Thursday, April 26, 2012

Williams, Berridge Victorious at Battle at the Box

Fight fans packed out Auckland city’s The Corporate Box to watch the ‘Battle at the Box’ on Friday night. Featuring top ranked New Zealand Light Heavyweight Robbie Berridge and headlined by ex-NRL enforcer Jason Williams taking on former NZNBF heavyweight title holder Amosa Zinck, the Craig Thomson promoted card also provided nine corporate undercard bouts.
Williams used his size and strength to notch his fourth win in a row against Zinck over four rounds. The bout started with a feeling-out process, before a giant right hook snapped Zinck’s head back.  Williams continued to apply pressure as he was able to back Zinck against the ropes and unload with hooks to the body and head. With his face bloodied in the second round, Zinck took a lot of punishment on the ropes before fighting his way out. Zinck has his best round of the fight during the third, where he was able to back Williams off with a couple of hard shots. However, Williams' constant pressure and strength meant he was continually on the back foot. Already bloodied, beaten and now worn down, Zinck was knocked down in the final stanza by a Williams hook and, although he was able to make it to the final bell, the result was never in doubt.
Top ranked New Zealand Light Heavyweight Robbie Berridge only needed a round to dispatch former foe Peter Tovio. As is his style, Tovio began the bout swinging for the fences, while Berridge kept on the end of his jab. Berridge boxed nicely, creating openings for his big left hand and landing sharp, straight punches. A straight left hand nearly put Tovio into next week and, although he was able to remain standing, he was clearly very hurt. The follow-up pressure dropped Tovio hard. He was able to make it to his feet, yet still seemed unsteady and his corner threw in the towel to protect their fighter.
In the undercard action, Bonnie Porter used her high volume approach to win a tight split decision over Jo Ramirez in the women’s Junior Featherweight bout. Normally a brilliant counter puncher, Ramirez was barely given room to move (or breath) as Porter’s superior conditioning and size allowed her to press the action. Ramirez had success with counter left hands throughout the bout, landing the cleaner, more significant punches, but Porter was a virtual human windmill who started to get the better of the exchanges in the second round as Ramirez tired.

Shane Robertson beat Ronnie Newland by technical knockout in the second round
Junior Tupuni beat Patelo Lafaele by unanimous decision
Women’s Light Heavyweight
Natalie Teller beat Becky Wood by split decision
Super Middleweight
Ben Nelson beat Rocky Deepak by technical knockout in the first round due to injury
Women’s Light Featherweight
Bonnie Porter beat Jo Ramirez by split decision
Jono Bancroft beat Nick Coyle by unanimous decision
Sami Inu beat Tomi Kingi by split decision
The bout between Nick Gains and Daniel Temple was ruled a split draw
Super Middleweight
Troi Norman beat Neil Share by knockout in the second round
Light Heavyweight
Robbie Berridge beat Peter Tovio by knockout in the first round
Jason Williams beat Amosa Zinck by unanimous decisionNZFighters article found here

Sunday, April 22, 2012

For The Fancy – Boxing Update: 22 April 2012

Dear Friends of the Fasi,
As we all know, the period of May-June is usually scheduled for the biggest fights of the year.  The exact same rings true this year as we look at a few of the fights that (should) grace our pay-per-view calender (all dates NZ);
Hopkins-Dawson II            29th April
Mayweather-Cotto              6 May
Alavarez-Mosley                  6 May
Peterson-Khan II                20 May
Pacquiao-Bradley              6 June
Ortiz-Berto II                         24 June

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be salivating over the prospect of Mayweather-Cotto and, to a lesser extent, Alvarez-Mosley next weekend.  If you’re new to the game, or simply unaware, then I advise you to definitely check ‘Mayweather-Cotto 24/7’ on Tuesday, 8pm, Sky Sport 2.  The series follows world class boxers in the lead up to their biggest bouts and Mayweather’s swagger alone is can’t miss television. 
Directly following this is ‘On Freddie Roach,’ a fly-on-the-wall documentary following perhaps the greatest boxing trainer of all time…errr….Freddie Roach.  Currently training world class fighters such as Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, ‘On Freddie Roach’ may seem like it is lacking direction, without a strong narrative, but to get this type of insight into his life inside the ring and his battle with Parkinsons is well worth it.  The boxing world is on the verge of losing someone very special.

Home Front
Unfortunately, the NZPBA Super Middleweight title bout between Gunnar Jackson and Edwin Samy never materialized for reasons that will never be known however ‘Battle at the Box’ was still a very worthwhile card.
Top ranked New Zealand Light Heavyweight Robbie “The Butcher” Berridge stayed unbeaten and continued his path to a title in disintegrating Peter Tovio inside a round.  Berridge was clearly a couple of levels above Tovio from the get go, with the first hard left hand he landed near turning the 2-13-1 Tovio into dust.  The ensuing punches saw Tovio drop face first before his corner threw in the towel.
“The Butcher” is now scheduled to fight for the NZPBA Light Heavyweight crown on the 29th of June against an as-of-now unnamed opponent.  Rest assured, I’ll present you all with the details as they emerge.
Former NRL bad boy Jason Williams used his size and strength to muscle out a win against former New Zealand Heavyweight titlist Amosa Zinck.  Williams was able to bull Zinck against the ropes and corners all night where he landed big hooks that left Zinck a bloody mess.  Although able to stand up to this kind of punishment, Zinck was unable to mount any kind of significant offense that would keep his ever pressing foe away.  Williams scored a knockdown in the final round and scored a wide judges nod.

The Week Ahead
Amateur action dominates this weekend, with the A.B.A hosting an amateur card on Friday night.  It anyone has any further details on this please contact NZFighters.
Further north, any Wellsford boxing fans will be treated to some amateur action on Saturday night.  Contact Fili Maka ( if you’re interested.


Abner Mares (24-0-1, 13 KOs) stepped up a weight and turned up the action in gaining a wide decision win over Eric Morel (46-3, 23 KOs) at El Paso, Texas.  Although not much of a competitive fight, due to Mares skill level, Mares took the fight to his opponent’s body as well as landing right hands upstairs that drew blood.  Morel managed to land his own with neither fight ever being in any danger of being stopped.  That said, Mares continued to pour it on and only lost one round on a single judge’s scorecard.
Mares captured a vacant Junior Featherweight strap with the win, however it would appear that a fight with the biggest name in the division, Nonito Donaire, will elude him due to bad blood between their promotional companies.  Shame.
Also on the same card, and widely regarded as the best Bantamweight on the planet, Anselmo Moreno (31-1-1, 12 KOs) beat David De La Mora (24-2, 17 KOs) like he stole something until he refused to come out for the 10th round.  A right hook dropped De La Mora, who was never in the fight, in the second round and the southpaw Moreno continued to land the lead hook all evening.  De La Mora was again sent to the canvas in the sixth by a left to the body and struggled through a couple more rounds before calling it a night.
Although Moreno’s style can isn’t always entertaining to watch, there is no denying his class.  Being with the same promotional company, relative weights and now fighting on the same card, a Moreno-Mares bout looks to be on the horizon.
Middleweight Erislandy Lara (16-1-1, 11 KOs) scored three knockdowns in his one round destruction of Ronald Hearns (26-3, 20 KOs)  at Biloxi Mississippi.  This complete blowout only confirms Lara’s place among the division’s elite (as well as Junior Middleweight, where he normally resides) and goes some way to exercise the demons from his horrible decision loss robbery against Paul Williams.  All knockdowns came via Lara’s brutal southpaw left hand.
Unfortunately, performances like this do nothing for Lara’s marketability as an opponent.  He would seem too dangerous for Saul Alvarez or Miguel Cotto (trusting they win their respective bouts) and he doesn’t bring enough money to the table to fight someone like Mayweather.

The Week Ahead
47 year old dynamo Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs) takes on  “Bad” Chad Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs) in a rematch for Hopkins’ WBC Light Heavyweight title this Sunday (NZ time) in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Their first match last October ended in controversy as Dawson lifted Hopkins off the ground with his should and dumped him on the mat, injuring Bernard and forcing a stop to the contest.  This was originally ruled a knockout win for Dawson until the commission, rightly, changed the result to a No Contest.  Although Hopkins was allowed to keep his title, and has generally defied his age for the longest time, he looked every bit of 47 and was fortunate that the bout ended how it did.  This bout is being screened on Sky Box Office.
With the mega bout between Yuriorkis Gamboa and Juan Manuel Lopez being derailed by stupidity and defeat, the Featherweight division is now wide open as both of the aforementioned are tied up in various legal hooha and their returns look certain to be north of 126 pounds.  WBC champion Jhonny Gonzalez (51-7, 45 KOs) defends against Elio Rojas (23-1, 14 KOs) in Cancun, Mexico.  Gonzales had a bumper 2011, capturing a strap and stopping all four of his foes including hard-as-nails Roger Mtagwa (who took Lopez to the wire in October 2010).  Former titlist Rojas, hasn’t got the experience, or the punch, of his opponent and this bout will be a serious step up in class.NZFighters article found here

