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.
Alan Dawson – London
Mexican light middleweight dog Alfredo Angulo had his thrilling career in the light middleweight division interrupted earlier this year when, after turning himself in to an immigration detention centre in California, Angulo was held for seven months on account of living in the United States with an expired Visa. He was released in August and, ahead of his return to the ring on November 10, discussed his experiences at El Centro…
On the protracted nature of his release…
I had no idea when I was going to get out. I was told it was going to be a short time and obviously that didn’t happen. So I just kept focusing on staying strong, just to get out of there.
I kept thinking about my daughter, which is very important to me. And also I kept thinking about helping other detainees, that were in the same situation as I was, get out and making a difference in helping them out. And obviously the last thing was being able to get back in the ring and fighting in the United States again.
On staying in shape whilst detained…
The reality is they didn’t let me train in there. A simple thing like having tennis shoes… it took me two months. They didn’t allow me to use or have tennis shoes for two months. The rules stipulate that it’s a three-day process, but for some reason it took me two months to get tennis shoes. The only thing I ever did to stay physically fit and in shape was play handball and I did that every day for two hours a day. It was team play, two on two or four.
On his current status…
I’m here [in the US] legally. Everything is fine. The process is behind me. All I have to do now is just think about the future and move forward.
Angulo (20-2-0, 17ko) looks to bounce back from a 2011 defeat to James Kirkland on Saturday, when he takes on Raul Casarez at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on the undercard of the super bantamweight showdown between Abner Mares and Anselmo Moreno.
Alan Dawson – London
In a competitive and completely entertaining tussle inside Los Angeles’ STAPLES Center on Saturday, June 23, Josesito Lopez produced the fight of his life and secured the upset of the year as he overcame a debilitating rabbit punch in round five to break Victor Ortiz‘s jaw, prompting Vicious to quit on his stool. In a memorable ruckus, Lopez was able to maintain pace with Ortiz by virtue of his useful uppercut.
Official verdict: Lopez by way of 9Rd TKO.
“I’m happy, I’m excited and I had to fight the fight of my life to win,” said Lopez (30-4-0, 18ko) to Showtime. “I knew I caught him with at least a few punches that hurt him. Did I break his jaw? I don’t know. I told everyone I was going to shock the world. Today is my day.”
Shaking up the world was exactly what Lopez did. Ortiz… a powerful bulldozer of a welterweight when on his day, battled in a spirited manner but was met – near enough equally – by Lopez as both fighters exchanged jabs, bombs and ten scores. The bout did not begin as a slobberknocker as Victor Ortiz’s patience in round one belied nine months of frustrations outside the ring that could have seen him attack with gusto from the off.
That tentativeness from the former welterweight world champion with the WBC was in stark contrast to Josesito Lopez – widely regarded to be the pre-fight underdog – who proved to have a growling bark and piercing bite as he twice hooked Ortiz (29-4-2, 22ko) with menacing power at the end of the session, getting Victor’s attention with each strike.
An edge-of-the-seat thriller erupted in the subsequent rounds as the momentum swayed from one fighter to the other. Ortiz displayed a varied arsenal of punches with thumping jabs, double jabs and uppercuts while Lopez showed good ring generalship, pushing Victor into areas where he wanted to work whilst also landing a good number of his power shots.
The action lulled somewhat in the fourth, but while Lopez did little, Ortiz maintained a tempo, scoring with his jab and straight left punches. The fierce action returned to the fore in the fifth but Ortiz drew a chorus of boos midway through the round when he clipped the back of Lopez’s head and a time-out was granted to Josesito. Lopez, initially, appeared like he did not want to continue but as soon as boxing resumed, he was all business, all power and all testosterone as he traded slugs with Ortiz and landed a tremendous right with 30 seconds left on the round clock.
“Quitting? No. I don’t quit,” Lopez said when questioned about the rabbit punch. “Did it hurt? Yes! It hurt.”
Lopez found success with his hook shot in round six and both men traded combinations. Ortiz rattled Lopez’s core in the seventh with a tiger uppercut and Lopez waved his gloves as if to say bring it when both combatants exchanged short-range shots with Josesito’s back to the ropes. When he came off the ropes, he harassed and chased Ortiz around the ring, landing heavily and prompting Victor to clinch.
Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar de la Hoya had lauded Ortiz’s ability to take a punch during the event’s promotion and, in the eighth round, Lopez attempted to test that theory with what had become his signature punch of the night – the uppercut. Lopez’s ascendancy in the first half of the round was negated by Ortiz’s greater work in the latter half, landing southpaw jabs, double jabs and straight left hands.
