Strictly Business Boxing
Strictly Business Boxing

Goodbye to the Great Ramiro Machado!

By Francisco Pimentel

(October 15th) The World Boxing Association (WBA) deeply regrets the death of former promoter and Venezuelan businessman, Ramiro Machado, one of the most important boxing characters in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Machado died in Maracay, Aragua state, at the age 88 years after having a life of dedication and influence in boxing.

 

One of Machado’s first contacts with boxing took place thanks to the renowned Venezuelan journalists Delio Amado Leon and Carlos Gonzalez in the mid-1960s. nWith the creation of the Gondel company, both communicators decided to get Machado’s advice to the organization of billboards and events.

 

Thanks to the contacts created and the first fighters managed (including Pedro Gomez), Machado began to gain notoriety in the sport. Already in the late 60s and early 70s, made the New Circus his home through his Ramacor company and mounted large billboards that led to Caracas boxing, which represented a golden era for pugilism in Venezuela.

The situation and the conjuncture brought out the best part of Machado. He was a very skilled man who always knew how to move; for that reason, he moved to Mexico along with his group of fighters. Both in Aztec lands and in other territories, their boxers achieved great performances that launched Machado to the top of international boxing.

 

Highlights include the knockout of Jose Luis Garcia, until then undefeated heavyweight Ken Norton in California in 1970, and of course the victory as a visitor of Antonio Gomez against the Japanese native Zhoso Saijo, in 1971.

But one of the most important chapters of Machado’s life was that of Kid Pambele. Antonio Cervantes will always be linked to the native promoter of Maracaibo, since the Colombian was one of the most exposed fighters to the media and of the highest quality under his management. A diamond in the rough like Pambele benefited from the vision of Machado, who quickly placed him in the hands of coach Melquiades “Tabaquito” Sanz, who brought out the best in the legend of Colombia and Latin America.

 

Those who knew Machado say that with his skill and vision he also took advantage of the opportunities offered by the president emeritus of the WBA, Gilberto Mendoza. He learned a lot from Mendoza and did not waste any opportunity to, among other things, take Leo “Torito” Gamez, the only Venezuelan with titles in four categories, to the top. His feat was carried out between the 1990s and the beginning of the new millennium.

Venezuelan and Latin boxing owes a lot to Ramiro Machado, a boxing man whose legacy will never be forgotten. Rest in peace, friend.

Yesica “Tuti” Bopp Wins Her 22nd Title Defense!

(photo Ramon Cairo)

By Kid Hersh

(October 15th) Yesica Yolanda “Tuti” Bopp moved her record to 35-1, scoring her 16th knockout against Sandra Robles at the José María Gatica in Villa Dominico, Argentina, when the referee stopped the bout in the tenth round due to Robles being dropped and taking too much punishment.

 

It was Bopp 22nd defense of the World Boxing Association (WBA) World Female Light Flyweight Title, with Bopp having been the WBA light flyweight champion since 2009, only having a break in 2014 when she was appointed champion in recess due to her pregnancy. Bopp returned in 2016 to ratify her champion status by defeating Mexican Nancy Franco by unanimous decision.

 

Bopp is certainly a force in female boxing and one could argue that she is perhaps the best in the world at what she does. When asked if she sees herself as the best pound for pound she will be the first to tell you “The issue of the best pound for pound is it depends how you see it,” but Yesica further explains, “in my case I am recognized for my style of fighting and technique from what I have shown in the ring so for my team, followers, and myself, I am the best.”

 

Yesica is very proud of her lengthy span as a world champion, saying “I feel good for what I have achieved and for my historic record with the World Boxing Association. It makes me happy being an athlete for ten years and it fills me with joy knowing that I am earning my status as an athlete.”

 

Previous to her bout with Robles, Bopp was coming off of a very good performance in stopping Soledad del Valle Frias Rengifo in the sixth round this April. The fight took place at José María Gatica; the same venue for her title defense against Robles. Bopp was too fast and strong for Frias as she broke down the challenger over the course of the fight until the referee stopped the fight.

 

Bopp is very thankful to her followers and fans, saying that she is very grateful to them for sticking with her through thick and thin and that in closing she sends “Kisses for my followers, to whom I promise that there is “Tuti” for many more years to come.”

Inoue Stops Payano Is the First Round!

