Saturday, 1 December 2018
Ahead of tomorrow’s epic heavyweight title clash, WBC champion Deontay Wilder gave away a staggering 44 pounds to linear Champion Tyson Fury at the weigh in at Los Angeles convention centre.. Wilder scaled 212.5 pounds, the lowest weight of his title reign, while Fury weighed 256.5, a huge 140 pounds down from his heaviest..
Deontay Wilder 212.5 vs. Tyson Fury 256.5
(WBC heavyweight title)
Jarrett Hurd 152.6 vs. Jason Welborn 152.5
(WBA, IBF super welterweight titles)
Luis Ortiz 241 vs. Travis Kauffman 229
Joe Joyce 262 vs. Joe Hanks 247.5
Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles
Promoter: TGB Promotions, DiBella Entertainment
TV: Showtime PPV
Thursday, 29 November 2018
As a gangling 20 year old light middleweight, David Dejiro Defiagbon took his first step into the competitive headlights of championship boxing when representing his native Nigeria, he grabbed a gold at the 1990 commonwealth games in New Zealand. Two years later would appear in at the Olympic Games in Barcelona, unfortunately being eliminated in the early stages.. David was raised in relative poverty in the Delta state city of Sapele, and sought boxing as his escape to a better life.. Canadian National coach Taylor Gordon Met Defiagbon on a trip to Lagos, the young Nigerian begged that Gordon help him leave his oppressed country and move to Canada with the influential trainer. David threw himself onto his knees and grabbed Gordon’s feet with tears running down his face, begging for the life saving opportunity.. Gordon vowed to help Defiagbon, and later sent the plane fare to allow the fighter to begin his new life as a Canadian.. As David was about to board the flight, military police intervened and moved Defiagbon to a military jail, beating and torturing him whilst holding the young fighter for weeks.. Eventually David was released and took the long trip to Halifax Nova Scotia to begin his new life.. With very few belongings and no money to his name, David worked tirelessly to earn himself a place on the national team, being granted National status on the day he described as the happiest of his life.. David would appear in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympics as a solid fully developed heavyweight, grabbing a silver medal, beating Nate Jones and Christophe Mendy on the way to meeting Cuba’s Félix Savon in the final.. Later that year David would take another leap of faith, moving to Las Vegas to be part of Thell Torrence’s stable of promising professionals including fellow team mates, Montell Griffin, Duncan Dokiwari and Christophe Mendy, the man he’d beaten in the Olympics.. Turning pro as a Cruiserweight, David soon grew into a solid heavyweight, racking up a string of victories whilst enjoying life in his new adopted home town.. By 2000 Defiagbon was 11-0 and now promoted by Cedric Kushner, appearing on regular Heavyweight Explosion events, getting national tv exposure, beating respected names like Lou Monaco, Ramon Hayes, Harold Sconiers and Augustin Corpus. In 2004 David would pick up a WBA Fedecentro title by beating Ron Guerrero by knockout on a Star boxing show in Bermuda, taking his record to 21-0 with 12 knockouts.. This victory earned Defiagbon his first step up fight against tough New York based Russian Oleg Maskaev.. Defiagbon would suffer a 6th round knockdown in a tough fight losing for the first time by a split decision at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.. A year later aged 35 David would travel to Madenberg Germany to take on undefeated former world Cruiserweight champion Juan Carlos Gomez, the return to the ring following his first loss against such a formidable opponent wasn’t a wise one, Defiagbon suffered his first stoppage defeat in what would be his final ring appearance..
