IBF Championships Chairman, Lindsay Tucker explained, "It is a 50-50 split of the earnings between the two fighters. Kaizer is ranked No. 1 by the IBF, and Judah is No. 2. Where the fight will be held is up to the winning bidder."
Judah (39-6, 26 KOs) is promoted by Main Events and his own firm Super Judah Promotions, and Branco Milenkovic, of South Africa, promotes Mabuza (23-6-3, 14 KOs).
Kathy Duva confirmed the fight will take place at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, late February or early March this year as part of Main Events' Brick City Boxing Series. (Saturday Update: the fight is March 5th, in NJ at the Pru Center. The bout will be part of a PPV card.)
"We are very happy that Zab has the opportunity to fight for the IBF Junior Welterweight title right here in New Jersey. Winning this fight will put Zab right in the mix with the winner of Bradley-Alexander and Amir Khan." Duva elaborated, " Zab will work very hard to win this fight so that he will be one step closer to his ultimate goal of unifying all of the Junior Welterweight titles by the end of 2011!"
Edgar (13-1) has emerged from the milieu of nondescript MMA fighters to become one of the more brilliant performers for Ultimate Fighting Championship. Next comes a rematch with Gray “The Bully” Maynard (11-0) tomorrow at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas. UFC 125 will be televised on pay-per-view.
All it took was not one, but two victories over BJ Penn.
If you’re not familiar with Penn, he’s one of the most versatile fighters in MMA history and had been nearly unbeatable in the 155-pound lightweight division. That is until he clashed with Edgar. Until he met New Jersey’s Edgar, the Hawaiian fighter chopped down lightweight opponents with ease. It was only the heavier welterweights he had problems against. Namely: Canada’s Georges St. Pierre.
Edgar showed poise, speed and grit in defeating Penn in back-to-back fights. The world took notice.
“You know, if I keep winning fights, the respect will come eventually,” said Edgar during a conference call.
Now Edgar will find out if he can avenge the only loss on his record.
“I just think I grew as a fighter. You know, mentally, you know, physically I, you know, possess differently skills, increased - you know, I think I boxed and got better, my Jiu-Jitsu got better and, you know, just have much more experience now,” Edgar says.
Maynard seeks to find out if Edgar has added any more fighting tools to his repertoire. Back in April 2008, the artillery shelled out was not enough to beat the Las Vegas fighter.
“It’s a perfect time. He had the chance and, you know, he took it and the time is now for me and I’m prepared,” said Maynard (11-0). “Any time you’re going up against the top in the world, you evolve and change and so I’m prepared for a new fight, so it will be good. I’m pumped for it.”
Though Maynard’s record indicates he is unbeaten that’s not entirely true. He did suffer a defeat to Nate Diaz during The Ultimate Fighter series and subsequently avenged that loss last January.
The UFC lightweight title is in Maynard’s bull’s eye.
“Looking to take the belt for sure,” said Maynard. “We’ll see on January 1.”
Edgar versus Maynard should be a good one. Other bouts:
Nate Diaz (13-5) faces Dong Hyun Kim (13-0-1) in another welterweight tussle. Diaz is the only fighter with a win over Maynard. Anyone watching TUF remembers Maynard tapping out from a Diaz guillotine choke. The Modesto fighter has a tough fight against South Korea’s Kim.
Chris Leben (21-6) fights Brian Stann (9-3) in a middleweight fight. Leben is a veteran of MMA and if an opponent is not ready for a rough and tumble fight, well, that fighter is not going to win. Stann dropped down from light heavyweight and we’ll see if the cut in weight benefits the Marine.
Brandon Vera (11-5) meets Thiago Silva (14-2) in a light heavyweight match up. Vera is trying to rally back to the promising fighter he was tabbed several years back. Silva is a very tough customer and eager to crash the elite. A victory by either fighter could mean a ticket to the big time.
Clay Guida (27-8) versus Takanori Gomi (32-6) in a lightweight bout. Guida has become one of the most feared fighters without a title. No one has an easy time with the long-haired fighter. Gomi lost to Kenny Florian but knocked out Tyson Griffin. Can he survive Guida?
Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis (22-8) clashes with Jeremy Stephens (18-6) in another lightweight fight. Davis is a go-for-broke kind of fighter and is looking to get back in the win column after a tumultuous battle with Nate Diaz last August. Stephens needs a win too. In his last bout he lost to Melvin Guillard.
For the second straight year the sport could not deliver The Fight, the only one fans universally wanted and even casual fans craved – the mix between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao. No one has to be singled out for blame for that failure because this time there’s plenty to go around on both sides. The larger issue is what does it say about a sport when it cannot deliver its top event?
What would the NFL be without the Super Bowl? Where would major league baseball be without the World Series? Golf without the Masters? College basketball without March Madness?
They would all be less than they could be and so it was with boxing this year. Having said that, the sport was not without its signature moments. It was not bereft of nights that left those of us with an abiding (and often unrequited) love for prize fighting with good reason to hope for the future.
Three times promoter Bob Arum took the sport into massive stadium venues just like the good (very) old days and each time boxing drew a far larger crowd than its many critics expected. Twice those fights involved the sport’s leading ambassador, Pacquiao, who brought in crowds of 40,000 to 50,000 fans into Cowboys Stadium against inferior opponents Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito. Imagine what he might have done had Mayweather been in the opposite corner?
While both fights were, as expected, lopsided affairs, they showcased the one boxer who has transcended his sport’s confining walls to become a cultural icon and world celebrity. Pacquiao alone put boxing (or at least one boxer) on the cover of TIME and into the pages of such varied publications as Esquire, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, the American Airlines in-flight magazine and even Atlantic Monthly.
As history has proven time and again, that is what happens when boxing has a compelling personality to sell it and Pacquiao is that. Mayweather is such a person as well, but for different reasons.