(photo: WBSS)

(October 9th) Naoya Inoue scored his 17th professional victory and 15th via knockout in the very first round as he defended his World Boxing Association (WBA) World Bantamweight Title for the first time.

 

The fight took place at the Arena in Yokohama, Japan, and was the first round in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) for bantamweights with Inoue coming in as the second seed in the tournament.

The fight only lasted 70 seconds, with Inoue landing the first right hand he threw a minute into the round that cracked the chin of Payano and put him down for the ten count.

 

Inoue continues to impress all boxing fans, as he came into the fight with a similar destruction of longtime reigning WBA champion Jamie McDonnell in May.

 

Inoue now looks to face the winner of the highly anticipated upcoming bout between Jason Moloney and Emmanuel Rodriguez in Orlando, Florida.

Relikh Retains WBA Title with Decision Over Troyanovsky!

By Kid Hersh

(October 9th) Kiryl Relikh scored his 23rd professional victory via unanimous decision over Eduard Troyanovsky via scorecards of 115-113 across the board at the Arena in Yokohama, Japan to retain his World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Lightweight Championship.

 

The fight was for the quarterfinal in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) and was the first defense of the title for Relikh. It was a closely contested fight, with Troyanovsky looking to extend the hard punching champion into the later rounds.

 

Relikh had the challenger cautiously watching his defense for the first half of the fight, no doubt respecting his power and looking to not get clipped with any of his power shots.

 

Relikh appeared to slow down in the later rounds, which is where Troyanovsky was able to make the scorecards much closer as he went on the attack when it appeared that Relikh was a little tired and not carrying the same power anymore.

 

Troyanovsky needed knockdowns or a knockout to win after getting started so late in the fight and he was not able to pull it off in the end.

 

With the victory Relikh looks to continue to play the big spoiler card in the tournament – with names such as Regis Prograis, Ryan Martin, and Josh Taylor still in the tournament.

The WBA Will Make History In Saudi Arabia!

 

By Jesús Milano

(September 28th) The World Boxing Association (WBA) will again make history when arriving at an unexplored destination for world championship fights.  George Groves will defend his WBA Super World Super Middleweight Championship against Callum Smith this Friday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which will mean the first fight for a global belt in the land of the sacred mosques.

 

The oldest body of boxing, under the presidency of Gilberto Jesus Mendoza, has been committed to expanding the discipline of boxing throughout the world and reach places where nobody has arrived.  In this sense, he is pleased by the achievements made in recent years and specifically in stepping on a historical terrain such as Saudi Arabia.

 

Groves will fulfill the third defense of his championship against the Englishman Smith, in a fight that will represent the final of the World Boxing Super Series.  The champion won his crown by beating Fedor Chudinov last year and has successfully defended the title twice against Jamie Cox and Chris Eubank Jr., respectively.

 

The event will be of high importance and the King Abdullah Sports City will be the stage in which it will take place.  Groves and Smith have the opportunity to become the first boxer to be crowned in Saudi Arabia, while the WBA belt will take them to the highest level in the world within the division.

The First Canelo-GGG Bout Was a Great Battle!

By Jesús Milano

(September 11th) On September 16th, the world of boxing was paralyzed. Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez starred in the most anticipated fight of the year and did not disappoint anyone after 12 rounds of battle in which they finished in a draw.

 

The debt of what was promised by both was paid in full. The T-Mobile Arena brought together 22,358 people, many of them from Mexico to support both fighters. Thanks to the amount of fans that “GGG” has on Mexican soil, it can be said that the support of the public was relatively divided between both fighters.

 

The fastest combinations were on the side of Alvarez, who took the beginning of the assaults and surprised Golovkin who went from less activity to more in each round.

 

That was the strength of the Kazakh, to hold steady early in the rounds and let his rival make the fight and then attack without mercy. The blows of power were present, but both proved to have the necessary resistance to support what their rival offered.

 

Around a million and a half people bought the “Pay Per View” service for a fight that was seen almost all over the world and with which the critics were more than happy.

 

Although the negotiations for the rematch suffered many problems, in the end it was possible to hold the fight for a second time, something that seemed obligatory if you consider how the first match was carried out.

 

Golovkin threw 707 shots and landed 205, compared to 505 thrown and 169 landed by Alvarez.  However, the Mexican counted for a 33% land percentage, which was greater than the 31% from the Kazakh native.