David was a fabulous talent who unfortunately carried too much emotional baggage to adapt to such a high profile successful life, he was kind and generous and lit up a room with his smile.. As an ex fighter David looked to have the idyllic life, Married to a beautiful wife Mandy, with a baby daughter to dote on, working shifts as security in designer stores in luxurious las Vegas resorts, David was respected and loved by all around him, he was a success story.. Unfortunately David’s marriage broke down and work became sporadic, David found himself lost in an adopted city without the purpose that brought him there.. I met David for the first time in 5 years last May, he was wandering around in the 6am sun in south Las Vegas, he looked tired and slightly unkempt. His teeth looked stained and his skin was tough, appearing as though he had been neglecting his health.. I gave David some money and we spoke for a while whilst waiting for the bus along Tropicana.. He told me he was returning to the hospital to pick up a jacket he’d left there the day before, after being admitted following a fall, he’d drank too much, in his own words.. This was an Olympic Silver medalist, I’d asked about his wife and daughter, David shook his head and explained in no uncertain terms why things failed, he blamed himself completely, ‘My dumb ass messed that up..’ I cheered him up with stories about better days, he smiled but appeared intermittently to stare out into space.. I hugged David before he exited the bus, heading to a gas station on Maryland Parkway, I watched him walk away, with a M&Ms plastic bag, old worn out Track pants and flip flops.. I regretted not spending more time with my friend.. On Tuesday I got the dreadful news that David had passed away, aged just 48.. He’d admitted himself to hospital with chest pains and later passed due to heart complications.. This story should have been much different, but unfortunately David crammed a lifetimes worth of struggle and adversity into those 48 years, he’d found the comfort of a successful life but sadly died with very little material worth to show for his achievements.. I won’t ever forget David Defiagbon, I just wish I could have done more..
Sunday, 18 November 2018
In an interesting bout between undefeated heavyweights, highly ranked Jarrell Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs) took on the relatively unknown Romanian, Bogdan Dinu (18-1, 14 KOs) on Saturday night at the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas. 78 pounds of added bulk only appeared to hinder the New Yorkers performance through the first three rounds as the unheralded Dinu outboxed his much larger opponent with intelligent clusters of punches in short bursts.. Unfortunately the visitor was unable to maintain his success into the fourth as Miller finally found the mark, dropping Dinu twice with single shots, getting the stoppage at 2:45 of the round.. Although unsuccessful regarding the victory, Dinu did expose Millers inability to box at a decent pace against a mobile opponent.. Jarrell continues to close in on a title shot of sorts, but really needs quality work before locking horns with one of the current champions.
WBA and IBF female middleweight world champion Claressa Shields (7-0, 2 KOs) added the vacant WBC title to her collection with a dominant ten round unanimous decision over Hannah Rankin (5-3, 1 KO). Scores were 100-90 unanimously.
2016 Olympian Nico Hernandez (6-0, 4 KOs) outpointed Josue Morales (8-8-3, 0 KOs) in an entertaining eight rounder at Flyweight. Scores were 80-72, 80-72, 79-73.
Former world champion Brandon Rios (35-4-1, 26 KOs) scored a ninth round TKO over Ramon Alvarez (27-7-3, 16 KOs) in a light middleweight ten rounder. The lively action was finally stopped at :38 of the round, with Alvarez taking far too many headshots from the classy Rios.
The colourful Gabriel Rosado (24-11-1, 14 KOs) and Luis Arias (18-1-1, 9 KOs) fought to an eventful twelve round draw at middleweight, Scores were 116-112 Rosado, 116-112 Arias, 114-114.
Las Vegas Jeremy Nichols (9-1—1, 3 KOs) demolished Jeremiah Page (3-6, 2 KOs) in the opener of a middleweight 8 rounder.. Page down four times. Time 2:34.
Evenings Boxing Promoted by Matchroom Boxing, Greg Cohen in association with Salita promotions.. Broadcast by DAZN.
Monday, 12 November 2018
On Saturdays Manchester undercard, a WBA lightweight eliminator saw number 4 ranked Anthony Crolla (34-6-3, 13 KOs) outpoint number 2 ranked Daud Yordan (38-4, 26 KOs) in a convincing yet laborious twelve rounder in the chief support.. Scores were 116-112 unanimously.
