Popular junior middleweight prizefighter Saul Alvarez enjoyed a convincing points victory over 154lb rival Austin Trout on Saturday, April 20 at the Alamodome in San Antonio Texas, however, the fight was far more competitive than the scores submitted by the judges at ringside.
World ranked junior middleweight Demetrius Andrade is now eying a world title opportunity after his impressive performance this past Friday night as he scored a shutout unanimous decision over former world title challenger Freddy Hernandez on SHOBOX: The New Generation. The bout was held at the Paramount Theatre and Andrade’s promoters, Arthur Pelullo’s Banner Promotions, Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and JEG Boxing are now looking to make a title fight for Andrade a reality.
In the bout against Hernandez, Andrade was almost flawless as he switched between orthodox and southpaw and Hernandez had no answer for any of the great skills that Andrade possessed. In round six, Andrade pivoted beautifully and landed a hard right to the top of the head that sent Hernandez to the canvas. From that point on, Andrade showed the impressive arsenal that made him go from 2007 world amateur champion, 2008 U.S. Olympian and now top three world ranked contender.
Andrade won by shutout scores of 100-89 on all three judges score cards.
“That was the kind of performance that any fighter would want to have just before a title shot,” said Arthur Pelullo, CEO of Banner Promotions. “Demetrius is clearly clicking on all cylinders now. He’s twenty-four years old and now is putting everything together at the right time. He has always been one of the most skilled fighters out there and all he needed was the experience.
“My partners Joe DeGuardia, Darren Libonati and I have him in position for a title shot. We will hope to fight the WBO champion Zaurbek Baysangurov this spring and we are already putting the wheels in motion for that shot.”
With the win, the native of Providence, Rhode Island upped his perfect mark to 19-0 with 13 knockouts.
Photo Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime
Reigning WBA junior middleweight title-holder Austin Trout (25-0-0, 14ko) made weight at the second time of asking on Friday afternoon, ahead of his voluntary defence against ring veteran Miguel Cotto (37-3-0, 30ko). Trout had to strip bare naked in order to make the upper limit of the 154lb weight class. Cotto scaled in at 153.6lbs. The two boxers go punch for punch at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, November 30.
Press release – Betfair
Betfair punters make Scottish fighter Craig McEwan the 7-4 favourite to win the final Betfair Prizefighter of 2012, the Light Middleweight III event at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, tonight. Edinburgh-born McEwan, who has spent most of his career boxing in America, will be hoping to triumph on his return to the UK. The 30-year-old looks like the man to beat in the fight for the £32,000 winner’s cheque.
The inexperienced Larry Ekundayo, with just two previous fights to his name, is next in the betting at 11-4 to lift the coveted trophy, the novice having looked particularly impressive during those previous bouts. Hard-hitting Curtis Valentine is an 8-1 shot, as is McEwan’s fellow Scot, Kris Carslaw.
12-1 chance Navid Mansouri, Ryan Toms at 18-1, 19-1 shot Terry Carruthers and Peter Vaughan, available at 24-1, complete the line-up for boxing card.
Betfair’s Alex Bake said: “We’re excited to be back at York Hall for the final Betfair Prizefighter of the year. The Scots look on great form and our punters are backing McEwan to come out on top. But with a brand new £2,000 bonus on offer for a KO victory, expect lots of big punches to be thrown, and when that happens every fighter is in with a chance.”
To win Betfair Prizefighter boxing Light Middleweight III – Betfair bet: 7-4 Craig McEwan, 11-4 Larry Ekundayo, 8-1 Curtis Valentine, Kris Carslaw, 12-1 Navid Mansouri, 18-1 Ryan Toms, 19-1 Terry Carruthers, 24-1 Peter Vaughan.
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
In a fight filled with excessive holding, wanton wrestling and a finish that was punctuated with lowblows, Cornelius Bundrage knocked Cory Spinks down numerous times en route to a seventh round technical knockout at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California on Saturday, June 30. Following the official announcement of his triumph, Bundrage expressed his desire to unify his IBF junior middleweight belt with Saul Alvarez’s WBC title.
