Freitas and Raheem make it look ugly at Foxwoods

By Alex Pierpaoli

originally posted at


HBO’s Boxing After Dark series returned to the airwaves the weekend with what seemed like an exciting match-up at Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Uncasville, CT.  On paper, Acelino Freitas versus Zahir Raheem looked like the classic style match-up of slugger versus boxer in the two principals but the result looked a lot more like classically bad fights like Mike Tyson versus Bonecrusher Smith or the third bout between Evander Holyfield and John Ruiz, which ironically, took place in the same room; Foxwoods Bingo Hall.  Freitas and Raheem fought to determine the Lightweight Champion and at the end of twelve rounds Freitas prevailed by split decision to the delight of the Brazilians on hand if not all of the boxing experts.


Despite an enthusiastic crowd full of fans and well-wishers, many of whom brought their own percussion instruments and flags, Brazilian Acelino Freitas and Philadelphia’s Zahir Raheem clutched, grabbed, shoved and grappled with each other for twelve close rounds which saw Freitas prevail by split decision.

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Ross vs. Ehikamnor-Contender Finale

Troy Ross defeats Ehinomen Ehikamenor in the Contender Season 4 Finale

By Alex Pierpaoli


On Wednesday night, Canadian Troy Ross defeated Ehinomen “Hollywood Hino” Ehikamenor by fouth round technical knockout at Foxwoods MGM Grand to claim The Contender Season 4 Championship.  Ross became the fourth champion crowned by the 11 week reality-TV-series based boxing tournament airing this season on Versus Network.  Ross and Ehikamenor had emerged in the top spots after the weekly box-offs on the series brought the competitors closer and closer to the finale card at Foxwoods.  Versus broadcast the Finale co-feature live from Foxwoods MGM in the first boxing event at the new MGM Grand Garden Arena.


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Taylor vs. Spinks SKD

Taylor versus Spinks-Something Kind of Different

By Alex Pierpaoli

originally published 4/3/07 on



It’s being billed as Border Battle which leads one to wonder whether that’s because the match-up is right on the border of being a legitimate challenge for the Middleweight King, or because the May 19th weekend is right on the border of the end of spring and the more traditional Memorial Day start of summer, or geographically speaking, Border Battle could refer to a sort of interstate rivalry between neighboring Arkansas, home of Jermain Taylor and Missouri, home of Cory Spinks.  Whatever logic is behind it, Jermain Taylor will defend his undisputed Middleweight Championship against arguably the best Junior Middleweight in the world, Cory Spinks on May 19th in Memphis, Tennessee.  Hoping to capitalize on the celebratory atmosphere in town that week co-promoters Lou DiBella and Don King have put the match-up together to coincide with the city’s “Memphis In May” festivities which include the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, also known worldwide as the Super Bowl of Swine.


In a media conference call last week Taylor’s promoter Lou DiBella ribbed his cohort Don King, Cory Spinks’ promoter, about the culinary contest taking place during fight week.


“The weekend of Taylor-Spinks is sure to be a festive atmosphere,” said DiBella.  “And I know that my co-promoter and good friend Mr. Don King would be very thrilled by that because as I told some members of the press, the only thing King knows more about than boxing is barbecue.”

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Tarver-Jones 3 preview

Tarver-Jones 3: How Great Is Roy Jones Jr?

By Alex Pierpaoli

originally published 10/1/05 on




Great fighters don’t usually get knocked out cold in back-to-back fights.  On the rare occasions when that has happened it has signaled the end of a career; if not to the fighter himself then to those around him that love him and want to see him enjoy his life after the prize ring.  For Roy Jones Jr. that life outside the ring ain’t so bad.  His Royness is a millionaire several times over, he’s a talented commentator for HBO and he’s in excellent physical and mental condition after a stellar ring career of over twenty years.


What more could Roy want?




For Roy Jones Jr. greatness beckons, and he knows it.  Not Hall of Fame quality career greatness, he has that.  I’m not going to split hairs about how McCallum was past his prime and Hopkins was nowhere near his when Roy beat them.  A win is a win and Roy has plenty spectacular ones over opponents of varying levels of competition in multiple weight classes.  Yes, I would put him in the Hall of Fame as soon as he is eligible, but without an impressive victory tonight there is a level of greatness that Roy Jones will have never achieved.  Without a win tonight Roy Jones goes down in history as a sort of front runner champion similar to Mike Tyson.

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