Former three-division world champion Ricky Burns (43-7-1, 16 KOs) rolled back the years to knock out tough Scott Cardle (23–3-1, 7 KOs) in the third round of a lightweight matchup.. A single right hand dropped Cardle heavily at 2:06, the Lytham man beat the count but was in poor shape and was saved from himself.
Heavyweight David Allen (16-4-2, 13 KOs) bit off more than he could chew with rugged Ariel Esteban Bracamonte (8-2, 5 KOs) The soft bodied Argentinian started fast and had Allen in all sorts of trouble for the first 5 rounds.. Allen in poor condition struggled to dig into his reserves to subdue the tough South American, until a savage right hand in round 6 opened a cut on the bridge of Bracamontes nose.. The sight of blood appeared to spur the teak tough Doncaster heavyweight to life, rallying to hurt the visitor repeatedly before the corner pulled Bracamonte out at the conclusion of round 7.. Allen was disgusted with his performance and lack of condition after the bout, saying that if he wasn’t such a hard bastard, he’d have easily lost the bout, to whom he described as one of the toughest men he’s ever faced..
Colourful Unified cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk (16-0, 12 KOs) boxed patiently for 7 tense rounds before knocking out former WBC champion Tony Bellew (30-3-1, 20 KOs) on Saturday night at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. The bout unfolded as a chess match for the first six sessions with neither man committing. Usyk moved through the gears in the seventh, before rolling the dice in round 8, knocking out Bellew with a clinical left hook over the jab.. Time was 2:00. Bellew was surprisingly ahead on two of the three scorecards at the conclusion of round 7.
The magnanimous Bellew expressed his appreciation of Usyk, calling him the most complete and talented fighter that he’d ever shared the ring with before emotionally announcing his retirement from the sport.. Oleksandr gave very little away in the post fight presser, but has previously expressed his interest in moving to heavyweight in the near future..
Sunday, 21 October 2018
At the legendary York Hall in Bethnal Green, London on Saturday, undefeated heavyweight prospect Martin Bakole 11-0 (8) took a calculated risk by taking on previously undefeated world Cruiserweight title challenger Michael Hunter 15-1 (10) in an international contest for the IBO intercontinental title.. Hunter a Las Vegas based Californian is the son of former fighter Mike The Bounty Hunter, but was giving away height and around 40 pounds in weight to Bakole, a Scottish based native of the Congo, but came into the contest with a considerable amount of experience at a higher level than that of his larger opponent.. In the early rounds Bakole attempted to intimidate Hunter with a walk forward stalking approach, but soon found the illusive American a much more spirited handful than first anticipated.. By round 4 Hunter had gained a healthy lead with aggressive counter punches, that initially didn’t appear to be visibly bothering Bakole.. The massive Bakole began to find some success in the fifth as the busy Hunter began to show signs of fatigue, at this point Martin used his added weight and size to manoeuvre the tiring Hunter onto his deliberate but hurtful shots.. Round 7 saw Bakole absorb a lot more punches than he needed too from Hunter, and although the much smaller man, Hunters shots did appear to stop Bakole in his tracks. Midway into the round Hunter, cut on the eyelid but handily ahead on points started to take unnecessary risks, trading leather and walking onto shots from the massive African, ending the round looking the worse for wear for the first time in the bout.. Hunter returned to boxing in the eighth and once again began to pepper Bakole with accurate jabs, setting up fast eye catching right hands, at the conclusion of the round an exhausted, Bakole winced as he returned to his corner, obviously in pain from what looked like a shoulder injury.. Between rounds Martin looked on the verge of quitting before experienced trainer Billy Nelson convinced him to continue by just working with the left hand.. Round 9 was awkward to watch as the unbeaten Bakole struggled to keep Hunter, now fully aware of the situation at bay, the demoralised fighter seemed lost as the smaller Hunter poked and prodded spearing punches through his one handed defence, Nelson unfortunately allowed his completely handicapped fighter to enter the tenth and final round horribly at a disadvantage. Hunter a streak ahead on the cards appeared to be on his way to a unanimous points win, but with a minute left in the round opened up with a rally of hooks and straight right hands that for the first time staggered Bakole into the ropes, a further barrage, followed by a straight right hand to the head and a left hook, forced referee Phil Edwards to jump in and stop the action at 2.19 of the final stanza.. The jubilant Hunter had pulled off what the bookmakers had considered an upset, as the beaten Bakole had been making noises amongst a who’s who of British heavyweights in sparring sessions, convincing many to favour him over the American. Hunter who many had only considered a mere Cruiserweight, had previously boxed in two Olympics as a heavyweight, and was the top USA Super heavyweight several years prior.. A tough pill to swallow for Bakole and Nelson as their calculated risk had backfired, but a wonderful jump start into the heavyweights for Hunter as his international profile received a well earned boost.
