When I heard the recent announcement that Evander "The Real Deal" Holyfield will participate in a charity sparring session against former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, I thought about how Holyfield defied the odds in boxing time after time. Specifically, one of Holyfield's most memorable bouts was his epic 1996 upset of Mike Tyson (the first of two Holyfield-Tyson fights, both won by Holyfield). Just as Holyfield once went up against and defeated boxing's ultimate villain, Mike Tyson, Manny Pacquiao is now gearing up to take on boxing's current ultimate villain, Floyd Mayweather on May 2nd. Thinking back on Holyfield's upset of Tyson, I cannot help but think how Pacquiao has vast similarities to Holyfield going into the biggest fight of his life.
Two hard-nosed Mexican warriors will battle it out in Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico on Saturday, March 28th, as Javier "Implacable" Prieto faces Jorge "Pantera" Silva in a ten-round welterweight match-up to be televised live on Fox Deportes and Claro Sports.
In the televised co-feature, Gilberto "Flaco" Gonzalez meets David "Nene" Rangel in a ten-round junior welterweight bout. Opening up the televised action, Roberto "Tito" Manzanarez will square off against Edgar "Lupillo" Ramirez i
Press Release: Heavyweight Dwayne “Big Ticket” McRae will have the opportunity to move up the rankings when he battles unbeaten Charles Martin in a ten-round championship match Saturday, April 25th at New York City's Madison Square Garden. The bout takes place prior to the world heavyweight championship fight between unified champion Wladimir Klitshcko and Bryant Jennings. Hailing from Laurel, MD, McRae has a 15-3 pro ledger with 8 KOs. Martin, from St. Louis, is 20-0-1 with 18 KOs.
Press Release: The phone call couldn’t have come at a better time for Jean Pierre Augustin, even if he wasn’t quite sure it was real. “I didn’t take it seriously at first,” said the Lawrence, Mass., cruiserweight boxer. “I thought it was a prank.” But this was no joke. This was the opportunity of a lifetime, a chance for the 27-year-old fighter to play a role in Bleed For This, the upcoming Chad Verdi-produced film based on the career of former champion Vinny Paz. Augustin (4-0, 2 KOs) landed the role of former world champ Gilbert Dele, whom Paz beat in 1991.
Brock Lesnar, the former UFC heavweight champion, has chosen professional wrestling over mixed martial arts. Lesnar's contract with the WWE was about to expire, and he was being courted by the UFC to return to MMA, but Lesnar chose to remain in the scripted world of professional wrestling. While UFC athletes train for months and fight only a couple of times a year, pro wrestlers can have dozens of bouts as the action is scripted. Now 37 years old, Lesnar is the only person to have won championships in NCAA college wrestling (for University of Minnesota), MMA and pro wrestling. He won the UFC championship in 2009 but was sidelined by diverticulitis. An MMA superfight between Lesnar and Fedor Emilanenko never materialized. -Scott Shaffer
The boxing media was abuzz last week with stories written about a so-called $5 million dollar penalty in the event of a failed doping test by Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather, who will fight each other on May 2nd in Las Vegas. In boxing, every so often a non-story becomes a story and media outlets run with the non-story without doing any due diligence. This time, Pacquiao's advisor Michael Koncz came forward with a non-issue that the media promptly reported on and ate up like hot cakes even though Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, had already went on record to put the issue to rest.
Press Release: Super bantamweight Shelly Vincent (13-0, 1 KO) of Providence, R.I., puts her perfect record on the line Friday, April 3rd, 2015 at Rhode Island's Twin River Casino against Christina Ruiz (7-7-3, 4 KOs) of San Antonio in the ten-round main event. The card features seven bouts, including the six-round co-feature between Providence super middleweight Angel Camacho Jr. (13-0, 4 KOs) and Jersey City's Chris Chatman (12-4-1, 5 KOs), a fan-favorite at Twin River since his Rhode Island debut six yeas ago against former Olympian Demetrius Andrade.
This week will see a special Thursday night edition of ESPN2's Friday Night Fights coming from Hialeah Park in Florida. It will be headlined by a ten rounder featuring welterweight Fredrick "General Okunka" Lawson (23-0, 20 KOs) taking on hard-punching Miami transplant Breidis Prescott (27-6, 20 KOs).