The one night he appeared in a boxing ring, he set the year’s pay-per-view standard against Shane Mosley while also leaving a first hint of dark mystery when he was staggered by two stinging right hands in the second round.
Mayweather was momentarily in trouble for the first time in his career but the moment passed quickly and Mosley never had another. By the end he had been made to look old and futile, a faded athlete who’d had his chance and was unable to do anything with it. So it goes in this harsh sport when the sands are running out of the hour glass.
As always there were some surprising upsets, most notably Jason Litzau’s domination of an uninterested and out of shape Celestino Caballero and Sergio Martinez’s one-punch demolishment of Paul Williams. The latter was not so much an upset as it was a stunning reminder that when someone makes a mistake against a highly skilled opponent in this sport they don’t end up embarrassed. They end up unconscious.
SHOWTIME did all it could to further the future of the sport, offering up a continuation of its interminably long but still bold Super Six super middleweight tournament as well as the launching of a short form bantamweight tournament which already gave fans to two stirring and surprising finishes with Joseph Agbeko decisioning Jhonny Perez and Abner Mares upsetting Victor Darchinyan in a battle of contusions.
While the Super Six has had its problems – including several of the original six pulling out – it also lifted the profile of former Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward from nearly unknown to the cusp of universal recognized as the best super middleweight in the world this side of Lucian Bute. If Ward continues winning he’ll get to Bute soon enough because that’s why SHOWTIME signed a TV deal with the Canadian and America may get its next boxing star if Ward proves to be what I think he is – which is still underrated and underappreciated.
HBO and HBO pay-per-view put on 23 shows, few of them compelling and many of them paying big money to the wrong people while doing little or nothing to grow the sport that has helped make their network rich. But they did have the knockout of the year - Martinez’s second round destruction of Williams – and some fights in the lower weight classes that were left you wanting more.
Two new names popped up who are causing the kind of fan reaction that also gives us hope for 2011 - American Brandon Rios and Mexican Saul Alvarez. They are two of the sport’s brightest young prospects because each comes to the arena the old-fashioned way – carrying nothing but bad intentions. Aggression and knockouts still sell boxing faster than anything else and each exhibited plenty of both this year and left fans wanting to see more. Alvarez is already a star in Mexico without having yet won a world title and Rios is the definition of “promise.’’ Whether the star will continue to shine and promise will be fulfilled may be answered next year and so we wait anxiously to find out.
Backed by Golden Boy Promotions, there is no reason 2011 shouldn’t be Alvarez’s year and if it is people will notice and remember him because he has a crowd-pleasing style that is all about what sells most.
That is what boxing needs more of – fresh faces and new stars... so as fans we should root for guys like Alvarez, Ward, Rios and young Brit Amir Khan, who is a star in England but still a question mark with a questionable chin but a fighter’s heart here in the U.S.
Those guys and others not yet as well known are the future of boxing, a sport that for too long has been recycling the likes of Mosley (as it will again in May for one last beating against Pacquiao in a fight that's a joke), Bernard Hopkins (who can still fight although it is unclear why he bothers or where it’s all headed), Roy Jones and, sadly, even 48-year-old Evander Holyfield, who continues to delude himself but not many other people into believing he will soon unify the heavyweight title again. If fighters like Ward, Alvarez, Rios, Khan, WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto and middleweight king Sergio Martinez continue their rise they could be the antidote for the art of the retread that Arum and Golden Boy have been forcing fans to buy the past few years at the expense of what boxing needs most – fresh faces.
The heavyweight division, which many believe determines the relevancy of boxing to the larger world, remains a vast desert of disinterest here in the US. The Klitschko brothers, Vitali and Wladimir, hold 75 per cent of the title belts but few peoples’ imaginations in the US, although to be fair they are European superstars and don’t really need U.S. cable TV money to thrive economically.
Each defended their titles twice this year, Vitali against lame competition (Albert Sosnowski and Shannon Briggs) and Wladimir against better fighters (Sam Peter and Eddie Chambers) but not competitive ones. Sadly, there is no American on the horizon to challenge them, a comment on the division and on our country, where the athletes who used to be Joe Louis or Muhammad Ali now opt for the easier and frankly safer road of the NFL or the NBA. Who can blame them considering all the nonsense a fighter has to go through to just make a living these days?
The one heavyweight match that would be compelling and might lift the sport up for at least a night would be either of the Klitschkos facing lippy WBA champion David Haye. The fast-talking Brit claims to not be ducking them but he’s had more maladies befall him after shouting from the rooftops how much he wants to challenge them that you have to wonder if Haye is simply a case of big hat no cattle syndrome.
For the sake of the sport, we should all be lighting candles each night in hopes our prayers will be answered and Haye will finally agree to meet one of them. It may not prove to be much of a fight but at least it will give us something to talk about for a few months.
Whatever Haye and the Klitschkos decide the fighter with the most upside at the moment however seems to be Sergio Martinez. He has matinee idol looks, a big enough punch to put Paul Williams to sleep with one shot and a work ethic second to none. The Argentine fighter had a year for himself, starting with a drubbing of Kelly Pavlik followed by his demolishment of Williams. Those kinds of victories, coupled with his Oscar De La Hoya-like looks, are the type of things that if HBO or SHOWTIME would get behind him could allow Martinez to capture the attention of both fight fans and more casual ones.
In general, Hispanics fighters continued to dominate much of the sport’s front pages with Juan Manuel Marquez’s two victories in lightweight title fights leading that storyline. His war with Michael Katsidis is a strong candidate for Fight of the Year and his technical skill and calm demeanor make him the uncrowned challenger to Pacquiao. The two have unfinished business that should be settled this year if Arum stops standing in the way.
Two other fighters who gave us moments to remember in 2010 were Juan Manuel Lopez, who knocked out three solid opponents including highly respected Mexican warrior Rafael Marquez, and Giovani Segura, who won four times (that’s three years work for Mayweather) in 2010, all by knockout. Along the way, Segura defeated one of the great minimum weight fighters in history, slick Ivan Calderon, to win the belt on Aug. 28.