Tuesday, 9 October 2018
Tonight the Massachusetts state boxing commission took the step of denying WBO Middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders a licence to defend his belt against number one mandatory challenger Demetrius Andrade on the 20th October, due to his recent positive test for the banned stimulant Oxilofrene. In accordance to the ruling, the WBO have enforced that Saunders be stripped of his crown, leaving Andrade 25-0 (16 Ko’s) to face last minute replacement challenger Walter Kautondokwa 17-0 (16 Ko’s) at the TD Garden Arena in Boston on Saturday week.. Billy Joe won the WBO title in December of 2015, beating Andy Lee by Majority decision in Manchester.. Saunders 26-0 (12 Ko’s) made three successful defences, against Artur Akavov, Willie Monroe jr and David Lemieux all unanimous points..
Upon hearing the ruling via speakerphone, Saunders told the Commission to “Suck his prick.” This is the second time in a month that the outspoken fighter has faced disciplinary action.. Only weeks ago, Saunders was fined in the region of £100.000 by the BBB of C, for a disturbing video that was released showing Saunders and a companion, make lewd propositions to a desperate drug dependent female, resulting in the woman striking a passing male at the command of the fighter for the promise of a fix.. Its time that this obviously talented young man took control of his life and returned to what he does best, a fighters window of opportunity is narrow, I wish Billy Joe well..
Monday, 8 October 2018
In the late 1970s, Former Marine, Rufus Hadley was a budding amateur heavyweight carving a reputation onto the Detroit boxing scene.. In 1979 by the tender age of 18 Hadley found himself representing his country in the Pan American Games, miraculously reaching the semi finals where would face the legendary Teofilo Stevenson. Although the fearsome Cuban knocked out the youngster in a single round, an appearance on this kind of platform was a moral Victory for Rufus.. The tall handsome 220 pounder turned pro in 1983, and within 3 years would rack up an unbeaten run of 10 fights including notable victories over Rick Keller and Donnie Long.. The 4th round knockout of Long came only months after the tough Ohio man had fallen in front of future champ Mike Tyson.. By the time Tyson had captured a portion of the title in the November of 1986, Hadley had just scored another knockout of one of the champions former victims, Sammy Scaff.. a month later Rufus Hadley was on the champions payroll.. As a sparring partner Hadley proved invaluable, not only to Mike, but for the whole camp morale.. Rufus was an eccentric character, a hysterical comedian who often featured on the Las Vegas standup circuit along with a penchant for hairdressing, serving as an unlikely camp barber.. I remember Hadley mostly from being around the Las Vegas gyms in the late 80s, he’d been part of team Tyson for at least 4 title defences and appeared a more successful spar-hand than his professional fighter in his own right.. By 1989 Hadley had wrapped up his own career following losses to promising fighters Orlin Norris and Michael Williams, with a closing record of 10-4-1 (8 Ko’s). Rufus still hung in familiar surroundings with guys like James Broad and Jesse Ferguson, was always impeccably dressed and made great first impressions wherever he went, I remember standing next to him in Johnny Toccos gym, eager to get a glimpse of Michael Dokes who was getting ready for the Holyfield fight, very often he’d let out a random shreak whenever a clean shot found its mark, a trait he often carried into his own sparring, a rarer more unique character you’d struggle to find..