Official verdict: Bundrage via 7th Rd TKO.
Bundrage’s best weapon was established early as a succession of tough right hands all landed but, midway through the first round, Spinks began to employ head movement in order to duck under the shot. When it came to attacking, Spinks struggled to press the trigger and his most notable contribution to the fight was lifting Bundrage up for a few seconds, prompting the referee to pull them apart. Moments later, Spinks was dropped with an overhand right, recovered, but for the second time in three minutes the pair decided to abandon the discipline they had trained in and instead wrestled.
In round two, Spinks clinched and, in retaliation, Bundrage got Cory headlocked with a free arm and both moves contributed to the souring of the sweet science. It took a knockdown, some MMA-style grappling and five minutes of taking Bundrage’s shots for Spinks to finally box positively and connected with an orthodox jab followed by a body-bound left.
Bundrage relied on single-fire jabbing at the start of round three and this contributed to the swelling on the right eye of Spinks. The often spoken pugilistic mantra of keep yourself protected at all times was something that went AWOL in Spinks’ mind in round four as he left his chin hanging, which allowed Bundrage to score with a hellacious uppercut and a bomb of a hook.
Spinks secured his first big round in the fifth, landing damaging left hands, right hooks, targeting the body and finishing the session with a huge straight. Bundrage had slowed considerable and this allowed Spinks to gain momentum, something that irked Bundrage’s head cornerman Emmanuel Steward who shouted: “You’re stumbling around like a goddam drunk,” as well as: “You’re letting him get his confidence back!”
The success Bundrage enjoyed with his right hand early on had fizzled out by the end of the sixth as his accuracy had gone. While Spinks’ could not brag the power of Bundrage, his inside fighting was superior and won him the round.
Any momentum Spinks had built up in the fifth and sixth was stolen away from him in the seventh as Bundrage twice dropped Spinks, both times with acute right hands. Cornelius had relocated his accuracy with the punch and Spinks was beaten around the ring, falling to the canvas another two times, yet both were adjudged to not be the result of a punch. With 26 seconds remaining on the round, the referee waved the bout off as Bundrage was literally chasing and battering his man, with little intention to reply let alone throw anything back.
“I want Canelo [Alvarez],” proclaimed Bundrage, hoping to be the man to fill the TBA slot next to Saul’s name for the popular Mexican’s slated prizefight on September 15.
Overall, the bout was not pretty, neither was the pummeling Cory received in the seventh and final stanza but Bundrage did enough to claim his second win in his series with Spinks. With a knockout victory, the Iron Man Bundrage saw his record rise to 32-4-0, 19ko and, while the announcement was made, Cornelius – in what had become his signature – barked into the air, mimicking an animal who would be more likely to fight cleaner.
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
Freddy Hernandez fought a courageous fight on Saturday, June 30 at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California but was out-boxed by canny Cuban Erislandy Lara. For ten rounds, Lara’s accuracy was outstanding, his combination-punching on point and his ability always one level above his opponent’s, yet his ten round victory was marred slightly by his occasional use of dirty tactics…
Official verdict: Lara by unanimous decision (95-94, 98-91, 99-90).
During the opening sessions, Lara (17-1-1, 11ko) asserted himself with two fundamental assets: speed and strength, however, there were occasional blemishes to the overall nature of the bout as headbutts occurred. The left hand to the body was key for Lara and it was thrown with great aggression. Hernandez, who was stopped in a solitary round by Andre Berto during a WBC welterweight world championship contest in 2010, slipped behind Lara in terms of scoring after two stanzas as he just couldn’t match the Cuban’s combination punching.
Hernandez, though, upped his accuracy in round three and his left hook in particular inspired Lara to move into other spaces within the ring. With this success, Hernandez boxed in the fourth round with pressure and aggression in mind. And, in round five, body shots were exchanged, inside fighting ensued and a physically gruelling pace was maintained. Straight punches to the face caused bleeding from the eye region on the Mexican, evidence that Lara’s punches had notable pop.