Lastly, boxing gave us another magical cinematic moment as well with the release of “The Fighter,’’ a film based on the life and hard times of junior welterweight scrapper Micky Ward. The film has won rave reviews and many awards and seems likely to have several of its actors nominated for Academy Awards, most notable Christian Bale for his sadly humorous portrayal of Ward’s troubled half brother, former fighter Dickie Ecklund.
Boxing has a long history of providing the framework for memorable movies and it did it again with “The Fighter,’’ a film that did more for boxing than any promoter did all year.
All in all, it wasn’t the best of years for boxing but it was a good year that picked up speed in the final months and, like that great golf shot you finally hit out of the rough on the 18th, left us with reasons to hope for a better year in 2011. If somehow it gives us Mayweather-Pacquiao, the emergence of Alvarez and Rios, the ascension of Martinez and Haye vs. the best available Klitschko in addition to the kind of solid performances that always come along, it could be a year to remember.
Therefore, for Duran, who now gores by "Stitch," going to Air Force was a signal of ambition. And what he learned in Thailand turned out to be symbolic of his future.
Today, Duran is one of the most respected cut men in the fight business. He has worked with many of the greatest boxers in the game including current champions the Klitschko brothers, and Andre Ward. But he is also well known for creating the blueprint for the regulatory measures of treatment on cuts in the UFC; he uses the same system in boxing, and tries to implement his theories throughout the sport.
Like most other cut men, Duran did not receive a PHD in anatomy or kinesiology to earn his stripes and work a corner. He learned his trade from experience, traveling to Himalayan lands to gain his wisdom. Although Duran is now a master of stopping the bleeding, he is still a proud student of the game.
After graduating high school, Duran attempted to pursue a childhood dream of becoming a baseball player. But he could not afford to go to college, so in 1972, Duran joined the Air Force. In 1974, Duran was stationed in Thailand, and he used his time aboard to pursue a childhood passion.
“I always told myself as I got out of the valley growing up that I wanted to study the martial arts. My first encounter with martial arts was at a Muay Thai fight in Thailand. I saw some guy get knocked out with a kick to the head and I thought, man that is what I want to do,” Duran said. “So the following Monday I went to the base recreations, over there they usually taught Tae Kwan Do. But the Koreans had already left. So they converted us into Muay Thai. That whole year I ate and slept martial arts.”
After practicing the Muay Thai style of fighting for the first time, Stitch felt like he had some studying to do. He wanted to know the roots of the fight game in and out.
“I really did not know the chemistry of fighting. You know, I grew up in a small town. So, it just was not in our DNA to be in the fight game. I always wanted to study to be a martial artist and I wanted to go to Korea because I knew that was where Tae Kwan Do was at. That was the sport that was pretty hot at that point. But they sent me to Thailand. And not knowing the difference, I began to train and learn Muay Thai.”
After learning Muay Thai, Duran fought in karate tournaments in Thailand and won them all. When he returned to the states, while still in the military, Duran had an itch to continue his training and test himself against other martial artists. He began fighting in karate tournaments in South Dakota and had an immaculate record. What was Duran’s trick? He was practicing Muay Thai while his opponents were using karate.
Duran said that he had some awesome kicks. One of his opponents during a fight actually came up to him and said that he was kicking too hard.
But he thought that he was never built to be a fighter. He moved back to northern California after leaving the Air Force and got a normal-type career job working for a micro company with all the health benefits and a company car.
However Duran, the supposed corporate prodigy, only worked about five hours a day. Although he did not envision himself to be a great fighter, the game was still in his blood.
“Number one, I was a martial artist. I was very good at what I did. But one thing that I lacked was my skills in boxing. When I saw Charles King opening up this gym (King’s Gym, in Oakland, Ca) I would go visit him because my accounts for the micro company were in downtown Oakland. So I would always be driving from account to account and go stop by and talk to Charles before he opened the gym.”
Once King’s Gym finally opened, Duran was the first person to sign up. He joined King’s to better his boxing ability and be a complete martial artist. He wanted to combine his boxing with kickboxing, better his hands to complement his legs, elbows, and knees.
There at King’s, Stitch began working with amateur boxers and learning the game of boxing. It was his first foray into the business aspect of fighting as well. Duran worked with the first Golden Gloves champions that came out of King’s Gym. He also promoted the first amateur boxing event at the Henry J. Kaiser Auditorium in Oakland, Ca.
Then, Duran moved to Fairfield, Ca to open up his own school of kickboxing called the American School of Kickboxing. At ASK, Duran practically did it all.
“At ASK, I trained fighters, promoted fighters, managed fighters, I did the marketing, and I worked cuts. I liked being a cut man. So my wife, the kids, and I packed it up and moved to Vegas. Then the UFC came around, and I am working with both now, boxing and MMA.”
Now, Jacob “Stitch” Duran goes all over the world to be a cut man in both boxing and the UFC. Many of his clients are international fighters from the likes of Russia, Australia, Ireland, Germany, and Canada. It is a far cry from picking cotton with his family in the farmlands of California. “I always look back,” Duran said. “Being Chicano, and growing up in the San Joaquin Valley. But here I am. Now I go to Germany every two or three months.”
In boxing, Stitch’s reputation as an excellent cut man travels well. He is hired by individual fighters that have either seen, or heard of his stellar patch work. But Duran’s responsibilities with the UFC are more complicated. In the UFC Duran is a company man, he is not employed by the fighters like he is in boxing. When Duran met Dana White, the owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, they were both struggling trainers trying to make a living in Las Vegas. Once White became the owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, he approached Duran at a K-1 kickboxing event at the Bellagio with an offer to join Leon Tabbs, another well respected cut man, as the only two cut men in the company.
Before Duran came around, Tabbs was the one and only cut man that worked with the UFC since its inception in 1991. There are now a total of four cut men with the UFC including Tabbs and Duran.
UFC fighters are not required to have the UFC employed cut men work their corner. But since it is a fairly new business, Duran says that most of the fighters willingly accept his help. According to Duran, about ninety nine percent of the fighters at a UFC event use the services of a UFC employed cut man. About eighty percent of the fighters ask the UFC cut men to wrap their hands before bouts.
The art of tending to a cut is done differently in all combat sports by different cut men that have their own theories. Duran thinks that fighters and trainers in the UFC are willing to accept new methods. Whereas some boxing trainers come from the old school, a culture that emphasizes on learning the ropes from the hard knocks of yesteryear. In boxing, Duran says that it is hard to teach old dogs new tricks.
The most recent and clearest example of the revolution of working cuts in the UFC as opposed to boxing was evident in Manny Pacquiao’s fight against Antonio Margarito last month. Pacquiao made Margarito’s face look like a cyclone by the middle rounds and Duran says that there are methods to help prevent such madness.
“The techniques we use in the UFC are the best. It’s funny, when Margarito fought Pacquiao, I got about four calls from people asking me about why this particular cut man was doing what he was doing. You know, I have studied the game of being a cut man. I mean, I have produced a video and I have probably worked thousands of cuts to this point now. So I know the game. These guys in boxing do not want to be taught. And they don’t really want to teach either. As a matter of fact when I was learning, I remember going to the James Bonecrusher Smith vs. Marvis Frazier fight. This one particular cut man was doing an excellent job. After the fight, I asked him about some of his practices, and his application, and he cussed me out and told me that he is going to take it to his grave. He made me feel horrible. In the same token, that mentality still has not changed in boxing.”
The approach to handling cuts is only a portion of Duran’s frustrations with boxing. He feels like some of the cut men in the sport have not changed with the times. Cleanliness is of concern. According to Duran, cut men that do not wear gloves or put swabs in their mouths, or on their ears, are using techniques that should have been improved as the game progressed. But they are still done constantly.
Then there is the enswell.
“You see guys applying the enswell incorrectly all of the time,” Duran said. “What they try to do is rub the mouse out of the way. But what you are doing is moving that blood clot to the side, to tissue that is not damaged, which is creating a greater problem. The proper technique is to apply cold direct pressure. And the process behind that is to close up the blood vessels that are leaking. You get swelling when blood vessels pop up underneath the skin and they are not going anywhere. So when you get hit, they keep swelling and swelling.”
For us less educated folks, Duran spoke of the famous “cut me Mick” scene in Rocky one when a vision-impaired Balboa asks his trainer to cut open his closed eye so he could see.
Duran says, “In theory, you don’t normally do that. But when there is an accumulation of blood, you could cut it, and you would see blood leak. But the proper way of preventing damage and stopping blood from flowing is to apply cold direct pressure. These guys don’t do that. They just beat the hell out of the guys’ cheek or eye brow. You’ll notice it next time you see a fight.”
Duran saw another example of bad cut management on Michael Katsidis, during the Marquez vs. Katsidis fight on November 27th. The brawling Katsidis has a well known history of acquiring bad cuts throughout his career. It is safe to argue that some of those cuts have prevented him from fighting at top form. Duran watched that fight closely and unfortunately witnessed plenty of mistakes by Katsidis’ cut man, particularly with the way he was using the swab.
Katisidis’ long time cut man is Nonito Donaire Sr. the father of bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. Duran explained that when a fighter is bleeding from the nose, most cut men use a nasal solution called adrenalin chloride 1:1000. When Donaire Sr. was applying the solution, to Katsidis’ nose, Duran noticed some flaws.
“The cut man put the swab in the guys (Katsidis) nose. And he is turning it like butter number one. And when he did that, it probably busted a blood vessel inside the nostril. How many times have you gotten cut, applied direct pressure, and it stops bleeding? Well, those are the same theories. But now you are using a medication (adrenalin chloride 1:1000) that is supposed to work as a constrictor. When you apply that on the cut or a blood vessel, the theory is that the blood vessel is supposed to close. But this guy was turning it like butter and he was just creating more damage. But then he gets that blood swab that looks like a tampon, and he puts it back in his mouth.”
Duran made it a point to state that UFC cut men wear gloves, and when they use an enswell they apply direct pressure, and do not put swabs in their mouth or near their ears. This is a formula that Duran personally established for the cut men in the UFC and he uses it with all of his boxers as well.
When using his system, Duran says that cut men do not have any problem working multiple cuts. But he still has trouble relaying that message to ‘old boxing guys.’
In all fairness, Duran thinks most fighters do not know the difference between good and bad cut men. And he has a point, unless there is a bad cut or swelling during a bout, most fight fans do not think twice about how well a cut man is applying Vaseline on one’s face.
“There are no schools for this,” Duran said. “I get emails all the time from people that want to learn more about what I do. But they do not understand that it is years and years and years of hard working, and not making money. But like I said, I have made videos, and written a book about handling cuts. I am willing to sit down and educate anybody that wants to learn. ”
When working a corner, Duran cannot help but to feel for his fighter. Mentally he goes into the bout as if the fighter is one of his kids and he is there to take care of them. There has to be a bond, he says. Anytime blood is drawn, and Duran could help, he feels a connection.
Meanwhile the fighters come to him for healing. But more importantly, they come to him for confidence. Duran worked with Andre Ward during his most recent fight on November 27th against Sakio Bika.
The Oakland native injured a knuckle on his right hand while training and it had bothered him leading up to the fight. On the night before the bout, Ward decided to have Duran practice wrap his hand to see how it would feel. The moment Duran arrived to Ward’s hotel room, the champion began telling him about the injury.
“After hearing him tell me about the injury, I knew that it became a psychological thing,” Duran said. “So I went into Andre’s room and I wrapped his hands, and made some adjustments here and there. When I finished wrapping his hands, he started hitting, and it felt good. In doing that the night before, I took away that mental pressure. In the dressing room on fight night, I wrapped his hands again. While he was warming up, and doing pads, I asked; ‘How does your hand feel?’ and he said, ‘I forgot about it.’
Duran asked Ward about the hand after the fight as well, and Ward had said that he did not even think about it. “Those are some of the things that you have to do as a cut man. It is not only the physical aspect, there is a mental game.”
Pain is in the mind. In order for cut men to earn an honest pay, the fighters have to trust them. It is Duran’s goal to take away the disadvantage of a cut or swelling. But he is disheartened by the cut men who continue to make mistakes or get lured into making mistakes.
There are roughly sixty seconds in between every round. Duran knows how to stretch the clock. When the bell sounds, Duran walks towards the center of the ring and is applying pressure before the fighter even sits down. They give him sixty seconds, he uses about fifty five. For Duran it is all about positioning.
“When a fighter gets cut, the primary position of a cut man is to go inside the ring. The cut man switches positions with the trainer so he could have direct contact with the fighter. Well, you’ll see a lot of trainers that do not want to do that. The trainers will not move out of the ring for whatever the reason may be. It does not make sense. The cut man should get the priority position.”
There have been times where a fighter is cut on the right side and the cut man stands on the left side of the corner, awkwardly reaching across the face. Duran calls those situations unprofessional and detrimental to a fighter’s well being. For a cut man, Duran says that it is all about knowing what you do, and working with a good team.
“When you get a cut or have swelling that becomes the top priority. The fighter could still listen to the trainers’ instructions without making eye contact with him. Next time you watch a fight, you are going to study it a little bit harder and be like, Damn, he was right.”
Jacob “Stitch” Duran will be flying to Kazakhstan to work the corner of light heavyweight contender Beibut Shumenov on January 8th. Duran’s book “From the Field to the Garden” can be purchased on Amazon.com. It chronicles Duran’s childhood growing up as a farmer to his ascension to the top of the fighting world.
Williams (34-11-2, 19 KOs), who is at training camp in Ft. Lauderdale (FL) with his head trainer, John David Jackson, feels disrespected by Holyfield (43-10-2, 218 KOs) heading into their 12-round main event for Holyfield’s World Boxing Federation title.
“I’m motivated to whip Holyfield and he has a well deserved proper beating coming,” Williams said. “January 22nd is going to be great with me beating Holyfield and taking the WBF title.”
“Redemption In American,” presented by ARK Promotions in association with The Greenbrier, will be distributed in North American by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 9 PM/ET 6 PM/PT on both cable and satellite pay per view via iN Demand, DIRECTV, Avail-TVN and DISH Network in the United States, as well as Viewer’s Choice and Shaw PPV in Canada, for a suggested retail price of only $29.95.
“Redemption” will fuse world class boxing and entertainment; showcasing a production that includes high-energy music presented by Broadway performers, along with dancers and aerial artists. Competitive supporting fights, soon to be announced, will set the stage for the main event featuring Holyfield on his journey to become the first heavyweight champion to regain the coveted world title four different times.
Williams, a native of Freeport, Bahamas, has defeated former world champion Al “Ice” Cole, fought multiple world title challenger Jameel McCline to a draw, and extended former world heavyweight titlist Ruslan Chagaev the full distance in their 2005 fight.
“Tank” realizes that an opportunity be beat a future Hall of Famer like Holyfield can pump life back into his career. I’m excited about this fight, not just because I’m fighting Holyfield, but what beating him impressively, or knocking him out, can do for me. It can better position me for a fight against Vitaly Klitschko or David Haye. They’ve been fighting hand-picked looney tunes. Even though I’m a Bahamian, I’ve lived here (Vero Beach, FL) a long time and I represent the United States, Western Hemisphere and the Great Atlantic. I want to bring one of their title belts back to this side of the Atlantic.
“Just because he’s a few years older, Holyfield still is the same into the ring. Age is wisdom. His age means nothing to me. I plan on going to war with him. Styles make fights and I’ve been overlooked in the past because of my style. Some don’t like my pressure. I’m expecting to fight the greatest Holyfield, which will bring out the best in me.”
Packages include event tickets, hotel accommodations plus tickets to the Greenbrier Classic PGA Golf Tournament in July and tickets to two concerts starring Tim McGraw and Keith Urban. Ticket/hotel packages can be purchased at www.greenbrier.com or by calling 1.800.453.4858. Deadline to book reservations is Jan. 21.
Doors open at 6 PM/ET, first bout at 7 PM/ET, and first PPV fight at 9 PM/ET, 6 PM/PT.
Alexander (21-0, 13 KOs), from St. Louis, will face undefeated World Boxing Organization junior welterweight champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (26-0, 11 KOs), from North Palm Springs, Calif., at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich., on Jan. 29 in a long-awaited world championship unification match at the 140-pound weight limit.
“Don King has promoted me since the beginning of my professional career in 2004,” Alexander said from his Las Vegas training camp. “Mrs. King was with Don for over 50 years. Don has always been there for me, and I want to dedicate my performance on Jan. 29 to Mrs. King for always being there for Don.”
Alexander added, “Mrs. King was a great lady and I was honored to have met her. I will honor her with the best performance of my life at the Silverdome in Pontiac."
1. Three ring card girls, two outfits for every fight.
2. A boxer any boxer to date Kim Kardashin so it will once again be recognized as a major Sport.
3. Firm but Fair chest protector for all female boxers, bottoms optional.
4. Firm but Fair groin protectors for all male boxers, tops optional.
5. Decrease America’s dependance on foreign Heavyweight Champions.
6. Fighters flip a coin before the fight to choose red or blue corner.
7. Senate Investigation into the fact that the Red Corner wins every time on Free Television. It’s the You betcha bet. I mean come on, the ambulance is parked behind the blue corner.