In the ten-round lightweight co-feature, former IBF 130-pound titlist Rances "Kid Blast" Barthelemy (21-0, 1 ND, 12 KOs) will take on Angino Perez (18-6, 16 KOs).
Egyptian light heavyweight Ahmed Elbiali (9-0, 9 KOs) kicks off the telecast in a six-rounder against England's Mike Stafford (13-2, 3 KOs).
Tickets are on sale now at www.myticketforce.com, www.hialeahpark.com, and at the Hialeah Park Casino cage.
Undefeated welterweight Sadam "World Kid" Ali and fast-punching Francisco "Chia" Santana will face off in New York City's Madison Square Garden on Saturday, April 25th as the chief supporting bout for the world heavyweight championship defense of Wladimir Klitschko against Bryant Jennings. The ten-round Ali-Santana bout will be televised on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Advance tickets to may be purchased at www.TheGarden.com.
WBC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez and welterweight Vanes Martirosyan participated in a media workout on Monday at the Main Event Sports Club in Glendale, Calif., six days prior to their respective upcoming fights on Saturday, March 28th at the The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Showtime Championship Boxing will air their fights, which consist of
Gonzalez (57-8, 48 KOs) of Mexico City defending against Gary Russell Jr. (25-1, 14 KOs), of Capitol Heights, Md. and a ten
-round co-feature matching Martirosyan (35-1-1, 21 KOs), of Glendale, Calif. against Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo (25-0, 11 KOs), of Houston.
Here’s what the boxers as well as trainers, Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain (Gonzalez) and Dean Campos (Martirosyan), had to say Monday:
Matumla and Wang Xin Hua of China, will be the headliner in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania on Friday March 27th.
Mohamed Matumla, son of one of Tanzania’s greatest boxing heroes Rashid “Snake Boy” Matumla, a world-class junior middleweight in the late nineties, has a professional record of 11-2-4. Mohamed will have his father in his corner for this fight.
Wang Xin Hua, a 29-year-old southpaw from Harbin, China, brings a mediocre ledger of 10-9-1, but is miles ahead of his opponent when it comes to experience, having already fought for various regional titles against top class foe abroad several times.
Press Release: Vito Milenicki's GH3 Promotions announced the signing of lightweight Oscar Bonilla (3-0-2) to an exclusive promotional contract. The twenty five year-old New Haven, Connecticut resident had an amateur record of 67-6 which included winning the 2008 Connecticut Golden Gloves.
Press Release: On Saturday, April 18th at the Valley Forge Casino in King of Prussia, PA, a boxing show will be headlined by an eight-round super middleweight bout between Phillip Jackson Benson and Darnell Boone. Benson of Brooklyn, New York, has a record of 15-1 with 14 KOs, including twelve straight wins with eleven of those coming via the stoppage route. Boone, 20-21-4 with 9 KOs, is the only man to have beaten current world light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson, and he knocked down current world super middleweight champion Andre Ward in a losing effort.
South Africa's Mzonke Fana, who had two reigns as the IBF 130-pound champion, defeated countryman Koos Sibiya in the same weight class over the weekend.
In a close and competitive fight, Fana used his straight punches to score points, especially his jab, and mostly counter-punched, while Sibiya was the aggressor and tried to overwhelm his veteran opponent by putting him under constant pressure.
After twelve rounds of boxing, two judges had Fana ahead by 116-115, while the third saw it in favor of Sibya, 115-114. The 41 year-old
Fana turned pro in March 1994 and is now 34-7.
Sibiya, the reigning Gauteng provincial champion and undefeated in his previous eight bouts, drops to 16-9-4, but deserves other big opportunities in the future.
Mfusi Maxhayi TKO2 Mxolisi Nombewu...
Also on the card, Mfusi Maxhayi (10-5-1) couldn't make the bantamweight limit, but he fought overweight and defeated Mxolisi Nombewu (6-6-1). R
eferee Alan Matakane stepped in to stop the onslaught at 1:03 of the second round.