 

In the end, the opinions of the specialists and the fans were shared, which shows the parity of the combat. The cards were 118-110, 113-115 and 114-114, which determined the tie between both and left everyone wanting a rematch, which will be fulfilled this Saturday, September 15th, on the same stage.

The WBA Gets Ready for a Wild September!

By Francisco Pimentel

(September 1st) An explosive month is what awaits the World Boxing Association for the upcoming month of September, which will feature five fights of very high caliber that may define the future of international pugilism and a new ranking of the best pound for pound fighter.

 

International figures such as Gennady Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez, Anthony Joshua, Alexander Povetkin, George Groves and Callum Smith will be some of the main protagonists in the world scene and for this the pioneer organization will have special belts worthy of two separate events.

 

Beginning with the activities, on September 14th, the females will star in a luxury fight in the Nation of the Rising Sun between the veteran of a thousand battles, Naoko Fujioka, and the Mexican Irma Sanchez for the flyweight championship of the WBA which is held by Fujioka.

 

But it will be September 15th when the world will stop again to see the expected tie-breaking fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas between Golovkin and Canelo, in which it will be the 21st consecutive defense of the WBA middleweight title by GGG.  The winner of this battle could well be a candidate to occupy the first position in the pound-for-pound rankings.

 

As if that were not enough, for September 22nd, another spectacular and historic fight is expected at the Wembley Stadium in England where the world boxing star, Anthony Joshua, will be exhibiting again his WBA Heavyweight Super Championship against the dangerous Russian Alexander Povetkin in a combat with a high dose of guaranteed emotions, because we already know what both warriors are capable of.  It will be Joshua’s third defense.

 

And on September 28th, in a vibrant duel of British elite, George Groves will expose the WBC Super Middleweight Championship to Callum Smith in the highly anticipated finale of the World Boxing Super Series to be held at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  Groves will make the third defense of the title he won in May of 2017.

 

And to close the month explosively, another heavyweight duel looms when Manuel Charr exposes the regular heavyweight championship against Fres Oquendo in Cologne, Germany, in a bout that could well throw the next opponent in the bout between Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin to be held in the days before.

Happy Birthday to Don King!

 

By Juan F. Arias

(August 20th) The World Boxing Association (WBA) congratulates one of the most influential promoters in the history of sport in his day. The legendary Donald “Don” King, turned 87 years of age this August 20th and the oldest sanctioning body in the world is proud to have maintained a long working relationship and friendship with one of the most important men of pugilism.

 

King was in charge of being the image of boxing in the last century and still remains active in the representation of boxers.  His first great achievement was traveling to Zaire to negotiate with the local authorities and reunite Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in what is now the Republic of the Congo for the “Rumble in the Jungle”, a fight that caused a commotion in 1974 and that remains as one of the best in history.

 

His next step was the “Thrilla in Manila,” Ali’s third fight against Joe Frazier, which was an exciting battle that took place in the Philippines and will always be remembered by boxing fans. By winning such bouts, King showed that he could achieve great things and the boxing industry began to tip the balance on the side of the one born in Ohio on August 20th, 1931, who had then become the king.

 

Hundreds of fighters were thrown to stardom by the hand of the promoter. Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, and Lennox Lewis among other great idols, worked hand in hand with King in most of their careers.  The American managed to dominate promotions in the North American territory but his influence touched Africa, Asia and Europe, in a demonstration of the need for boxing expansion in the last century, which today is a fact thanks to men like him.

 

The WBA sends its best wishes to Don King on his birthday and is proud to continue collaborating and being close to one of the most influential and important men in this sport.

“Canelo” Alvarez Promises A Knockout

In Rematch Against Gennady “GGG” Golovkin!

By Marcelino Castillo!

(August 17th) A month before his expected fight against the Kazakh Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, the Mexican Saul “Canelo” Alvarez shared his thoughts with the media through a teleconference, held from his camp in San Diego, California.

 

The telephone conference did not leave any question about the intentions of Canelo, who will try to get one of the most important victories in his pugilistic career.

 

‘Canelo’ will rise to the ring on September 15th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, a date that adds another layer of inspiration for him, because it is a commemorative weekend for Mexican parties.