8. American Heavyweights can train for their fights working as TSA pat down agents.
9. Hire Halliburton to rebuild the American Heavyweight Division.
10. Have the next Super Six tournament on a Carnival Cruise line 200 miles off the Mexican coast, nobody gets off till we have a clear winner.
11. Have the next G20 Summit meeting include a World Championship fight in every division. Have Chris Arreola emcee and do all the interviews among world leaders. Watch the Korean interpreter translate Arrelola’s four letter F words to Kim Jong II. Everybody can learn how to say the four letter world in every language.
12. Celebrity Judges for Championship fights, George W. Bush, Dich Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, let’s see once and for all if they recognize weapons of mass destruction when they see them.
13. To fool people on Free TV that this boxing show is equal to MLB and NFL, mention every two rounds that this fight can not be rebroadcast without the express written consent of Mike Tyson.
14. Or how about a warning “The fight on your TV is closer than you think.
15. Hire Bernie Madoff as a consultant to straighten out the WBC financial situation and show Jose Sulaiman the way.
16. The Chilean Miners were rescued in quicker time than it took British Heavyweight Audley Harrison to throw a punch against David Haye. He still hasn’t thrown a punch. BP plugged the oil leak in the gulf, quicker than Harrison threw a punch. Bernie Madoff will get out of jail before Harrison throws a punch, feel free to add you own here..
17. Arthur Abraham had a legitimate excuse for not throwing a punch at Carl Froch, too busy focusing on Froch’s screaming girlfriend and the small revealing dress with the bay window she almost had on.
18. English courses for the TV interpreters. Where do they find these guys? at the Verizon tech support center? Thank God I speak spanish, cause when I press one, I never understand what the heck they’re saying.
19. Signs it’s time to retire, you begin to slur your breath and stutter your grunts. You understand perfectly what Harold Lederman is saying on the air to Jim Lampley. When the referee asks if you have any questions, you actually have a question.
20. Make every heavyweight drink two 5-hour energy drinks right before their fight.
21. Manny Pacquiao’s wish for 2011, lose birth certificate so he can become Governor of California and then President of the United States. Pacquiao is so unbeatable, politicians can’t beat him. Pacquiao as a politician who can throw mean lefts and tortures right.
22. And still...Lady Gaga.
23. Just threw that in, but most of all for 2011, I ask for your prayers for one of the greatest ambassadors Boxing has ever had, my announcing partner Col. Bob Sheridan. Colonel Bob heard the eight count and he got back up and is fighting his way back to health. As his dear friend Marty Corwin put it, “Soon he will be complaining again” I look forward to his complaints and the joy of having him next to me bringing boxing to the world behind a microphone as only Col. Bob can.
Steward has trained 41 world champion fighters, including Tommy Hearns, Lennox Lewis, Oscar De La Hoya, Wladimir Klitschko and Miguel Cotto.
“I have always been a big fan of Chad’s and I think he will bring excitement back to the light heavyweight division and to boxing,” said Steward. “I am not interested in winning decisions. I’m concussion crazy. I only want Chad to win by knockouts and I know that’s what he wants to do too. HBO’s investment in Chad is going to pay off big dividends and his stock will be a “strong buy” in 2011, especially after he destroys Pascal in their rematch.
“It was very frustrating watching Chad, who I think has an enormous amount of talent, fighting the wrong type of fight against Pascal,” continued Steward. “At this stage of my career, I’m only going to work with fighters who can achieve greatness and I see greatness in Chad Dawson. Chad Dawson will regain his light heavyweight title and perhaps add titles in the super middleweight and cruiserweight divisions. He is that talented.”
“This is a great holiday gift for Chad and his fans,” said his promoter Gary Shaw. “Chad needed a change in direction and we think Manny Steward is the perfect tonic. Manny is simply GREAT! He brings a lot of world championship success and experience with him. While promoting Lennox Lewis, I had the pleasure of watching his training methods firsthand. To say I was impressed would be a gross understatement. I know he will help Chad fulfill all his potential in becoming a complete top pound for pound fighter. Manny has vowed to bring Chad’s potent offense to the forefront when he challenges Pascal in their rematch next spring.
“Much of Chad’s past success is owed to his former trainer Eddie Mustafa Muhammad. But as they say, styles make fights, not just inside the ring but inside the gym and after reflecting on several issues following the Pascal fight, a change in trainer seemed to be the prudent decision. However, with that said, I have the utmost respect for Eddie as a man and as a professional.”
Dawson (29-1, 17 KOs), from New Haven, Conn., boasts victories over world champions Antonio Tarver (2). Glen Johnson (2), Tomasz Adamek and Carl Daniels.
West took her “fear no one” attitude and cleaned up several global regions like a modern day paladin. When judges gave her bad decisions for two successive draws, she pulled the trigger and subsequently put two knockout notches on her belt.
The bantamweight also made history in becoming the first world champion from her boxing crazy area called the Inland Empire. It’s the new breeding ground for prizefighters located 60 miles east of Los Angeles. West beat them all for the world title.
First, was a battle against former world champion Ada Velez. Though judges ruled it a draw it showed that the 23-year-old West had speed and skills to match Puerto Rico’s experienced Velez. It ended in a draw but that night the judges were off on two fights including the West-Velez fight. The superior firepower belonged to West that night.
Next, a journey to Denmark where West faced former world champion Anita Christensen.
The tall Danish fighter had the home town crowd, European judges and the weather in her favor though the fight was indoors. But after 10 rounds that saw Christensen rarely land a clean punch, the fight ended in a draw. West out-boxed her for five rounds then battered the taller Danish girl the rest of the way. The fight ended in a draw.