Lopez’s uppercut was a shot he was able to land flush from many areas. He launched it during inside-trading and he also connected with it when there was a foot gap between their front feet. In the ninth, though, while the pace of the fight had quietened, it was Ortiz – like he had earlier in the bout – who maintained some form of eye-catching tempo as he pumped out three to four punch combinations and, in the final 30 seconds, walloped Lopez who refused to back down and finished by backing Ortiz up before checking his jaw with a right hand.
In an incredible turn of events, Victor Ortiz quit on his stool, complaining of a broken jaw and refusing to come out to play for the beginning of the tenth round. Lopez had gotten inside Ortiz’s head, produced a storming performance, won the crowd’s approval and, when mounting the turnbuckle to salute the STAPLES Center masses, received a standing ovation.
“Josesito busted my jaw,” said Ortiz in a muffled tone after the fight before trainer Danny Garcia attempted to marshal him out of the ring where he would return to his dressing room and spit streams of blood into a towel. “I had my mouth open, I’ll be fine, my coaches wanted me to keep going but I couldn’t close my mouth. It’s a little painful, I’m sorry.”
With the victory, Lopez claimed the silver WBC title at 147lbs, scuppered Ortiz’s plans of challenging Saul Alvarez for the Mexican’s WBC junior middleweight world title and saw his own stock rise stratospherically with the result and his performance.
Will Lopez take on more big names at welterweight or return to junior welterweight?
“As long as I’m ready, I’ll take anybody,” said Josesito.
Alan Dawson – London
Junior welterweight contender Lucas Matthysse, 29, knocked down June 23 opponent Humberto Soto, 32, at the end of the fifth round of their STAPLES Center duel in Los Angeles and, in so doing, claimed a stunning stoppage win. Soto enjoyed an early superiority over Matthysse but, as the contest wore on, Humberto began to trade but relinquished the upper-hand – and victory – to the Argentine. With the win, Matthysse captured the vacant WBC Continental Americas title.
Official verdict: Matthysse by way of KO.
“With my team we worked hard, trained hard, we knew we had to win by knockout,” said Matthysse to Showtime. “This is the best one [performance] because this didn’t go to the judges. [In my next fight] I just want the opportunity to fight whoever.”
Prospective opponents may not willingly align themselves with Matthysse (31-2-0, 29ko) as the Buenos Aires native’s power was the decisive factor, yet, during the initial jousting, he did show mild vulnerability as Soto (58-8-2, 34ko) out-boxed him.
With a body clad in decorative ink and boxing in baby blue trunks, Matthysse began the fight perhaps encumbered by his role as the favourite. Underdog Soto boxed positively, popped his jab out, sent in wide shots and parried Matthysse’s lead incoming punches. Lucas, a heavy-hitting Argentine, grew confidence late in the opening session, though, and showed Soto he possessed a foundation-rattling hook shot.
The stanza was Soto’s, though, as he had the faster hands, an aesthetically-pleasing combination-punching style and forced the fight early. That ability to out-box his man continued into the second round and Soto found success with his uppercut, together with his overhand right.
Matthysse’s desire to work, however, seemed to be impeded by a referee who was all too eager to make himself noted in the contest but, when the bout reached it’s third session and a barnburner broke out, it favoured Matthysse who was the harder puncher. Matthysse paid particular attention to Soto’s midsection and pummeled the rib-cage with acute shots. Soto’s demise was punctuated by his inability to avoid Matthysse’s favoured areas of the ring as he got himself trapped against the ropes and had no answer or defence for Matthysse’s overhand right over the follow-up left hand.
In the fourth, Matthysse increased his work-rate, let his fists go, continued to work Soto’s body, sat down on his punches and caught the Mexican cleanly with straight rights and left hooks. Soto was fighting back but, midway through the session, he was knocked back onto the ropes and stunned by Lucas’ Herculean power.
Between rounds, Matthysse – like George Foreman was known to – propped himself up on the corner and refused to take his stool in a statement that he was comfortable with the frenetic pace of the fight.
Despite Soto being known for throwing punches in bunches, it was Matthysse who pieced his shots together and, noticeably, threw punches in flurries of three. For all of Soto’s technically-sound attacking moves, he fell into the trap of fighting his opponent’s fight, staying in the pocket and failed to dart out of the danger zone once he had landed his shots. This allowed Matthysse to retaliate and, as had been the tale of the fight, it was his shots that had the greater snap.