 

The talk with the Aztec boxer was pleasant, clear, and concise. The boxer responded openly to all questions, under the company of his promoter Oscar De La Hoya.

 

On the criticism he has received on the subject of contaminated meat, he explained: “There is the annoyance of the people who have spoken of my using it to work with more strength, but I do not let them contaminate my mind, because if I’m full of rage I will not be able to do things right.”

 

The fight will have a lot at stake and one of those things is the goal of Golovkin to overcome the 20 title defenses that Bernard Hopkins achieved, but for the Mexican that does not worry him as he said: “He has his goals and I have mine, he wants to break a record, but I will go up in the ring to show who is the best.”

 

It will be the first time in his career that he faces a rematch fight and about this he stated: “The experience of the first fight gives me a guideline to know what I can and cannot do. I know I can knock him out, in the first fight I was still adapting to the weight, but now I know what I have to do to prove who the best is.”

 

The punch of his rival is his best letter of introduction and when asked about this, the Mexican boxer said: “Golovkin is a strong fighter, but I have faced fighters with that same level of punching, he (GGG) is respectable, but nothing of another world, and I’ll show them in the fight.”

 

It is not easy being inactive for a boxer, although Canelo comes from living it in his own flesh: “I feel very good, having been away for a year but it will not affect me because I am always working and I keep in good physical shape. The most I’ve been out has been nine months and I think three more months will not affect me.”

 

Landing on the question of his performance in this rematch, he clarified: “I checked the fight about ten times and my mistake was not to work on the back foot, this time we will not fail and every mistake they make we will make them pay.”

 

One of the key questions is how the outcome of the fight will be answered, to which he replied: “When the bell rings we will look for the knockout, for that I have mentalized in my mind. I will use my experience to win before the limit and raise my hand like the winner.”

 

At the closing of the teleconference the fighter was consulted on the issue of anti-doping and this was his reaction: “Since 2011 I have done voluntary tests. After passing the issue of contaminated meat I have visited between 15 and 20 times, and they do not warn me, they just arrive. Since I started my career they have always been coming around and I have always fulfilled my duty.”

 

The countdown of the highly anticipated rematch is already underway and the face-to-face has not yet been fulfilled, for this reason and at the request of the fans the promoter Golden Boy Promotions plans to hold public training on August 26th at the Stadium Bank of California (LAFC), in Los Angeles.

 

It should also be noted that the fight will have in play the Super Middleweight Championship of the World Boxing Association (WBA), the longest-running body to govern boxing as dictated by its initials in English (Simply The Pioneers).

Harry Greb: “The Pittsburgh Windmill”!

By Jesús Cova - WBA

(August 17th) Harry Greb, baptized Edward Henry Greb (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 6, 1894- Atlantic City, New Jersey, October 22, 1926), dubbed “The Pittsburgh Windmill”, (you sure guess why), was an exceptional middleweight according to experts, that is, the old boxing reporters. He always made the list among the celebrities of the ancient discipline of gloves and punches.

 

A single fight would suffice to earn him a relevant place in history. He is in the Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, NY since 1990, although he actually was inducted in 1954 to the museum created by Nat Fleischer, a place that disappeared or was replaced later by the one in New York.

 

We are referring to the duel that took place in “The Big Apple” on May 23, 1922, in which Greb faced Gene Tunney, master of the cruiserweight , who 4 years later would defeat “The Manassa Mauler”, Jack Dempsey, champion of the heavyweights, whom he subdued again in a historic rematch called “the long count”, a story that has no direct link with Greb´s performance.

Tunney, who climbed to the ring with 174 lbs, (12 more than the “Windmill”) had never been defeated in 53 combats, whereas the challenger surpassed 200 fights and already suffered vision problems due to a tear of the retina a year prior. Presumably (at least that is what´s been written and said) in order to even out his physical disadvantages the challenger resorted to illegal stunts: in the first, among other tricks he used throughout the 15 rounds, he inflicted on the champion a headbutt that broke his septum. He finally won by points, which resulted in the only frustration of the fabulous career of the ex-marine, (he left the ring with 65-1-1 -47 KO´s), an Army Officer during World War I, avid reader, classical music lover and of vast culture. He seized the cruiserweight belt of the United States.