Disappointed but undeterred the Southern Californian accepted a fight against Brazil’s hard-hitting Vannessa Guimaraes. The fight took place in South America in Lima, Peru. With back-to-back draws in previous bouts, West loaded up with the big guns. After several rounds West began proving to the Brazilian girl that she had the bigger power and proved it with a three-punch combination to the body and head that forced the Peruvian referee to stop the fight. Guimaraes’ head snapped back so violently she might have suffered whiplash from a West left hook. Eyes opened that night for those doubting the California girl’s power.
The climax to West’s impressive year came on Sept. 18 at the Staples Center on a Golden Boy Promotions fight card. It was the first time ever a female world title fight was held in that arena and the first time Golden Boy staged a female world title bout.
West did not disappoint.
That night she knocked out Angel Gladney in the seventh round with a spectacular left hook that ignited the crowd at the huge arena. She also won the WBO bantamweight world title to end a very good year. . The 22-year-old West is the Female Boxer of the Year.
Runner up was Canada’s Jeanine Garside who broke Ina Menzer’s winning streak to grab the featherweight world title. Garside had suffered some disappointing losses fighting overseas but not on July 3 in Germany. Beating Menzer in her home turf was a pretty impressive feat for Garside.
Others who had a great year in 2010 were Thailand’s Usanakorn Kokietgym, Mexico’s Ana Maria Torres and last year’s winner Kina Malpartida of Peru.
Fight of the Year
Ana Julaton vs. Maria Villalobos
San Francisco’s Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton blew into Ontario, Canada to meet Mexico’s Maria Villalobos on June 30 on a televised bout. Both did not disappoint.
After 10 bloody and brutal rounds of combat Julaton pulled out a split-decision victory over the Mexican girl. The Filipina prizefighter was badly cut and refused to wilt as she punched her way to victory that had the crowd roaring its approval. It was no accident. Both women are known for action.
Round of the Year
California’s Rhonda Luna and New York’s Ela Nunez fought on equal terms in a back and forth battle on Oct. 28 at San Manuel Casino. With the GBU junior lightweight title on the line, Luna and Nunez unleashed a fusillade of blows in round 10, the final round of the title bout. It was a climactic ending that saw Luna finally win a world championship but not without Nunez looking to end the fight with one punch.
Knockout of the Year
Kaliesha West’s knocked out Angel Gladney in the seventh round on Sept. 18 at the Staples Center in L.A. Their fight began slowly as the usually aggressive Gladney decided to fight defensively. Both approached each other cautiously for three rounds with jabs, feints and back-stepping, then the punches began to flow. After an exchange of punches including some impressive body shots, West landed a perfect left hook to Gladney’s chin and down she went. The crowd was amazed at West’s single punch knockout. So very few women’s bouts are included in a major fight card. That night West showed that women can entertain and fight skillfully too. She also proved that women can bang.
Jennifer Barber captured the IFBA junior lightweight world title by defeated Ji-Hye Woo on Dec. 11 in Seoul, South Korea. Despite losing her first world title bid when she traveled to France to face Myriam Lomare in 2008, she eagerly accepted the challenge to travel to South Korea to face Woo who had successfully beaten five title challengers including Rhonda Luna and Jeanine Garside. Northridge, California’s Barber won by unanimous decision. It’s not easy going to another country and winning by decision.
LOS ANGELES (Dec. 28, 2010) - WBA and IBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Beibut Shumenov (10-1, 6 KOs) arrived home in Shymkent, Kazakhstan for his January 8 Unification showdown against WBO Light Heavyweight World Champion Juergen Braehmer (36-2, 29 KOs).
"The Unification," presented by Goossen Tutor Promotions and KZ Event Productions in association with Universum Box-Promotions, will feature Shumenov and Braehmer putting their respective titles on the line in a 12-round WBA-WBO Light Heavyweight Unification World Championship bout at the Ice Mansion.
Shymkent-native Shumenov, who now fights out of Las Vegas, owns and operates KZ Event Productions along with his brother Chingis, and is promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions.
For additional information about "The Unification" or Shumenov go online to: http://www.goossentutor.com or http://www.kzeventproductions.com
Thursday January 13, 2011, HD Boxing presents “Rumble at Remington II at the Remington Park Casino in Oklahoma City, OK. “Comanche Boy” George Tahdooahnippah, (25-0-1) of Lawton, OK will battle the tough and rugged Eloy Suarez (11-8-1), from San Antonio, TX, in the main event.
Tahdooahnippah is coming off a second round KO of Steve Walker in November, and is promising 2011 to be a dominant year. “I have put in the work, and now it's time for me to step out in the world in the middleweight division,” Tahdooahnippah said. “Eloy Suarez is my first step in 2011, and I will keep moving forward. I'm too strong, too fast, and my determination will show in the ring. Team Comanche Boy has done their work, and I am ready.”
For more details on “Rumble at Remington II” visit www.comancheboy.com ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ NEW YORK (Dec. 27, 2010) – The all-time record for most consecutive first-round knockouts, Philadelphia junior middleweight Tyrone “Young Gun” Brunson (21-1-1, 20 KOs), has signed an exclusive promotional contract with Boxing 360.
“We’re thrilled to add a talented knockout artist such as Tyrone to our growing stable of future champions,” Boxing 360 Founder and CEO Mario Yagobi said. “We plan on getting him back in the ring in the early part of 2011 and to keep him busy.”
A Philadelphia native who has been living in Las Vegas, the 25-year-old Brunson will soon be joined in his adopted Nevada home by his new trainer, former world champion Livingstone Bramble.
“I moved to Las Vegas to better my career and now I’m adding Livingstone Bramble to my corner,” Brunson said. “I guess it’s the politics of the game but, after my only loss (Dev. 4, 2009), I didn’t fight. I was still under contract with Gary Shaw and six months ago he was good enough to grant my release. Mario had been at a few of my most recent fights. I signed with Boxing 360 because Mario gave me a chance when nobody believed in me.
