Friday evening, June 29th, 2011, Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment and Sports lived up to its commitment of “keeping the class in boxing” with an old-school fight card that showcased a wide variety of gifted fighters. All of the combatants lived up to their potential, producing a night of theatre that left boxing fans in awe.
Undefeated Heavyweight Mariusz Wach (25-0, 13 KOs) of Bergen, NJ, lived up to his reputation as one of the most viable forces in the Heavyweight division, with his fourth-round destruction of Kevin McBride (35-10-1, 29 KOs) of Brockton, MA, that earned him the vacant WBC International Title. Wach, calm, cool, and collected from the opening bell, consistently hit McBride with left jabs and right hands to the body. The only demonstration of offense from McBride that seemed to impact Wach was a right-hand followed by an elbow that caused blood to spew out of Wach’s ear. This injury only seemed to anger Wach, who retaliated with a vicious over-hand right that knocked McBride unconscious at 2:25 of the fourth round. This knockout kept McBride on the canvas for minutes after the fight, forcing him to be carried out of the arena on a stretcher.
In the final bout of the evening, New Haven, Connecticut’s Elvin Ayala (24-5-1, 11 KOs) continued his winning streak with a masterful display of ring generalship against Darrick Fendley (18-6, 11 KOs) of Gary, Indiana. Early on, the allusive Ayala never allowed the durable Fendley to get close enough to land punches of any significance. In the later stages of the fight, where it seemed as if Findley was beginning to find range, Ayala opened a cut over his opponent’s eye, and began to pour on blistering over-hand rights and combinations keeping Findley even further at bay. For his efforts, Ayala picked up a unanimous ten-round decision, along with the WBC USNBC Title.
In opening action, Worcester, Massachusetts’s Jose Torres stepped in the ring to make his pro-debut against last minute replacement Josh Harris (8- 5, 6 KOs) of Akron, Ohio. From the opening the bell, Torres initiated the action, peppering Harris with stiff jabs, followed by several crushing right hooks and a vicious body attack. Torres continued this non-stop onslaught the majority of the four rounds, continuously wobbling Harris throughout the bout. In the end, Harris’s methodical pressure and experience turned out to be too much for the green Torres to handle. Harris landed a massive hook at the end of the fourth, which instantly floored Torres, forcing the referee to bring the fight to a halt at 2:23 of the round.
In Welterweight action, Jonathan Vazquez (4-0-1, 3 KOs) of New Bedford, MA, and Agustine Mauras (1-0-1, 1 KO) of Lawrence, MA, had the opportunity to resume their amateur rivalry in a Rock em’, Sock em’, Somebody’s 0 must go battle. Mauras put the pressure on early, swarming Vazquez with consecutive punches to the body, along with left-hooks to the head. Vazquez countered effectively with upper-cuts and body shots of his own. Midway through the fight, just when it looked as if Mauras’ pressure was about to take control, Vazquez responded with straight right hands that snapped Mauras’ head back. The conclusion would be two fighters standing toe-to-toe, with the ending result a majority four-round draw with scores of 39-37, 38-38, and 38-38.
Edwin Soto (7-0-1, 3 KOs) of New Haven, CT, kept his undefeated streak intact with an impressive TKO victory over Michael Denby (3-11-4, 2 KOs) of Felton, DE. Soto assumed control from the beginning, landing numerous punches to the body and head, until the final blow, a crunching left hook to the liver, forced the halt at 2:26 of the third round.
Super Middleweight Greg McCoy (3-3, 1 KO) of New Haven, CT, ended his losing streak with a hard fought unanimous decision over Ralph Johnson (0-2) of Worcester, MA. Johnson’s awkward style confused McCoy in the early stages of the fight, even staggering him at times. Midway through the third, McCoy began to find success with right-hand body shots that stopped Johnson in his tracks. These shots allowed McCoy to rally in the fourth, assuring a unanimous four-round victory.
Also in Super Middleweight action, Keith Kozlin (6-2-1, 4 KOs) of Warwick, RI, and Reynaldo Rodgriguez (5-2-1, 2 KOs) of Woonsocket, RI, squared off in a match that was a candidate for “fight of the night”. The first two rounds resembled a game of chess, with each fighter trying to set up the other. The action began to heat up in round number three, with both fighters landing precise left hooks. The action would ignite even further in the fourth, when both fighters hit the canvas within twenty-seconds of each other, but managed to regroup, standing toe-to-toe in the middle of the ring before the bell sounded. The intensity of this fight, along with the strong will these fighters demonstrated, brought the crowd to its feet, but left the judges confused. The result…a six-round majority draw, with scores of 40-36, Kozlin, and 38-38 from the two other judges. This decision left the fans and fighters craving a rematch.
