Afolabi Opponent Injured; Pitalua-Rivera on September 9

Ola Afolabi, WBO Intercontinental Cruiserweight Champion, is scheduled to make his second title defense as the co-feature of the huge Vitali Klitschko vs Tomasz Adamek show September 10 in Wroclaw Poland.

Afolabi is 17-2 and rated #2 in the WBO, #3 WBA, #7 WBC and #7 in the IBF. He was scheduled to fight undefeated Polish cruiserweight star Pawel Kolodziej, 28-0. This was a great matchup of two top cruiserweights that are rated in the top ten of every sanctioning body.

"Everybody was excited about this fight," stated Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, promotional company of Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko. "We signed Ola one year ago and he is now a completely different fighter since he has started working with Vitali's trainer, Fritz Sdunek. "K2 has featured Ola on their last 3 shows and he has responded with great results. Afolabi was born in London and his fan base in the UK is very strong from impressive KO wins over two fellow Brits, Enzo Maccarinelli and Terry Dunstan. Afolabi’s last fight was on July 2 with a first round KO over Terry Dunstan, the UK Cruiserweight Champion. This was on the same show where Wladimir Klitschko added the WBA championship to his collection of titles when he dominated David Haye over every round.

Andrew Wasilewski of 12 Round Knockout Promotions, Promoter of Kolodziej, was very dejected when he found out the news. "We regret very much that Pawel will not be able to fight Ola Afolabi September 10 in Wroclaw. This will be the biggest boxing event in Polish history and Pawel wanted to be a part of it. He was involved in a car accident, he is ok, but the doctor said that he could not train properly for the fight because of the injuries that he suffered." Wasilewski's company also promotes WBC Cruiserweight champion, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk.

K2 is currently looking for a replacement opponent and offered the fight to Mateusz Masternak, 23-0, who is also an undefeated Polish cruiserweight and is scheduled to fight on the same show. "I thought this was the perfect solution," said Loeffler, "but Masternak's people turned down the fight because of short notice, even though he has been training to fight on the same show. Ola is like Vitali and at a point in his career where he will fight anyone, even accepting two undefeated Polish fighters in their home country."

The historic event will be held in the brand new 42,000 seat soccer stadium in Wroclaw, Poland. The show will be broadcast in over 110 countries and on pay per view in Poland starting at 9pm. The Klitschko vs Adamek main event will be shown live on HBO in the US at 5pm EST and also live in Germany on RTL at 11pm.

“CLASH OF TITANS” in Mexico City on Friday, September 9 Celebrating “VIVA MEXICO”

Mexico City, MX: The successful series of “Boxeo TELEMUNDO” returns to the Salon Jose Cuervo in Mexico City, Mexico on Friday, September 9 with a show being billed as “CLASH OF TITANS” celebrating Mexico’s Patriotic Month “VIVA MEXICO”.

The main event will feature two of the toughest Jr. Welterweights in Mexican Boxing as hard punching Antonio Pitalua (52-5-43 KO’s) of Mexico City by way of Monteria, Colombia faces Cosme “Chino” Rivera (32-14-2-23 KO’s) of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico in a bout schedule for 12 Rounds with the World Boxing Council (WBC) Latin Jr. Welterweight title on the line.

First bell at 8:30 PM, 6 mores fights round up the card. Telemundo Network in the US available in HD will televise the main event at 11:35 PM live. Televisa Deportes Network will also broadcast the show at 11:00 PM (CT) in Mexico and Central America. Tickets are already on sale at and @ Salon Jose Cuervo. Tuto Zabala, Jr., All Star Boxing, Inc is presenting “CLASH OF TITANS” in association with Ricardo Maldonado, Producciones Deportivas and RB Producciones.

Bam on boxing

Gyms & Trainers

Did you ever go into a boxing gym and it was hummin’? When you walk into one that is popping with activity you can cut the atmosphere with a knife. All kinds of people are around when the gym is busy--young kids, teenagers, men and women. Many of them are trying to "shed the skin" they are in. They want to alter their future, get ahead in boxing.

The trainers, managers and hangers-on are like characters out of a movie. They say some of the funniest and most profound things. Most managers and trainers never make it to the point with a fighter that they can honestly say: "I made some money." Some guys squeeze by and have full-time or part-time jobs. They may work in the gym with a kid for a couple of months, then the kid calls it quits.

rayrobinson There is a unique quality about fight trainers. There is so much one-on-one coaching in boxing that the fighter forms a bond with his (or her) trainer. The fighter depends on the trainer--it is like a shot of adrenaline to hear the trainer’s advice. I have seen it up-close-and-personal at Shuler’s Gym, Fast Lane, Lonnie Young Recreation Center, Front Street, Harrowgate, the Joe Hand Gym and others.

When a fighter is in the ring, he is in control of where he goes and how he gets there. “Being in the ring is like nothing else," says local welterweight prospect Ray Robinson.

Robinson feels he is in control inside the ropes. He can orchestrate what is happening; he is comfortable. His relationship with his trainer Moses is a father-son relationship.

Lucky fighters and trainers have that bond. When a fighter respects and trusts his trainer, the bond becomes stronger. Much of the time, the trainer knows more about his fighter than the fighter’s friends and family. They are more than just trainers, they are a fighter’s guiding light.

The Opponent

Boxing is made up of all different types of fighters. There are the up-and-coming prospects, the champions, contenders, journeymen and opponents.

Up-and-coming prospects with less than 15 pro fights, champions with the belts, contenders on the brink of title shots, journeymen who have been around for years and opponents who have more losing streaks then winning ones.

An opponent in boxing is there for what reason? Is he there to help build a prospect’s record? Does he fight strictly for the money, the love of the sport? At what point should a fighter “hang up” the gloves?

Opponents are crucial to boxing! Without them, young prospects would constantly be in hard fights. I have no problem with testing fighters, but sometimes a fighter deserves an easy fight, although getting punched in the face never is easy.

Boxing creates stress for a fighter. Sometimes a fighter deserves a stay-busy fight or a tuneup that helps him to get ready for something bigger in the future. Opponents are there to test the up-and-coming prospects or to help champions and contenders stay active. Yet some of the best brawls are between opponents and journeymen because there is no expectation of the outcome.

Once the bell rings, every fighter has a chance, even the opponent. Often, people forget that. Underestimating an opponent is one of the worst things a prospect, champion or contender can do. Every fight should be just as important as the next one, regardless of who is in the opposite corner.

The author is a senior in sport and recreation management at Temple University. She recently joined Peltz Boxing. Please follow us on twitter @PeltzBoxing or Brittany @bamonboxing.

Article posted on 30.08.2011

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