When the fight had reached it’s halfway mark, Lara had successfully busted Hernandez up. The body-shots at the beginning of the fight had led to openings that allowed him to land crisp and thudding straight left punches into Freddy’s face. Further to this, the Cuban also landed tortuous shots to the midsection and used his jab to a: find-range and b: parry Hernandez’s punches. In the final minute of the sixth, Lara riled the crowd with what appeared to be a jumping headbutt, but all that did was bring the fighter out of Hernandez who clapped his gloves and implored Lara to stand and trade.
Ignoring the referee’s request to keep it clean prior to each round, Lara again butted Hernandez at the beginning of the seventh and so a point was duly deducted from his tally. With a cut-laden and bloody face, the ringside physician inspected Hernandez after the round and, within moments of the eighth’s commencement, Lara pounded his opponent with crunching one-two combos. Despite the lacerations, Hernandez continued to be a game adversary but couldn’t pin Lara where he needed to be in order to negate Erislandy’s foot speed – against the ropes or the corner.
In the closing rounds, question marks rose regarding Lara’s conditioning but he still found the finish line with an incredible authority, landing often, powerfully and accurately. By the end of the fight, Hernandez’s cheek bone was swollen and red, his brow was cut and he also sported claret nicks over his face… Lara, in contrast, appeared relatively unscathed and it was this image that was the definitive factor in the fight. Hernandez was a valiant warrior but ultimately one who was continually outclassed by the economic, resourceful and stronger fighter from the blue corner; Lara.
Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen
Fast-rising Cuban hotshot Erislandy Lara clashes with former welterweight world title challenger Freddy Hernandez on Saturday, June 30 at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California but believes that a replication of his first round drubbing of Ronald Hearns could mean he becomes an even more avoided fighter than he currently is: “The [big] fights will come sooner or later,” the 29-year-old southpaw recently hoped.
The victim of a controversial split decision loss to Paul Williams last summer and the victor in a first round knockout win over Hearns are two results that have propelled Lara (16-1-1, 11ko) into territory where he is perceived to have great talent but is yet to establish a name as familiar as, for three examples, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Miguel Cotto or Saul Alvarez.
Currently, he is therefore a high risk/low reward contender, but that does not dishearten the Florida resident as he has confidence in his management team to align him with the right opponents that will see him manoeuvred into a junior middleweight world title shot. Speaking ahead of his punch-up with Hernandez, Lara said: “If I go out there and do what I did to Ronald Hearns [then] no one is going to want to fight me.
“Freddy Hernandez is a very good fighter,” he added. “I’m prepared for anything he’s going to bring, but he needs to be worried about what I plan to bring.”
On his reputation as a fighter whom is avoided by the elite in his division, Lara said: “I’m not frustrated that fighters avoid me. I just have to keep working hard and taking care of the fighters my promoter puts in front of me. The big fights will come sooner or later.
“These guys can run but they can’t hide.”
On The Beak – Admin
With the hunt for an opponent for WBC junior middleweight belt holder Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (40-0-1, 29ko) on Saturday, September 15 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada still apparently ongoing, WBA titlist at 154lbs Austin ‘No Doubt’ Trout (25-0-0, 14ko) has issued a reminder to his Mexican rival. Eager for a world title unification, Trout has challenged Canelo…
“Canelo, if you want my belt, come try and take it! After I beat your brother in your hometown to win my title, you came forward and stated you wanted to fight me to avenge your brother’s loss. Ever since I immediately accepted your challenge, you have disappeared. Now we have a chance to unify the titles and give the fans a fight between two young, undefeated world champions, but it seems as though you are more interested in taking on lesser-quality opposition and avoiding me again.”
Trout was last seen scoring a dominant win over Delvin Rodriguez on June 2 on Showtime.