As we moved on to the Middleweight division, Thomas Falowo (4-0, 4KOs) of Pawtucket, RI, made short work of Russ Niggemeyer (2-3, 2 KOs) of Hilliard, Ohio. Falowo boxed aggressively in round one, forcing Niggemeyer to bob-and-weave, never able to mount any offense. In round two, Falowo would close the gap early, knocking Niggemeyer to the canvas in the opening of the round. As Niggemeyer tried to get back to feet, he stumbled back down to the canvas, forcing the referee to stop the fight forty seconds in.
The flashy pride of Poland, heavyweight Artur Szpilka (7-0, 5 KOs) of Wielczka, Poland, showed a dazzling display of speed and power, dismantling David Williams (6-5-1, 2 KOs) of Philadelphia, PA, at 1:53 of the first round. The Polish fans in attendance went wild as they saw their native son knock his foe to the canvas. There is no doubt that this young, knock-out sensation has a bright future in boxing ahead of him.
In a special attraction, former multi-world champion, Jose Antonio Rivera (41-6-1) of Worcester, MA, used his cagey veteran skills to out-box and out-class the game Paul Mpendo (7-8-4, 3 KOs) of Portland, Oregon, in battle of Light Middleweights. Rivera started off slow, allowing Mpendo to appear to be in the fight, but by round six, it was apparent that he was in complete control, as his body-shots and over-hand rights landed with precision and power. Rivera walked away with a unanimous eight-round decision, earning scores of 79-73 and 80-72.
It is unforgettable nights of boxing such as these that keep a century-old profession alive and well in today’s fast changing world.
By Michael Natalino
The Path to Gold is Set at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Men’s Boxing in Mobile, Alabama
(MOBILE, ALA.) – The start of U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Men’s Boxing is now just one day away and the event excitement began on Saturday evening with the official event draw. The non-seeded boxers in each of the 10 weight classes draw ping pong balls to determine their opening round opponents and spot in the winners bracket. Event competition will begin on Sunday with sessions at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Mobile Civic Center.
Several outstanding bouts are on tap for the opening day of competition at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Two-time Olympian and 2007 World Champion Rau’shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio) will open his third straight Olympic Trials in a bout against 2011 USA Boxing National Champion John Franklin (Fort Carson, Colo.) Franklin is familiar with the Olympic Trials process as well, having competed in the 2008 event.
Former United States Olympic Education Center teammates and 2011 USA Boxing National Champions Chris Pearson (Trotwood, Ohio) and Jesse Hart (Philadelphia, Pa.) will battle in opening day competition on Sunday. Hart claimed his 2011 National Championship at the light heavyweight division, but is moving back down to the middleweight class for his Olympic run.
Two Washington DC area boxers will face off in the light heavyweight division as 2011 USA Boxing National Championships silver medalist Jerry Odom (Bowie, Md.) takes on Shaborn Ryals (Capitol Heights, Md.) in the opening bout of the tournament for both boxers. Ryals enters the tournament fresh off his victory at the Last Chance Qualifier tournament.
The story is similar in the heavyweight division as two Las Vegas natives are slated to compete on opening day as well. 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials super heavyweight champion Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.) is back for a second run at the Olympic Games and he will open competition in a bout with Andrew Tabiti (Las Vegas, Nev.).
Olympic Team Trials action will begin tomorrow with sessions at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. central time and full winners bracket are attached. Results will be disseminated at the end of each session and can be found on USA Boxing’s website at www.usaboxing.org
U.S. Olympic Team Trials Quotes
Semajay Thomas – 2011 USA Boxing Light Welterweight National Champion
On making it to the Olympic Trials
“It feels good to be here. It’s a dream come true. It took a lot of work to get here.”
On what gives him confidence
“I’ve beaten four of the guys already. I’ve trained hard and put the work in.”
On what fans should expect from Semajay
“Skills, intelligence, angles, and speed. I have a lot of styles and I can adjust to a lot of different styles.”
