It’s not just boxing, but kickboxing.
Replacement fighter Chabid Arrab of Germany substituted for an injured American and toppled the seemingly unbeatable Big Daddy Goodridge to capture the K-1 Grand Prix with a come-from-behind knockout of the knockout puncher.
Before more than 6,000 at the Mirage, the left-handed Arrab (13-5) was called in to replace Carter Williams who had scored a close split-decision over the German earlier in the night. But an injury to the left leg forced Williams to sit down and in his place came Arrab.
“I had nothing to lose,” Arrab said last week after winning the championship.
After suffering knockdowns in the first and second rounds, Arrab engaged in a wild exchange with big punching Goodridge (45-25, 33 KOs) who had knocked out earlier two opponents, one in 40 seconds and another in 36 seconds.
Though Arrab seemed hurt once again with a big right hand, he eagerly traded wide swinging punches with Goodridge until a right hook put the big Canadian for good at 1:00 of the third and final round.
“It was my conditioning that helped me win,” said Arrab, who had defeated his first opponent in 23 seconds.
In a non-tournament bout, Russia’s super fighter Ruslan Karaev (160-8, 125 KOs) met Germany’s super fighter Stefan Leko (50-14-1, 29 KOs) in a heavyweight showdown. Karaev gave the crowd a taste of his knockout power with two knockdowns of his German opponent. But in the final round, Leko caught the Russian with a perfect right hand counter that dropped him. The judges scored it 29-27 twice and 28-27 for Karaev. Up until the last round Karaev seemed to have a sizeable advantage with his speed and youth. But Leko almost stopped him in the final round as Karaev walked into a big right hand delivered with German precision.
A second non-tournament bout saw Japan’s popular Musashi meet Holland’s giant Semmy Shilt. It was not much of a contest as the much bigger fighter Shilt pretty much manhandled Mushashi. The judges scored the holding-fest 30-26 for Shilt who had a six-inch size advantage.
The most popular non-tournament fight saw the 7-2 tall giant Hong-Man Choi of Korea battle for three nonstop rounds with American Sly Terkay, a mere 6-7 tall. Choi knocked down Terkay with stiff left hands in the first and second round, but Terkay’s tenacity kept the fight in doubt until the final bell. The judges scored it 29-27, 28-26, 29-26 for Choi. If Terkay learned how to move his head he would have avoided the knockdowns. Choi seemed to tire visibly by the middle of the second round.
Scott Lighty and Dewey “The Black Kobra” Cooper needed all three rounds to decide the winner in the early rounds of the tournament. The judges scored it 29-28 for Lighty. Later, Lighty was stopped by Goodridge who dropped him twice.
Japan’s Yusuke Fujimoto sought revenge against American Carter Williams who broke his nose in their last encounter. Maybe he was too careless in seeking vindication. A left-right counter by Williams dropped Fujimoto in the opening round. The judges scored it 30-26, 29-27 twice for Williams.
In the second round Williams and Arrab battled back and forth. Arrab hit the deck twice from the punching power of the American. But in the final round, Arrab hurt Williams with a left hook and had the larger fighter teetering. The judges scored it a split-decision for Williams 28-27 for Arrab, 29-26, 28-26 for Williams.
Arrab used uppercuts to make short work of American Sean O’Haire in 23 seconds of the first round.
Sources in Las Vegas said that Ricardo Mayorga was suffering a muscle cramp in his buttocks. It’s probably retribution from being a pain in the butt all of these years. But like any rumor, it’s not based on fact. Mayorga had been preparing in Las Vegas the last several weeks including with Brazilian welterweight Anthony Mesquita (33-0, 24 KOs). “Mayorga’s people kicked him out of the gym because he’s too fast,” said Luis Tapia, who runs the world famous Johnny Tocco’s Gym in Las Vegas and trains Mesquita. The Brazilian fights next week in Ogden, Utah against Mexico’s Gerardo Prieto on May 13 at the Eccles Convention Center.
Layla McCarter May Fight IBA champ
Layla McCarter says she’s been offered to fight IBA junior welterweight champ Holly Holm, in New Mexico of course. Though McCarter is actually a featherweight, she is ranked high as a welterweight. “I like fighting as a junior lightweight,” said McCarter who lives and trains out of Las Vegas. Holm fights solely in New Mexico where she’s a big draw. McCarter says she doesn’t mind fighting in someone else’s hometown. “As long as the pay is good,” McCarter said.
Roque Cassiani retired
Looks like Roque Cassiani, 36, will be officially retired by the California Athletic Commission. Last Wednesday, April 26, Cassiani (22-20-3, 15 KOs) failed to appear at an appeal on his behalf. The Colombian has been living in Los Angeles the last few years and fought mainly at the lightweight level. His last win came against Mauricio Borquez two years ago. He fought Ernesto Zepeda to a draw a year ago. Cassiani lost 11 of 14 bouts. But most of them were top 20 lightweights.
Coachella’s Julio Diaz is preparing in Mira Loma, California for his upcoming bout against Ricky Quiles that takes place in Florida on May 18. Helping to prepare the former IBF titleholder was a young southpaw from Tijuana named Antonio De Marcos. He looked awful fast and pretty darned skillful for someone not known. De Marcos suffered a loss in his last bout by majority decision to a Texan while fighting in Texas. During the sparring Diaz liked what he got from the talented Tijuana boxer. “He’s just what I needed,” said Diaz. “He’s young, strong and fast.”
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV