stoppage defeat at the hands of Marcos Maidana, the popular misconception about Ortiz was that if the going got tough versus Berto it would be Ortiz that failed the gut check.  But boxing is perhaps the oldest form of reality television and despite the conventional wisdom, the Foxwoods crowd, and the HBO audience watching from around-the-world, were treated to the sport’s latest upset and a back-and-forth slugfest between two young tigers that leads the pack for fight-of-the-year honors.

Both fighters survived two knockdowns each in a bout that saw each fighter hurt the other only to roar back to try and even the score.  Throughout the bout however, it was Ortiz’ aggression, pressuring offense and gloves held close to his chin that ended up being the perfect formula to hand the previously undefeated Andre Berto his worst night ever as a professional.

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Oliver-Seeger

Mike Oliver wins vacant IBO Super Bantam Belt at Mohegan Sun

Veterans Honored in Amateur Boxing Event

By Alex Pierpaoli

originally published 11/15/07 on KOFantasyBoxing.com

 

 

Hartford’s Mike Oliver picked up the vacant IBO super bantamweight (122lbs) title with a unanimous decision victory over Al Seeger in a 12 round main event at Mohegan Sun.  Oliver-Seeger was the main event of the fight card which honored Veteran’s and included amateur and professional boxing.

 

Despite a swollen right eye, likely the result of a thumb, Mike Oliver dominated the Main Event of the evening and looked sharp in spots against the Savannah, Georgia native.  Although numerous clinches marred the action, largely a result of the clash of Seeger’s orthodox style versus Oliver’s southpaw stance, there was action in heated exchanges with Oliver dominating the middle rounds to secure the victory.  Oliver scored repeatedly with jolting left hand leads to the face of Seeger and hurt him in rounds six and eight.  Al Seeger often had little option but to clinch the aggressive Oliver as Oliver’s aggression could be blamed for causing some of the clinching as Seeger was forced to grab once Oliver was so close inside.  The fight was rough and ugly at times and Seeger lost a point in round number ten after he nailed Oliver with a low blow.

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Navarro, Berto & Augustus win

Jose Navarro puts on a boxing clinic versus Torres;

Augustus and Berto notch victories

By Alex Pierpaoli

originally published 5/23/06 on KOFantasyBoxing.com

 

Bantamweight Jose Navarro boxed an almost perfect ten rounds versus Vernie Torres at Mohegan Sun to win a unanimous decision in an ESPN2 Wednesday Night Fights Main Event.  Navarro was rebounding from a close and controversial decision loss to Masamori Tokuyama this past February in Osaka, Japan.  But in Connecticut versus Torres, Navarro was all but perfect losing only one round on two of the official scorecards.

The southpaw Jose Navarro pressured Vernie Torres from the opening bell.  Torres, nicknamed the Little Dragon, was able to feed Navarro a couple decent lead rights in the opening round but the rest of the fight was spent with Torres’ back to the ropes and Navarro hammering at him with both hands.

In the seventh round Navarro was cut by what was ruled a head butt but otherwise the southpaw from Los Angeles put on a boxing clinic for the crowd.  When the decision was announced the scores were 99-89 from Judge Steve Epstein, 99-90 from Judge George Smith and Judge Tom Kaczmarek saw it 98-91.

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Mosley vs. Goldie 2

Sweet Victory: An Honest Fistfight in Simulation City

By Alex Pierpaoli 

Originally published on DoghouseBoxing.com Sept. 16, 2003

 

It can be difficult to see reality on the Las Vegas Strip. Much of the landscape is a reproduction, a clever and attractive facade that blinks, flashes, sings and smokes. From the striking replica of the Eiffel Tower to a Venetian palace that smells of sandalwood blended with Roman Catholic funerary incense, it is easy to be seduced by what Vegas offers its visitors: a fantasy. On Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Sugar Shane Mosley won a unanimous decision over the Golden Boy, Oscar De La Hoya, to claim the WBA and WBC 154 pound titles. And, contrary to what Promoter Bob Arum, De La Hoya and especially HBO’s Pay-Per-View broadcast suggested, there was no scoring legerdemain or promotional “trickerations” that swayed the ringside officials, just mean hard punching and effective aggression that gave Sugar Shane his sweet, repeat victory.

Arriving in Vegas on Wednesday afternoon, this writer was able to sample the climate of Sin City and just about everyone I met was convinced Oscar De La Hoya would win. Many people didn’t know who Sugar Shane Mosley was, let alone the fact he had won their first encounter three years ago at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Who Mosley was didn’t matter, De La Hoya would get the win they all thought; he was the betting favorite as usual. Redemption and that promotional theme was to them one of those buzz words advertisers use to hype an event and sell the drama. The enormous banner over the drive up entrance to the MGM, which pictured both men, shirtless and back-to-back, was just another marquee screaming out at them in the din of colorful optics that is Vegas. What residents knew was De La Hoya was fighting, and that meant The Strip would be packed with traffic on fight night and the glitterati would stride into town from Los Angeles and elsewhere the way they always do for a big event. Not since Tyson had a fighter brought the same buzz for a bout on The Strip and for those who paid attention to the pre-fight promotion, this really was one Oscar might lose, he had lost the first meeting with this guy.

At Friday’s weigh-in, over 2000 fight fans filed into the MGM Grand Garden to see De La Hoya and the other guy get on the scale in their undergarments-an exercise which took all of 15 minutes after waiting two hours for Michael Buffer to pick up a mike and start announcing all the fighters on Saturday’s card. When Shane and his father, Jack Mosley climbed the steps to the scale they were greeted by a chorus of boos while Oscar De La Hoya’s arrival was met with frenzied applause and even a mariachi band. The crowd reaction certainly reflected the odds-two to one against Mosley, perhaps more.

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