Joseph Diaz – Two-time USA Boxing National Champion
On how it feels to be in the Olympic Trials
“I’m excited. Everyone is coming to win and I’m coming to win. There are going to be some really good fights.”
On the pressure of the Olympic Trials
“I actually don’t feel any more pressure. It just feels like another fight. I am always prepared. It’s just another fight that I have to win.”
On why he will win the tournament
“Because I’m focused and I’ve put a lot of time in the gym. I’m hungry for it, I know everyone else is too, but I’m starving!”
On what he’s most excited for
“To fight the best in the country and hopefully come out on top and represent the U.S. in the 2012 Games.”
Jesse Hart – 2011 National Golden Gloves and USA Boxing National Championships
On how he’s feeling
“I’m feeling good. It is a wonderful feeling to be amongst these great fighters.”
On what it means to finally be at the Olympic Trials
“It means a lot, all the blood, sweat, and tears for this. I give all the glory to God.”
On coming down from light heavyweight to middleweight
“I was originally 165 lbs, but we wanted different work.”
Steve Geffard – 2010 USA Boxing Athlete of the Year
On how long he’s been waiting to go to the Olympic Trials
“I’ve been waiting about seven years, since I started boxing.”
On how he’s feeling
“ I’m definitely 100% ready, it’s the best camp I have had.”
On why it was his best camp yet
“I went to California for about two months and trained at the world famous Wild Card Gym. It allowed me to get world class sparring, and I was away from my family and friends so I could focus.”
On any boxer posing a threat
“No, this is the Olympic Trials. Everyone has been training just as hard as me and I have to look at them all as an equal threat.”
Lenroy Thompson, Two-time Super Heavyweight National Champion
On how it feels to be at the Olympic Trials
“It’s awesome. It’s an honor.”
On what he’s most looking forward to
“Winning. I wish I could win with one fight. I just want to get it over with, I’ve been waiting four years.”
On how his training has been different for the Olympic Trials
“Yes, the last few I didn’t need to participate in so I didn’t take them serious. I’ve been doing a lot of sparring, and sprinting for the first time. I’ve been focused and not partying.”
On any specific opponents he’s focusing on
“No, all of them. If they are here they deserve to be here. I’m not worried about the draw as long as I do my best I should be okay.”
Sunday’s Olympic Team Trials Bout Sheets
1 p.m. session
108 lbs: David Carlton, Cincinnati, Ohio vs. Marco Rangel, Scottsdale, Ariz.
108 lbs: Eros Correa, San Jose, Calif. vs. Norberto Torres, Orlando, Fla.
108 lbs: Gregory Outlaw, Glenarden, Md., vs. Santos Vasquez, Sparks, Nev.
108 lbs: Michael Benedosso, Fort Carson, Colo. vs. Louie Byrd, Denver, Colo.
123 lbs: Joseph Diaz, Jr., El Monte, Calif., vs. Joe Perez, Fountain, Colo.
123 lbs: Isaac Torres, Mission, Texas vs. Luis Feliciano, Milwaukee, Wis.
123 lbs: Antonio Nieves, Cleveland, Ohio vs. O’Shanique Foster, Orange, Texas
123 lbs: Tramaine Williams, New Haven, Conn., vs. Joet Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif.
141 lbs: Semajay Thomas, Chicago, Ill., vs. George Rincon, Carrollton, Texas
141 lbs: Pedro Sosa, Bronx, N.Y. vs. Gary Allan Russell III, Capitol Heights, Md.
141 lbs: Michael Reed, Waldorf, Md., vs. Duran Caferro, Helena, Mont.
141 lbs: Jamal Herring, Camp Lejeune, N.C. vs. Thomas Duquette, Waltham, Mass.
165 lbs: Chris Pearson, Trotwood, Ohio vs. Jesse Hart, Philadelphia, Pa.
165 lbs: D’Mitrius Ballard, Temple Hills, Md., vs. Martez Jackson, Valdosta, Ga.
165 lbs: Antoine Douglas, Burke, Va., vs. Damarius Russell, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
165 lbs: Luis Arias, Milwaukee, Wis., vs. Edgar Alvarado, Jr., San Bernadino, Calif.
201 lbs: Jordan Shimmell, Hudsonville, Mich., vs. Robert Jekabson, Chicago, Ill.