That snap… that hellacious power when it was fully realised at the end of the fifth round, was enough to perturb Soto and his team from continuing the fight. Matthysse knocked down Soto with a succession of signature overhand rights, putting Humberto on his seat but, even though he returned to his stool – albeit on legs that were far from sturdy – his corner were not comfortable in allowing their ward to enter the sixth and so Matthysse was rewarded with a headline-grabbing stoppage victory in California.
Gary Shaw – Promoter
It’s very worrisome where our sport is heading these days with the recent array of fighters testing positive for banned substances. The sport is getting killed with all these fights being canceled and I hope the networks are not going to lose interest. As promoters, we do our best to make sure everyone is abiding by the rules. I’m happy that the commissions are stepping up their stance on catching fighters cheating because the safety of the fighter should always come first.
It’s unfortunate that in Lateef Kayode’s first major opportunity, he had to fight on what appears to be an uneven playing field. I have a lot of respect for Antonio Tarver and would be very disappointed to find out that he knowingly took performance enhancing drugs.
It is my hope that Tarver requests that the B sample will be tested and will show that Tarver was clean. However, if the sample comes back dirty, then the commission should take appropriate action. It was a very close fight as it was ruled a split draw, but now that we have been informed by the California State Athletic Commission about the alleged drug use, I’ll have to talk to Lateef and his management team to see what we’ll do to resolve this matter.
In addition, the horrible scoring by the judges, the excessive use of PEDs, and the promoters’ inability to work together, is only going to kill this sport. Something needs to be done and major changes need to be made… and the time is now.
The boxing business is getting worse by the day and we are losing fans by the minute. Boxing has been around longer than any other sport and we must keep the integrity of the game pure. I implore the commissions around the United States to take severe action against any fighter who doesn’t abide by the commissions’ standards. We need a strict drug testing policy to rid the sport of those that don’t want to play by the rules, and we need more competent judges.
On The Beak – Admin
WBO interim cruiserweight titlist Ola Afolabi watched with interest on Saturday night as 200lb contenders Antonio Tarver and Lateef Kayode squared off in a twelve round bout at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. Afolabi, though, regarded his two bouts with Marco Huck, who he regards to be the true cruiserweight champion, to be pugilism of a higher quality. The Briton’s manager even stated Ola would welcome a tussle with Lateef or Antonio.
(Embedded video above credit – YouTube, Gstaron76)
“It was a somewhat entertaining fight as they’re on similar levels, but both of my world title bouts with Marco Huck were much better fights. Marco is considered the best champion and we are truly world-class cruiserweights, competing at a higher level than either Tarver or Kayode,” said the Los Angeles resident Afolabi. “I would be very interested in the opportunity to defend my WBO title in this country against either of them on Showtime.”
Afolabi and Huck battled in a fight of the year candidate on Saturday, May 5 in Erfurt, Germany, in what was a sensational action-packed bout that was scored a draw at the conclusion of the memorable twelve round clash.
Said Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions: “We all thought Ola beat Huck… it was a war and a huge event in Germany. I commend Showtime for showing this cruiserweight fight as the main event of their show, I know Ola would fight either Lateef or Antonio.”
Originally from London, England, Afolabi has trained in recent years at the Wild Card Boxing Gym in Hollywood.
“Ola has shown his interest in fighting the best cruiserweights in the world and has traveled all over Europe in the last four years to do so. It would be great to have him fight in the US again, now that the cruiserweights have been showcased and caught the attention of the US boxing fans.
Words: Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Photos: Esther Lin/Showtime
Like the main event cruiserweight match-up between Antonio Tarver and Lateef Kayode, Peter Quillin‘s bout with Winky Wright (51-5-0, 25ko) pits youth and enthusiasm against age and experience. Wright, like Tarver, has never incurred a knockout defeat but he has a young buck in front of him on June 2 at the Home Depot Center in Carson that is hunting for his head. For Winky, though, that’s exactly what he says he has been looking for in an opponent…
“I’m prepared for anything,” said Quillin (26-0-0, 20ko), who weighed in at 159.6lbs, during the build-up to fight night. “I’m prepared to fight King Kong if I have to. That’s what I’ve been training to do. I make sure that I have to endure every struggle while I’m in camp so I can see the glory when I step in the ring.”
Despite Wright’s 37 month inactivity, the fact he is a known survivor adds intrigue to his clash with Quillin as Peter is on a knockout run having scalped Martin Desjardins, Dennis Sharpe, Jesse Brinkley, Jason LeHoullier and Craig McEwan all ahead of schedule.
“I haven’t been the distance in over two years now,” Kid Chocolate commented. “My last five fights have been stoppages [in] six rounds or less. Boxing is all about the challenges. And that’s why Winky Wright and I took this fight. I never really said I was going to knock him out. Pluto is a place that he’s never been. Now if he happens to see stars then that’s not my problem.”
Despite Wright’s ring absence, he never seriously ballooned up in weight, only putting on 15lbs more than his heaviest fighting weight (170lbs versus Bernard Hopkins in 2007): “I’m not going to say I stayed in boxing shape,” he said. “I wasn’t fat, but I wasn’t in boxing shape. I may have weighed 185.”
Wright, who scaled in at 159lbs during Friday, June 1′s weigh-in, added: “[The old Winky from 2004 is] still here. I have a great opponent that will bring it out of me. I didn’t pick a bum, I picked a kid that is undefeated, hungry and wants to prove to the world he’s great. He’s tough and that’s what I’m looking for.”
Wright is unfazed at the prospect of Quillin having home support as the fighter has made the West Coast his adopted home. Winky commented that he is comfortable having taken the “Marvin Hagler” route to the top by taking on guys in their own yards.
“Maybe a lot of people didn’t have to take the route that I had to take to get where I got to, but I think taking that route made me a better and stronger fighter. It made me a tougher fighter because I knew that I could win no matter where I was.” The only question that remains is if the former undisputed ruler of 154lb boxing is still better and stronger at 40-years-old with a three year layoff behind him…
Words: Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Photos: Esther Lin/Showtime
While Lateef Kayode attracted a high-ranked international standing for his powerful cruiserweight performances, one man who believed there remained room for improvement was perpetually placed at ringside, on the announcement table, in the form of the IBO world champion in the same weight class; Antonio Tarver. Kayode did not take kind to criticism, so now Tarver aims to show him, in the ring, on Saturday, June 2 at Carson’s Home Depot Center.
Explaining the beef he has with Tarver, undefeated Kayode (18-0-0, 14ko) said: “I have something to prove to Antonio Tarver, [who has] never fought anyone like me. I’m going to prove that all the things he said about me were wrong.”
Trained by Freddie Roach at the renowned Wildcard Boxing Club in Hollywood, Kayode continued: “He said all my punches were sloppy… he said I’m not fighting with any spirit. Every time I fight on ShoBox he says the same thing. He said he’s just doing his job, but when I was doing good and connecting on my punches he just quiets down and says nothing. He only concentrates on my mistakes.”
Tarver (29-6-0, 20ko) claims to be “surprised” by Kayode’s reactions to his appraisals. He said: “I’ve got to see it with my own eyes and tell it how I see it. He’s a guy who is ranked high and if he wasn’t worthy, then I wouldn’t be fighting him [but] it’s not all about him. We all need to go back to the gym every time.
“What I was telling him were the things that I saw that he could have improved on. I’m not thinking of him being able to hit somebody hard or whatever. I’m looking at the intangibles that you need to be a world-class fighter and he could not understand that.
“He showed his inexperience and his youth by getting all emotional and out of whack approaching me and confronting me. Right there that tells me that his emotions got the best of him and now he’s bit off more than he can chew. So now instead of trying to tell him what I thought he should do to improve, now I’ve got to show him.”
Kayode will certainly be making a step-up in class when he looks to deconstruct ring veteran Tarver, a tricky 43-year-old southpaw with a good resume consisting of wins over Danny Green, Clinton Woods, Roy Jones Jr and Glen Johnson but Nigerian pugilist Kayode is not fazed at Tarver’s accomplishments and is banking on becoming the only man to inflict a knockout defeat onto Antonio: “If this fight were in the streets, I know I would win. I’m going to knock him out in the fifth round or the sixth round.”
Tarver is not intimidated by Kayode’s power: “I’m ready for whatever Lateef Kayode can bring,” he stated.
“If he thinks he’s going to be the bully in this fight, then he’s got another thing coming. If he thinks he’s going to bring power to this fight, he’s going to find out early that he’s got another thing coming. He better have an A, B, C, D plan, because it’s going to take more than one game plan to beat me, and just coming with power isn’t going to do it, because I’ve felt power punchers before and I’ve knocked them out. I’ve fought bullies before and I’ve knocked them out. I’ve fought the very best in the world and I’ve beat them.