 

In February of the following year, again in NY, Tunney (175 lbs, 10 over Greb), took revenge and got back the belt in 15 rounds. In March ’25, Tunney (181 lbs, his rival 167 lbs) triumphed again and later said that he had been the toughest opponent ever and that he did not know how he ended their first confrontation still standing.

 

The overwhelming and fast fighter moved in the ring incessantly, with foolproof bravery, he reigned in the middleweight division between 1923 and 1926. He won the title by decision against Johnny Wilson (Aug 31, 1923) and successfully defended it, all via cards, before Bryan Downey (Dec 12, 1923 in 10), Wilson (Jan 18, 1924 in 15)), Fay Kaiser (March24, 1924 in 12), Ted Moore (June 26, 1924 in 15), Mickey Walker (July 2, 1925 in 15) and Tony Marullo (Nov 11, 1925 in 15). On Feb 26, 1926 another star of the era and also a hall of famer Theodore (Tiger) Flowers, the first black world champion of the 160 lbs, stopped him in the 15th and took the throne. Flowers won over him again on August 19 of the same year in NY, a fall that led Greb to quit for good.

In 13 years, (1913-1926) Greb left behind no less than 290 combats (other stats give him 305) with 46 KO´s, 64 victories by points, 1 by foul, 3 draws and 5 defeats in the cards and 1 KO´s against. Other 168 appear as No Decision or without official results and 1 no contest in addition.

 

Almost blind, five years before his farewell to the ring, he died still in his prime at 32 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, after a surgery to his damaged eye, on October 22, 1926. Sixty five (65) days after is last climb to the ring.

 

An old American historian wrote “Greb combined the speed of Robinson, the consistency of James J. Jeffries, the vitality of Hank Armstrong and the lethal aggressiveness of Stanley Ketchel, in addition to having an unparalleled will to triumph in history”. Jack Dempsey, who reigned among the heavyweights between 1919-1926 said about the “Pittsburgh Windmill” that he was “the fastest boxer I have seen in my life, even faster than a lightweight”.

Brant Team Wins Purse Bid!

By Juan Francisco Arias

(August 14th) Greg Cohen Promotion, representatives of the American boxer Rob Brant, won on Monday, August 13th, the auction of Teiken Promotion – who is in charge of Ryota Murata – the right to carry out the fight for the middleweight title of the World Boxing Association (WBA), which ordered the Committee of Championships for the organization.

 

The minimum for the bidding was $200,000 and the Brant team offered $202,114.  Teiken Promotion refrained from presenting a figure and, consequently, lost the auction.

 

The date proposed by Greg Cohen Promotions for the contest was October 27th, 2018, in Minneapolis, New York or Atlantic City.

 

The bid was held in Panama City and was directed by Aurelio Fiengo, a member of the board of directors of the WBA.  The parties have 15 calendar days, from August 13th, to submit the signed contract.

“The Alien”: Modern Legend of the Ring!

By Jesús Cova

(August 10th) His name is Bernard Hopkins and he was born in a miserable neighborhood in north Philadelphia on January 15, 1965. Full name registered as Bernard Humprey Hopkins Jr., a member of a family of 8 siblings. In the boxing world he was more known by his aliases, which he won by what he did with his fists such as “The Executor”, “The Executioner” and “The Alien”. On December 16, 2016 he decided to untie his gloves for good after a career of 28 years and 2 months. He quit after a dazzling record of 55 victories, 32 by K0, 8 defeats, 1 before the limit and only a couple of draws.

 

Those 28 years of stunning activity are only below those 34 years of the mythical Jack Johnson, between 1897-1931 and the “cholo” Roberto (Mano é Piedra) Durán, Hands of Stone, the legendary Panamanian fighter that fought from 1968 until 2001 (33 years).

 

Archie Moore (28, from ’35 til ’63) and Evander Holyfield, with 27 between 1984-2011, are also two of the very few venerable Methuselahs of the ring.

 

Two very opposite stages converged in his almost randomly chosen profession; during his first years he was a steamroller machine that crushed his opponents without mercy, brutally, relentlessly until he saw his enemy fall to his feet.

 

In his last years he turned into a wise man, patient, skilled to the point of boredom and yawning, with ties and strings of the gloves on one shoulder, one eye, one arm, one way of stepping from one side to the other, full of tricks and satisfied with his methodic point accumulation. He used his experience to his advantage or to even out the disadvantages (depending on how you see it). In summary, a scientist in the ring.