I lost touch with Rufus in 1991, but kept occasional contact with guys from camp like Tyrone Armstrong and James Broad, but based on past appearances, I often pictured Hadley sitting somewhere smoking a cigar with a huge smile on his face surrounded by a gang of young offspring..
Two and a half decades later as I thumbed through some old photographs, I thought for a moment about Rufus Hadley, acting on my reminiscent nature I googled his name to see if any recent photos emerged from possible social media activity.. unfortunately something else emerged which I hadn’t prepared myself for, a recent unfiltered photo of a grinning black man, with shrunken ageing features next to a caption, 55 year old Rufus Hadley, Missing since 2015.. The Detroit press release detailed how the former talented fighter, was now 80% legally registered blind and was now diagnosed as Bi-polar. In November 2015 Hadley was admitted to hospital by family members following a fall at home, but in bizarre circumstances had literally walked straight out of the building and literally disappeared.. The last report was of a 6 foot 4 Male weighing 200 pounds, wearing a black and gold Phat Farm jacket and black cargo pants was missing, last seen in the Detroit area.. I have yet to discover what became of Rufus, he’d be 58 by now, and I’m still in the process of researching police reports to uncover the conclusion to the story.. Very rarely is the story of former professional sparring partners an optimistic one, but the stark reality of the decline of this once handsome athletes health paired with the uncertainty of his future is shocking.. I’m praying for a happy ending to this episode..
Sunday, 7 October 2018
In a disastrous pro debut, former USA boxing’s number 1 ranked super-heavyweight Nkosi Solomon, dropped a unanimous 4 round decision to local Cruiserweight Matt Cameron 3-1-1 (1 Ko).. The New York based Guyana native suffered knockdowns in round 3 and 4, before suffering 2 point deductions for holding in the final session.. Big things were expected from the 6 foot 3 amateur standout, the loss stands as a stark reminder that you can’t take anything for granted.. Cameron came to fight and boxed impressively..
Scores were 39-33 across the board.
In the first of the feature attractions at the Wintrust in Chicago last night, WBA super bantamweight champion Daniel Roman (26-2-1, 10 KOs) boxed exceptionally to retain his belt with a tenth round KO over the spirited Gavin McDonnell (20-2-2, 5 KOs) handing the Englishman only his second pro defeat.. Roman dictated the majority of the bout, stunning McDonnell in round ten, before dropping the challenger, forcing the stoppage.. A tough pill to swallow for Gavin having previously failed to lift the vacant WBC version in his only previous defeat to Rey Vargas last February.. A jubilant Roman called out every champion by name following the bout, stating that his sole intention is unifying the division..
Unbeaten IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (13-0, 13 KOs) held onto his title after a scare, with a fourth round KO over previously unbeaten yet lightly regarded challenger Callum Johnson (17-1, 12 KOs) last night at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago. Beterbiev caught Johnson between the ropes at the end of the first, scoring a strange looking knockdown. In haste to finish the job at the beginning of the second, Artur walked onto a huge left hook from the challenger which handed the champion his first trip to the canvas. Johnson fought aggressively throughout the remainder of the second through the third, again drawing confidence from his early success.. Bloodied and tired, the Brit gamely stood his ground into round 4, until a short right hand to the temple dropped Johnson to save Beterbiev’s unblemished knockout streak..
The champion paid a great tribute to his brave challenger after the bout, summing up the fight as “I hit him, he hit me, then I hit him again.. he was a great fighter..” explaining his first trip to the canvas as “That’s boxing, another thing experienced, but I get the win.. “
Disappointment for Callum Johnson, and even though he was nothing to lose, he came mighty close to scoring upset of the year in that second round, showing that there is a whole lot more to come in this young mans career..