201 lbs: Charles Blackwell, Tucson, Ariz., vs. Joseph Williams, Far Rockaway, N.Y.
201 lbs: James Shorter, Elkhart, Ind. vs. Steve Geffrard, Boca Raton, Fla.
201 lbs: Michael Hunter, Las Vegas, Nev., vs. Andrew Tabiti, Las Vegas, Nev.
6 p.m. session
114 lbs: John Franklin, Fort Carson, Colo., vs. Rau’shee Warren, Cincinnati, Ohio
114 lbs: Stephon Young, St. Louis, Mo., vs. Gabriel Montoya, St. Louis, Mo.
114 lbs: Emilio Sanchez, Pacoima, Calif., vs. Shawn Simpson, Chicago, Ill.
114 lbs: Adam Lopez, San Antonio, Texas vs. Oscar Cantu, Kingsville, Texas
132 lbs: Jose Ramirez, Avenal, Calif., vs. Toribio Ramirez, Jr., Bowling Green, Fla.
132 lbs: Erick DeLeon, Lincoln Park, Mich., vs. Kenneth Sims, Jr., Chicago, Ill.
132 lbs: Damon Allen, Philadelphia, Pa., vs. Raynell Williams, Cleveland, Ohio
132 lbs: Luis Cruz, Bronx, N.Y. vs. Toka Kahn Clary, Providence, R.I.
152 lbs: Errol Spence, Desoto, Texas vs. Samuel Vasquez, Fort Carson, Colo.
152 lbs: Bryant Perrella, Lehigh Acres, Fla., vs. Regis Prograis, Houston, Texas
152 lbs: Willie Jones, Charlotte, N.C., vs. Arturo Trujillo, Easton, Pa.
152 lbs: Amir Imam, Albany, N.Y. vs. Luis Olivares, Glendale, Ariz.
178 lbs: Caleb Plant, Ashland City, Tenn., vs. Jeffery Spencer, Fort Carson, Colo.
178 lbs: Marcus Browne, Staten Island, N.Y., vs. Sean Bettencourt, Stoughton, Mass.
178 lbs: Sijuola Shabazz, Las Cruces, N.M., vs. Robert Brant, Oakdale, Minn.
178 lbs: Shaborn Ryals, Capitol Heights, Md., vs. Jerry Odom, Bowie, Md.
201+ lbs: Jonathan Hamm, St. Paul, Minn., vs. Brett Rather, Las Vegas, Nev.
201+ lbs: Andrew Shepherd, Fort Carson, Colo., vs. O’Jayland Brown, Sacramento, Calif.
201+ lbs: Dominic Breazale, Alhambra, Calif., vs. Donovan Dennis, Davenport, Iowa
201+ lbs: Lenroy Thompson, Lenexa, Kansas vs. Laron Mitchell, San Francisco, Calif.
USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing, is the United States’ member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).
Lonnie Smith defeats Eduardo Arcos
July 31st, 2011, Las Vegas — Super-featherweight “El Negro Mexicano”, “Lightning” Lonnie Smith improves to 14-2-2, 10 KOs via a 3rd round TKO victory over the game Eduardo Arcos (16-4-1, 13 KOs) on Friday night at the South Point Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas.
Once again, the always exciting Smith, gave the fans in attendance and those watching on television, a non-stop, action fight. After a close first round where both fighters traded shots, “Lightning Lonnie” began to land a series of uppercuts. Those shots, along with a series of other combinations, and Lonnie’s overall pressure prevented Arcos from answering the 4th bell.
Smith, fighting in his hometown of Las Vegas, also displayed his popularity as the venue was filled with many of his fans. Lonnie is a rising star in the 130 lb division, and he continues to grow his local fan base. Just like the Magdaleno brothers (Diego and Jesse), Smith is a local who can put butts in seats in Sin City.
Up next for Smith is a six or eight round bout on this year’s “Rural Rumble” in Fallon, NV on August 27th. Smith dazzled fight fans with his knockout win over Lowell Brownfield there last year. Details on Smith’s opponent for that show will be announced soon.
Tickets are available by calling 775 423 4556. Advance tickets are $10 children (ages 6-17) $12 adults; at gate $12 children $15 adults; $50 ringside, $500 for VIP tables. All bouts subject to change.