From Felony to Glory

Hopkins led a hectic life in the beginning and an exemplary one later. The fact that he went from turbulent teenager, violent and rebellious, in and out of jail constantly to an adult of irreproachable conduct, made him a “rara avis”, a role model worthy of imitation by the youth around the world. A felon by the age of 13, with many assaults, he was sentenced at 17 to 18 years to be served at the Gaterford prison in Philadelphia for attempted murder and serious injuries. After serving 5 years, prisoner Y4145 got out with the utmost determination to walk along the right path, leaving behind alcohol and drugs. He converted to Islam and sought in boxing the road to goodness and peace.

He made it to the top and with the passing of the years, he found his place alongside other immortals that live in the museum, who like him, made history. A history that will remember him as one of the greatest boxers who ever lived and by him being a monarch of the most prolonged hegemony, with 10 years on the throne and also the oldest at 49, (above George Foreman who achieved it at 45) to ever win a universal title.

 

His career on the ring started the same way as it ended, with a defeat by points against Clinton Mitchell, on October 11th, 1988 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Nobody could stop him in his next battles between February 1990 and May 1993, until Roy Jones Jr. beat him by points for the middleweight IBF belt.

 

He won the International Boxing Federation (IBF) crown against Segundo Mercado from Ecuador and the one from the World Boxing Council (WBC) in front of Keith Holmes in April 2001. He later left Felix Trinidad and Oscar de La Hoya on the side of the road to get the IBF, WBA and WBC championships, which would be taken from him by Jermain Taylor in his 20th defense. An unparalleled success, until Gennady Golovkin, from Kazakhstan snatched his record. Taylor repeated his victory at the rematch, he has been the only one to defeat him twice in a row.

 

However, Hopkins came back for his glory and like a phoenix on February 18, 2010 at 45 years and one month of age, he disposed of Jean Pascal from Haiti in Québec, Canada, to own the light heavyweight and the Diamond titles from the WBC and the IBF, after a void fight, again with Pascal. Months later he would take revenge on Jones by decision in 10 rounds.

 

Without abandoning his attempts, in spite of his defeat by Chad Dawson (prior to a void decision with him) and the loss of the light heavyweight title on October 15, 2011, he would make history on March 9, 2013, when at 49 he won the IBF light cruiserweight title with a clear decision over the undefeated Floridian Tavoris Cloud (who had 19 KO´s in 22 fights and was 18 years his junior).

 

A physical wonder of 1,85m, with a reach of almost 2m, Hopkins with Taylor are the only ones who have flaunted 4 simultaneous titles, recognized by several ruling entities.

Good and Bad Times…. and a Sad Goodbye

It would be necessary tenths of thousands of words to duly relate his transit across of almost 30 years through those 16 ropes. We will do our best to summarize it and round it up after what has been noted above.

 

Let´s reiterate, that since the beginning, after his debut with Mitchell, the Philadelphian knitted a string of 21 consecutive victories, among which we saw that in December of ´92 he captured the middleweight division title before Wayne Powell by KO in the first round. The title was granted by the USBA, a little known entity beyond the US. He made a successful defense one more time.

 

In May of the following year, the “Alien” sought the IBF throne, at the time when Roy Jones Jr, who was considered the best boxer in the world, stopped him in his tracks in 12 rounds.

 

In spite of such frustration, Hopkins did not stop on the road and after defending his USBA Crown 3 more times, he went again after the IBF belt, left vacant by Jones Jr. He defeated Segundo Mercado by points in December ´94 in Quito, Ecuador and repeated against the same rival a year later.

 

After another 13 defenses, which included a draw against Robert Allen in ´98, he took the middleweight crown of both the IBF and the WBC in a battle with Keith Holmes.

 

On the 29th of September, 2001 the Puerto Rican Felix Trinidad, who enjoyed worldwide popularity, would serve as a showcase for Hopkins´s well deserved recognition in the eyes of the fans of the globe, at the so called Boxing Mecca, Madison Square Garden in New York, where the belt of the 3 most known organizations (WBA, WBC, IBF) was in dispute.