“I have confidence in my ability and I’m a sharp-shooter. I’m trying to hit that kidney and I’m trying to hit that chin and I’m accurate. So you don’t have to worry about me missing. I’m going to be on point. I’m going to beat [him] down with my defense. I’m going to work for the knockout.”
Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Anselmo Moreno made a tenth successful defence of his ‘Super’ WBA bantamweight world championship at the expense of an uninspired David de la Mora at the Don Haskins Convention Center in El Paso, Texas on Saturday, April 21. Moreno’s peerless style confounded de la Mora, who failed to change his approach and succumbed to two knockdowns prior to retiring in the ninth round. In total, Moreno’s success rate was an astonishing 52 percent.
|de la Mora
Official verdict: Moreno by way of ninth round RTD.
A defensive wizard and a master at keeping himself out of harm’s way, evasive maneuverer Anselmo Moreno boxed positively in the opener, loading up on body jabs, straight left hands a and counter-attacks. Following his past victory over Vic Darchinyan, Moreno attracted analogies to Pernell Whitaker due to his defensive acumen and that attribute was highlighted in the opening stanza as de la Mora was restricted to landing just one shot out of 21 thrown.
In round two, Moreno was in complete control, even going so far as to hurt de la Mora with a hook shot to the temple which forced de la Mora to take a knee, followed by a punishing body blow. Showing dangerous signs he was capitulating, de la Mora was backed into a neutral corner midway through round three as Moreno peppered him with shots. In the blink of an eye, de la Mora flipped Moreno and became the aggressor, bombarding Moreno with an accumulation of shots. Moments later, de la Mora punched Moreno through the ropes but, on hindsight, it appeared to be more of a push as Moreno was dipping under a punch and was thus no knockdown.
In the second quarter of the 12 round championship contest, de la Mora’s game-plan was too predictable as he did not adapt in his attempt to negate Moreno’s impenetrable boxing style. De la Mora was also all too often trapped against the ropes, which was precisely where he needed to stick his opponent and not loiter there himself. De la Mora was also regarded, pre-fight, to be the likely attacker but it was Moreno was out-landing the challenger by a ratio of 3:1. Into the sixth, Moreno scored his second knockdown of the night with a right hook to the jaw and left straight to the solar plexus combination. This, after almost twisting his ankle or knee falling over de la Mora’s leg.
Moreno was boxing with a greater confidence in round seven and round eight in particular as it dawned on him, against de la Mora, who he could just do what he wanted. The last meaningful punch scored was a big time left that thudded into de la Mora’s skull. The shut out was so convincing that de la Mora realised there was no coming back for him, withdrew from combat and so, with only ten seconds of round nine completed… Moreno had retired his man.
“I won this fight because of the work the team and I did in Panama,” said Moreno to Showtime after the official announcement of his victory. He then added that his career is in the hands of his management, whether they think a stylistically mouth-watering match-up with Nonito Donaire could be booked at super bantamweight later in the year or early 2013.
“It’s up to my representative who I fight next, if I get Donaire. I also want to see Sergio Martinez versus Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.”
Moreno rose to 33-1-1, 12ko with the win.
On The Beak – Admin
WBC cruiserweight champion Krzysztof “Diablo” Wlodarczyk (46-2-1, 33ko) doesn’t blame Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver for stepping around him to take a seemingly easier fight. Despite being offered a shot at Wlodarczyk’s prestigious belt, Tarver (29-6-0, 20ko) will instead face the strong, but inexperienced Lateef Kayode on June 2 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
“I was not surprised by his decision,” said Wlodarczyk. “I said to my promoters, Andrew Wasilewski and Leon Margules, that a fight between Tarver and me will never happen. He is an intelligent guy and knows he has a very small chance of surviving 12 rounds with me. He realises I’m too strong and too hungry for him. It’s that simple.”
A champion since 2010 with three successful defenses under his belt, Wlodarczyk says he is in a similar position to the one a young Antonio Tarver once found himself.
“I am looking for any of the big names in my division to fight me, kind of like how Antonio used to follow Roy Jones around and accuse him of taking easy fights while avoiding his toughest opponents. The shoe is on the other foot now though.
“Today, Antonio is an old man, too lazy to make his proper fighting weight, and looking to make money the easiest way possible against the easiest foes. Life is like a circle sometimes. Maybe if I’m between 40 and 50 and still fighting I will someday talk the same bullsh*t.”
Wlodarczyk says he’s not angry with Tarver, but offers him the following advice: “Good luck Antonio, but if this is how you are going to be, then forget talking about serious fights for serious titles!”