“I’m real patient but it’s been hard, not being part of the boxing scene, when my friends and other junior middleweights were fighting. After a year off, I’m hungry for this sport. I was 21-0 and a ‘hood celebrity, but my loss humbled me. I’m back with Boxing 360. I have all of the tools and I’m going to be knocking out contenders to get to any of the champions in my division.”
Brunson made his pro debut April 22, 2006, knocking out Kevin Casey in the first round, and Tyrone broke the record for opening-round stoppages -- 18 held by the late Edwin Valero -- March 29, 2008 versus Francis McKechnai.
His 19 in a row record streak was snapped in his next fight when Antonio Soriano took him six rounds for a majority draw. Bounce back victories against always tough Marcos Primera (DEC8) and game Jose Medina (KO3) set the stage of Brunson’s last fight, in which Carson Jones knocked out Tyrone in the third round a little more than a year ago.
“The record was good and bad,” Brunson explained. “It helped me get notoriety but it also hurt my chances to grow as a pro. I learned that it’s just a record and I want to be known as world champion. I’m starting fresh with Boxing 360 and I’m going to prove to the world that I can fight. People are going to see my punching power and speed, but I have better ring generalship and I learned the hard way that I have to keep my left hand up at all times.
“I’m a Philly fighter. There’s no added pressure being a fighter from Philly but coming from there you learn quickly how to be a tough fighter. Hey, there’s nothing else to do growing up there but box or play basketball, or you get caught-up in poverty and drugs. I’ve got all the tools and I’m coming back with a vengeance.”
Other members of Boxing 360’s stable include USBA heavyweight champion Maurice “Sugar Moe” Harris, 2004 U.S. Olympian Jason “Big Six” Estrada, Mike Mollo, world super bantamweight contender Leon “Hurry Up” Moore, Joshua “The Juice” Harris, Emad Ali, former IBF super middleweight champion Alejandro “Naco” Berrio, NY State super middleweight title-holder Lennox “2 Sharpe” Allen, Angel “Toro” Hernandez and “King” David Estrada.
Go to www.Boxing360.com for more information about Brunson, Boxing 360 or any of its other fighters. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
When fight fans last saw USBA light welterweight champion Tim ‘Pitbull’ Coleman (18-1, 5 KOs) he was in the ring celebrating his spectacular TKO victory over former Olympian Patrick Lopez (20-2, 12 KOs) of Venezuela. The bout took place this past October at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California on SHOWTIME’s ShoBox fight series. The odds were stacked against Coleman who was an underdog in the fight, but to go out and win the fight the way he did was even more unlikely. Coleman of Baltimore, Maryland returns to the ring on the undercard of the January 29th showdown between WBO light welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (26-0, 11 KOs) and WBC champ Devon Alexander (21-0, 13 KOs). Coleman will meet unbeaten light welterweight prospect Vernon Paris (23-0, 14 KOs) from nearby Detroit. The bout is currently scheduled to be fought at a catchweight of 143 pounds and 10 rounds. The site of card will be the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan.
Though just 26 years of age Coleman has taken the long road just to get where he has now in over 5 and half years as a professional. Though he had a solid amateur career he didn't enter the professional ranks with Olympian like credentials like others and never has been backed by a major promoter since turning professional. Thus meaning a lot of fights on club shows for small purses against tough opponents. Coleman’s career took a turn for the better about a year ago when he upset former world title challenger Mike Aranoutis in his backyard of New York to win the USBA light welterweight title. Then came the recent upset of Lopez to retain his title. The Lopez win was major as it was televised on SHOWTIME and also because promoter Gary Shaw picked up options on Coleman’s next few fights which is why he got this fight with Paris. Coleman never one to bite his tongue spoke out recently as he is currently training for his upcoming fight. On his victory over Lopez
I know that Lopez’ people were very confident that he would beat me. Though I was defending my title I know I was being brought in to lose. I had other plans though and I made a big statement in front of a large television audience. There was a lot of talk about Lopez being a former Olympian but I didn't care about all that. He and his people must have been back in their dressing rooms a good 3-4 hours after the fight as they really took the loss hard. On his opponent Vernon Paris
We have actually sparred before. I can tell you he definitely is not a puncher. Like most Midwest guys with a amateur background he can box. I know the Midwest fighters get a lot of bad press but those with serious amateur backgrounds from there almost always have solid boxing skills. The boxing doesn't worry me though as I am not coming to box. I’m coming for knockouts from here on out. If Paris even thinks about disrespecting me at the pre-fight press conference or the weigh-in I will put him in his place quickly. Even in his hometown. He hasn’t fought anywhere near the competition that I have fought. Not even close. I will be the biggest name he has fought to date. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m picked to be the underdog in this fight since I’m fighting in his backyard. After beating Lopez, Gary Shaw got options on my next few fights but I honestly don’t feel he sees me as one his fighters. I’m sure he will have more interest in me after I take care of Paris. On his future
A lot of people may not like the fact that I am so straight forward with my comments but that’s who I am. From here on out I’m coming to knock guys ASSES out!!!! Plain and simple. That’s what people want to see and that’s the only way I’m going to get a money fight. I’m giving myself a 3-4 year window to make major things happen in my career. Meaning money fights. I mean that’s what I am in this for. I see former fighters that are broke and worse than that in bad health from fighting. I refuse to end up that way. All I want right now is an opportunity to be in a major fight. I will take care of the rest once I get that.
Remaining tickets to the Alexander-Bradley World Junior Welterweight Championship fight, priced from $25-$400, can be purchased at the Silverdome box office, by calling (248) 338-2500 or online at www.silverdometickets.com. Promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, Don King Productions, and Thompson Boxing Promotions, Alexander vs. Bradley will be televised live from the Silverdome on HBO World Championship Boxing, Saturday, January 29, beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.