 

Hopkins smashed the Puerto Rican in the last round and later he proceeded to crush Carl Daniels, Morrade Hakkar, Willliam Joppy and Robert Allen. After confronting famous Oscar de la Hoya (currently a successful promoter and partner in this business with “The Executioner” himself), he went to gring him in 9 episodes on September 19, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada. They fought for the WBA; WBC, IBF and the newly created WBO and then came another defense where Jeremy Taylor was in charge of dethroning him in July, 2005, and win again in December of the same year.

However, this ring warrior, whose durability and persistency seemed endless and limitless, came back with a vengeance and half a year later he became again the Light heavyweight champion with a new triumph over Antonio Tarver.

 

From 2006 and 8 later, with several victories and a couple of unexpected losses against Joe Calzaghe and Chad Dawson, already 49, Bernard Hopkins, the “Grandpa of the 21st century boxing”, would confirm his standing as the best light heavyweight on the planet and proved that “the boy doesn´t beat the man” with an effortless victory in 12 rounds against the Euro-Asian Beibut Shumenov, 19 years his junior, humiliated and knocked down in the 11th by someone who could have easily been his father.

Since his professional debut until his imposition over, Shumenov from Kazakhstan, Bernard compiled a record of 32 anesthetized, 23 decisions, half a dozen defeats and a couple of draws.

 

With almost 52 springs on his shoulders, “The Alien”, a modern legend of the ring, climbed the stairs two years ago on December 16, to his corner at The Forum, in Inglewood, California, to exchange punches with a rival 24 years his junior. He fought Joe Smith Jr. for the international light heavyweight of the World Boxing Council.

 

The outcome was expected and predicted by the experts, but a little sadder than thought: a discolored Hopkins, totally dimmed, lethargic arms all set, he received an avalanche of punches that threw him out of the ring. He climbed back precariously, but the referee Jack Reiss, mercifully and wisely decreed the end at the mark of the 58 seconds in the 8th round. The only time during his extensive trajectory of 65 professional combats in which he did not hear the last stroke of the bell.

 

C´est fini. It´s over. Last bell stroke.

Prepared ‘JoJo’ Diaz to Play With Fire Against Rojas!

(photos Tom Hogan-Hogan Photos / Golden Boy Promotions)

By Francisco Pimentel - WBA

(August 8th) California contender Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz said he was ready and willing to play with fire this Saturday when he goes up against Puerto Rican Jesus Rojas for the World Boxing Association’s World Featherweight championship, in a Golden Boy Promotions billboard that will be broadcast LIVE on Facebook.

 

The fight between Rojas and Diaz in The Avalon of Hollywood will be the first world championship fight to be broadcast exclusively and worldwide through this digital platform, which will give a historic tint to the fight for the black and gold strap of the pioneer organization.

 

“Jesus Rojas is a very dangerous fighter, comes into the fight off of two great victories and knocked out both. He likes to apply pressure and always has good conditioning. “He is going to try to always press forward,” said Diaz, who hopes to be crowned in his second opportunity. “We have worked on my conditioning so as not to get tired and to be very active, throw lots of punches, and grab him when he comes inside. It will be a fight with a lot of action,” he predicted.

Indeed Rojas, 31, comes into the fight having knocked out his last four enemies as he stands out for his aggressiveness and for crushing his rivals; however, Joseph claims to have learned a valuable lesson after losing to Gary Russell Jr. a few weeks ago in his first championship fight.

 

“I have seen the fight 100 times and I noticed some mistakes, if I had been more aggressive, start earlier and used my jab the fight would have been different. Today I would be the world champion. Things did not go as planned, but it was a lesson learned. I now have the opportunity to go for a world championship again and I cannot miss this opportunity,” finished the challenger.

Dmitry Bivol Retains WBA 175lb Title

(August 5th) Dmitry Bivol scored his 14th victory to move his record to 14-0 with 11 knockouts via unanimous decision with scorecards of 120-108, 120-108, and 116-112 to retain his World Boxing Association (WBA) Light Heavyweight Title over Issac Chilemba.

 

The bout was broadcast live on HBO premium network from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City and was a co-feature to Sergey Kovalev vs Eleider Alvarez.

 

Bivol had success early in the fight by going forward behind a nice jab and throwing power punches.  Chilemba was being his very cagey, regular self, while landing some nice right hands of his own that the champion had to adjust to.