Monday, April 16, 2012

For The Fancy – Boxing Update: First Edition 16.4.12

Fans of fistiana, purveyors of pugilism, welcome to ‘For The Fancy’ where, each week, you can find the latest in boxing news from New Zealand and around the globe.
Nowhere else is there anybody else even remotely keen on giving our local scene the exposure it deserves.  Coverage by popular media only extends to a handful of internationals, which isn’t at all indicative of the proud standard of not only boxing as a world sport but our down home kiwi scene.
Home Front
Leading local news, Shane “The Mountain Warrior” Cameron’s (28-2, 21 KOs) scheduled bout with Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett (35-9-2, 20 KOs) will be moved back to July 5th.  Barrett will be defending his WBO Oriental and WBO Asia Pacific heavyweight titles that he won from David Tua via unanimous decision last August.  A third fight with Tua never materialized as “The Tuaman” retired a few weeks ago.  Cameron, a former heavyweight fringe contender and everyone’s favourite red headed Maori this side of Paul Tito, dropped to cruiserweight in mid 2010 where he has been able to jockey himself into contender status.  He was last seen winning a wide decision against former Kiwis league player Monty Betham at the Fight for Life charity boxing event.

The Week Ahead
This Friday, Craig Thomson promotions brings you Battle at the Box, headlined by top New Zealand Super-Middleweight Gunnar Jackson taking on kickboxer “Electric” Edwin Samy at The Corporate Box in Albert Street.  Jackson will be making his first defence of the NZPBA Super-Middelweight strap he won last month against Kashif Mumtaz with the 12-2 fighter collecting the scalps of fighters such as Fale Siaoloa, Peter Tovio and the aforementioned Mumtaz.  Although Samy will be looking for his first win in his fifth outing, his slick punching, hard chin and awkward style will be bound to make it a close fight.
Also on the same card, former NRL hardman Jason Williams collides with ex-New Zealand and South Pacific heavyweight champion Amosa Zanck.  Since losing his debut, Williams is on a three fight tear with all wins coming inside the distance while Zanck is coming off a decision loss to, in the eyes of many, the real NZ Heavyweight champion Chauncy Welliver.



Top pound for pound fighter “Dinamita” Juan Manual Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) further solidified his case for another Pacquiao bout in gaining the WBO interim 140 pound strap with a wide decision win against Sergey “The Professor” Fedchenko (30-2, 13 KOs) at the New Mexico City Arena in errr…..Mexico City.  The 38-year-old certain Hall of Famer added the title to his accolades at Feathweight, Jr Lightweight and Lightweight by controlling all of the action with his combination punching.  Fedchenko was able to keep his distance so Marquez couldn’t land his debilitating hooks to the body and, although he would land, his negligible power had no chance of derailing Marquez.  The final round would provide the most action, as repeated right hands had Fedchenko reeling around the ring however he was able to stay upright until the final bell.  Final scores were 119-109 and 118-110 twice.
Marquez now has to be the leading contender for a November bout against Pacquiao.  Currently 0-1-2 against The Pac Man, a sizeable portion of the boxing fraternity believe that the count should be 3-0 in favour of “Dinamita.”
WBA interim titlist Richard Abril (17-3-1, 8 KOs) seemingly won the fight everywhere but on the cards against former WBA Lightweight Champion “Bam Bam” Brandon Rios (30-0, 22 KOs) at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.  Rios, who came in overweight for the second fight in a row, applied pressure early with Abril boxing well and landing straight punches.  Abril managed to tie up the every pressing Rios well when he got too close and made him pay coming in.  Although the fight was a split decision, many at ringside had Abril winning comfortably.
Abril had stepped in at fairly short notice after Featherweight sensation Yuriorkis Gamboa pulled out of one of the sports biggest bouts.  With Gamboa now tied up in legal matters concerning his move, it would seem that Rios will move up to 140 pounds to lobby for a fight with Marquez.


The Week Ahead
Although no pay-per-view boxing cards grace our screens, at least for a couple of weeks, bantamweight king Abner Mares (23-0, 13 KOs) moves up to 122 pounds to contest bantamweight stalwart Eric Morel (46-2, 23 KOs) for the WBC Super Bantamweight crown.  The bout will be held at the Don Haskins Convention Centre in El Paso, Texas this Sunday (NZ time).
Although ill advised by, well, almost everybody with full reasoning abilities, former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor (29-4, 18 KOs) fights continues his comeback quest against Caleb Truax (18-0-1, 10 KOs) at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi this Saturday (NZ time).  Taylor won back to back victories against all time legend Bernard Hopkins to become undisputed middleweight champion in 2005 however he was knocked out in three of his last six with the nature of the knockouts being a real cause for concern.  Truax’s record has been built over mainly second tier opposition.
The undercard features Cuban contender Erislandy Lara (15-1, 10 KOs) against Ronald Hearns (26-2, 20 KOs) in a middleweight bout.  Lara was last seen losing a despicable majority decision to Paul Williams in July but still remains poised to make waves in the near future.  Hearns, son of boxing legend Thomas, carries his father’s height and pop but has been stopped in both of his losses. NZFighters article found here