“I’ve proven to be head and shoulders above everyone they’ve put in front of me. I’m ready for my first defining moment as a fighter on the world stage, so I’m sending this challenge out to another champion who hasn’t yet been in a pick ‘em type of fight.”
Surprisingly, Trout says he doesn’t blame Alvarez for his choice of opponents thus far.
“If I could get away with fighting the Kermit Cintrons and Matthew Hattons of the world on HBO, I would too, but it’s time to step up Cinnamon. Time to find out what we’re both truly made of.”
Note: The WBC are reported to have rejected this unification.
Alan Dawson – London
Ricky Hatton’s stock as a trainer was enhanced on Saturday, June 16 as his junior middleweight from Minsk by way of Manchester - Sergey Rabchenko (21-0-0, 16ko) – showed a penchant for pressure, an ability to absorb a shot and an eye for a counter-punch as the undefeated 26-year-old out-powered former world title challenger Ryan Rhodes at the Velodrome in Manchester, halting the Spice Boy in round seven.
Official verdict: Rabchenko by way of 7th Rd TKO, collects EBU junior middleweight title.
“Listen, anybody… it doesn’t matter how many abs you do, if you get caught with a brilliant body shot it’s over,” said Rhodes (46-6-0, 31ko) to Sky Sports Two after the official announcement of his defeat. “I felt good, I knew he was strong, I felt like I was making him miss and pay. I wobbled him in the third round [sic: second round]. He has a good chin… I just got told I was 6-1 up on the scorecards but it was one of those things, it was the body shot. He’s got ten years on me [sic: nine years] but it’s nothing to do with age as I’ve been training with 23-year-olds in the gym.”
Nine years Rhodes’ junior, Rabchenko began the 12 round contest in positive fashion, occupying an aggressive stance, position and style while Rhodes boxed around the ropes, sending out southpaw jabs. The punches of the round, though, were all dispatched from the man from Minsk as Sergey cracked the Englishman’s jaw with a short-range uppercut at the midway point. This, punctuated with half jabs that set up the straight and flush left hands, saw Rabchenko collect the opening round.
Rhodes used his veteran experience to execute a swift turnaround and, by round three, he began to engage in what was shaping up to be a hot contest filled with heavy-handed blows. The difference between the two in the second and third sessions was that Rhodes’ punches were the cleaner while Rabchenko found the 35-year-old a frustrating opponent to pin down.
A wily counter-puncher with good punch resistance, Rabchenko was unfazed by Rhodes’ bigger shots in round five and was able to walk through them while setting up his own moves. Rhodes’ effectiveness had waned somewhat and the Russian found his ‘in’ and, in the subsequent stanza, Rab landed uppercuts, targeted the older man’s body and backed his man onto the ropes.
By the half-way point of the fight, Rhodes’ energy levels had lagged compared to what he had shown in the opener as Rabchenko’s unrelenting pressure had clearly taken effect. The pot-shotting from the home fighter was not on point as it had been and his fluidity was off.
With just moments left on the round clock and while Rhodes had landed a succession of clean shots, Rabchenko successfully countered Ryan and floored him for the first and only time in the bout. Rhodes was on his knees, grimacing in clear agony and, while he made it to a vertical position prior to the ten count, the referee refused to allow him to continue.
Considering his inability to establish himself at world level (losing out by way of late stoppage to Saul Alvarez) and now his failure to re-capture an EBU title in his favoured division, there will no doubt be question-marks over whether the road for Ryan has come to an end but the pugilist himself remains defiant: “Absolutely I’ll go on, this ain’t the end of Ryan Rhodes.”
On The Beak – Admin
Paul Williams wishes to send his sincere thanks and appreciation to his fans worldwide for their prayers, cards and wishes he’s received since his motorcycle accident just over a week ago: “I feel the love and support from everyone and it’s overwhelming, I am very thankful to all of my fans and friends who have rallied around me in a time when I need them the most.” Williams asks that all future letters and cards please be sent to: 3060 Will Rogers Place, Atlanta 30316.”