 

The fight turned into a bit more of a boxing match than a slug fest as Bivol was not using his right hand very often, perhaps injuring it early in the fight, but Chilemba was very hard to hit flush in any case.

 

Going down the stretch in the championship rounds Bivol appeared to be coasting although he was showing some good movement while being on his toes and crisp with his punches before the cards came in a wide unanimous decision.

Alicia Napoleon Retains WBA Super Middleweight Title

By Kid Hersh

(August 5th) Alicia Napoleon scored a unanimous decision victory over Hannah Rankin to retain her World Boxing Association (WBA) World Female Super Middleweight Title at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale New York and was broadcast on FOX on the undercard of Andre Berto vs Devon Alexander.

 

The 10-round WBA championship fight was the first to be held in the Arenas history, with Napoleon saying after the fight “I can’t even find the words to describe how I’m feeling. It’s amazing. There’s still adrenaline flowing through me right now.”

 

The champion, Napoleon, came into the fight having won the title back in March – handing Femke Hermans her first defeat as a professional as Napoleon won a wide unanimous decision.

 

Napoleon showed her skill in this bout, as Rankin was very rugged and durable and came forward for the majority of the bout but Napoleon was able to keep her at bay with her excellent jab and use of distance and timing.

 

Napoleon has been hitting the news cycles more and more and getting headlines for being a very outspoken proponent of women health, boxing, and getting paid higher wages.  She is turning into quite the star and a good ambassador of the WBA.

Pacquiao Wins a Thriller in Malaysia!

The WBA Opens Its Doors to Olympic Boxing!

(Gilberto Jesús Mendoza entregó medalla a Yuberjen Martínez)

(July 3rd) The World Boxing Association (WBA), in search of “The comeback of Boxing”, opens its doors to Olympic pugilism, to achieve a true union in this sport and bring back the honor that this discipline had in the past.

 

To achieve this goal, the WBA has summoned, through a letter, all National Boxing Federations to join this initiative. The intention is to achieve the systematic development of the sport, by the hand of specialists in the area. All this in favor of the two pillars of this discipline: the athletes and the fans.

 

“… As boxing is going through its issues there is another huge threat looming on the horizon: it’s negative public image, corruption, bureaucracy and continuing dysfunction of all parties involved, including amateurs and professionals of the sport of Boxing. Now they might lose participation in the Olympics. If this absurd decision were to take place, it would be an unprecedented setback for the sport”, reads the letter issued by the organization and signed by Gilberto Jesús Mendoza, President of the WBA, and Wladimir Klitschko, former World Heavyweight Champion and former Olympic Champion.

 

In order to achieve the proposed objectives, the WBA developed a 7-point general plan:

 

Strengthen our values: Participative writing of the Universal Charter of Boxing, together with athletes, officials, federations and fans from all around the world in order to underline our values of universality, diversity, respect, engagement and education.

 

Athlete’s welfare: Provide educational tools, and health/life insurance so the athletes are able to fully focus on their careers, and later enjoy a sustainable future after retirement.

 

1) Strengthen our values: Participative writing of the Universal Charter of Boxing, together with athletes, officials, federations and fans from all around the world in order to underline our values of universality, diversity, respect, engagement and education.

 

2) Athlete’s welfare: Provide educational tools, and health/life insurance so the athletes are able to fully focus on their careers, and later enjoy a sustainable future after retirement.

 

3) Simplify the structures: Offer a unique regulator, and an ultimate authority. There’s a need to simplify with less bureaucracy, leveraging digital technologies to improve transparency, collaboration and efficiency.

 

4) Professionalize the officials and trainers: Let’s take care of those who care for the champions, give them scalable salaries, further their education and even develop a pension system.

 

5) Fans Empowerment: Turn them into real participants of the boxing world, share the passion and information but also strengthen the objectivity of decisions.

6) Digitalize the experience: Enable deeper insights, share exciting information and possibilities through a customized application.

 

7) Optimize the reach: Create one worldwide “PRO/AM” broadcasting channel, defined by regions, including subscriptions/PPV, OTT streaming facilities and its own production unit.

 

In this way, the WBA will work hand in hand with the National Federations to create tournaments and seminars that promote the systematic development of boxing and show the great strength and importance of our sport.

 

Today begins a new era in this sport and it starts hand in hand with the World Boxing Association, which as of today becomes a Professional and Amateur organization.

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