He may just be the guy to bring some order to the chaotic heavyweight division. He’s got the skills and charisma, but does he have the size? Maybe this year we’ll get to see! Oleksander Usyk is currently the number one contender in the WBO which makes him a potential mandatory opponent for Heavyweight Kingpin Anthony Joshua. Does Usyk have the goods to beat Joshua? check out the video below of Usyk at work and you decide!
Today’s birthday boy sat down with ESPN’s Max Kellerman recently and talked a little about a fight everyone would have loved to see–the old lion versus the young tiger–Foreman versus Tyson. What do you think would have happened?
Today is January 10th, the day Big George Foreman celebrates his birthday. In that spirit let’s enjoy exactly what George was so great at delivering to us: bone-crunching thrills and spine-tingling chills! Here they are in full display in one of his most famous victories, a brain-jarring brawl versus Ron Lyle. This was Foreman’s first fight after losing to Muhammad Ali in Zaire. If you were a Marvel Comics fan growing up, this fight is probably what a Hulk versus Thing fight might look like. Except, of course, these guys center the violence on each other, Hulk and Thing would destroy a whole city block.
So, Happy Birthday, George, and thanks for all the thrills!
p.s. the grill ain’t bad either.
Vasyl Lomachenko trains like some sort of killer cyborg. This is pretty amazing.
Originally printed in The Resident in March of 2008
Cristobal Cruz tops Thomas Mashaba in featherweight fire-fight at Fox Theater in venue’s final boxing card
By Alex Pierpaoli
It’s just a twenty-foot square of canvas but for some reason the ring at Foxwoods Fox Theater has served as the tableau for a myriad of blood and sweat spatter-patterns after so many wars under the feet of modern-day gladiators. Perhaps some old specter of violence was laid down in the region at the time of the Mystic Fort Massacre and over time it leeched up through the casino floor to satiate its fleshy sadistic urges in the fighters who tread there. Perhaps the smell of cigar smoke, the thumping sound system that escorted the fighters to the ring or the always enthusiastic crowds were the cause, but the simple fact was that the Fox Theater was the site of boxing wars in so many different weight classes and the final fight card at the site was no exception.
In a twelve round tilt that featured competitive action throughout, Cristobal Cruz of Tijuana, Mexico defeated Thomas Mashaba of Carletonville, South Africa by twelve-round majority decision. Cruz opened the first round with an energetic but sloppy assault and Mashaba was able to land power punches inside the wide sweeping blows of Cruz. But despite winning many of the early rounds Mashaba was faced with a pressuring volume-puncher in Cruz and as the rounds went by the fusillade of punches thrown by Cruz began taking a toll on Mashaba. By round seven the goose-egg swelling under the right cheek of Mashaba’s face told the tale of all those left hooks Cruz was landing and by round twelve it was Mashaba on unsteady legs as both fighters kept slugging till the final bell.
In the co-main event, Portland, ME’s Jason LeHoullier was lucky to get a draw versus Jose Luis Gonzalez of Garden City, KS. The consummate club-fight, the LeHoullier versus Gonzalez rumble was heavy on brutality and way short on defense. Despite a longer reach and a more varied offense, Gonzalez was content to slug with LeHoullier throughout, which delighted the fans but couldn’t be great news for the gray matter of either fighter. At the end of twelve action-packed rounds the three judges saw the bout as a draw which means we may just see them go at it again.
But the next time LeHoullier and Gonzalez meet it will not be on the hallowed ground of the Fox Theater. Foxwoods’ famous venue and the ring that saw so much combat will return however, as this spring will bring the opening of a new 4000 seat theater in the MGM section of the new casino now under construction. And just maybe those same unseen forces that brought so much competitive action to the ring at the Fox Theater will work their magic again in Foxwoods new venue. At least this fight fan hopes so.
Originally published 8/11/04 in print via The Resident
Corrales Thumps Freitas in Ten;
Brazilians Face Rough Night in Connecticut Woods
By Alex Pierpaoli
On Saturday August seventh, Sacramento’s Diego “Chico” Corrales stopped Acelino “Popo” Freitas at 1:24 of round ten of a 12 round contest for Freitas’ WBO Lightweight title at Foxwoods Casino. Freitas, who had boxed brilliantly over the first five rounds, gave up after being dropped a third time in the fight by a hard Corrales right hand. After beating Ref. Mike Ortega’s count, Freitas looked for guidance to his corner and then to Ortega before waving his gloved right fist in a dismissive gesture of surrender. A native of Salvador Brazil, Freitas heard his supporters’ cheers turn quickly to boos and catcalls after he retired, and the now once defeated Freitas left the arena quickly without granting Showtime’s Jim Gray a post-fight interview. Popo Freitas was just one of the three Brazilians on the card who fell victim to knockout losses in the Foxwoods Bingo Hall which was packed with a sell-out crowd of area Brazilians.
Going into the night’s main event, both Corrales and Freitas were considered the best punchers pound-for-pound by most boxing experts, considering both fighters’ records featured numerous highlight reel quality knockouts. Freitas had recently been fighting in a more elusive and careful role, a departure from his younger days as a wild swinging puncher. In January of this year Freitas won a one-sided decision over Italian Artur Grigorian down the hall at Foxwoods in their Fox Theater, the normal venue for boxing at the Connecticut casino. In that fight Freitas employed lots of lateral movement and leaping in behind power punches to beat Grigorian, securing himself the WBO 135 pound title in the process.
So when the bell rang to start round one and Freitas was up on his toes and moving, firing right hand leads at the head of Corrales, it was not surprising that the Brazilian Continue reading