Snips and Snipes 26 March 2015
Just under six weeks to go to the big night. Only six more weeks of hype, insults, scare stories, rumours predictions, band wagon jumping etc. etc. The hype has already doubled the potential worth of the Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao fight (I listed them alphabetically so don’t read anything into the order of the names) at one time it was worth $200 million now the figure of $400 million is being mentioned with the fight being shown in 170 countries so the biggest just got bigger.
After what happened five years ago it was alarming to hear the words “Dope Testing” thrown in again. This time it was Pacquiao’s team trying to muddy the water. The testing procedures were agreed up front and are already being implemented in accordance with the contract. Now Manny’s team proposed a $5 million fine if either fighter gave a positive test before or after the fight. Mayweather’s spokesmen told them to get lost and rightly so. Once you agree a contract you don’t go running back trying to add to it. I am sure we will see more attempts to muddy the water and upset the other team but they will have to be careful. Remarks and writings by Mayweather regarding Pacquiao walking away last time over the testing regime saw Pacquiao sue Mayweather and win a seven figure settlement. It would a nightmare scenario for boxing if either tested positive. It won’t happen so let’s hope the subject is dead and buried with regard to this fight.
I have seen comments about “legacy” surrounding this fight. Mayweather has most to lose as he still has his unbeaten tag but if this is about legacy then it is about adding to the already huge legacy that these fighters have accumulated and not really about losing it. They both won their first title in 1998 Mayweather at super feather and Pacquiao incredibly down at flyweight. It will be world title fight No 24 for Mayweather and No 20 for Pacquiao. No matter what the result on 2 May these are two of the best boxers ever to put on gloves and they would be greats in any era. We are privileged to have seen them.
Pardon the pun but I see it as a very positive move that Al Haymon has insisted that any boxer appearing on his Premier Boxing Championships shows must agree to undergo blood and urine testing in compliance with World Anti-Doping Agency standards. Just one bit of evidence that Haymon is taking boxing in the right direction.
That WBA ratings elevator was working hard this month. It had to go down to the basement and carry two fighters way up in the ratings. In their ratings published 31 January the WBA ranked 14 super featherweights (the No 1 spot was vacant). In their ratings published 10 February they still listed 14 challengers but with a big difference. Neither Emanuel Lopez nor Carlos Padilla were in the 31 January ratings but now they suddenly appeared from the basement at positions 4 and 5 respectively. Last weekend the vacant interim WBA super featherweight title was contested by-you guessed it-Lopez and Padilla. So how did they earn these promotions? Well Lopez lost a wide unanimous decision to Marcos Gonzalez (12-1) on 5 December but on 20 December beat Alex Acosta(1-8-2) and on 3 January beat Fernando Cruz (5-3-1) and those results were “enough” to catapult him from nowhere to No 4. Padilla? He did not even have a fight between November and the publishing of the 10 February ratings so his rating was an even more blatant bit of manipulation. It makes a complete mockery of ratings if 14 guys can get overlooked and two guys with no qualifications are parachuted in. Even when they don’t parachute someone in the WBA still do some manipulation. On 9 May Jack Culcay fights fellow German Maurice Webber for the vacant interim WBA super welter title. In the 17 January ratings Webber is no 15 and in the February 10 he is No 8 not having fight since November!
The WBC have not done their bit as ratings “adjustment” yet. On 11 April Pedro Guevara will defend his WBC light flyweight title against Filipino Richard Claveras. Some “adjustment” will be needed as on the ratings on the WBC web site today Claveras is No 26. Next ratings “adjustment” will see him at least up to No 15 if not higher and the 15 guys current rated by the WBC in that division just get screwed as the promoter picks the challenger and the WBC anoints the selection and being rated in the top 15 is meaningless.
The three Kameda brothers will all be fighting overseas. Tomoki will defend his WBO bantam title in San Antonio on 9 May against the holder of the secondary WBA title Brit Jamie McDonnell. Koki is lined-up to challenge WBA super fly champion Kohei Kono with Chicago a possible venue. There is also talk of brother Daiki fighting soon, but again outside Japan. The three brothers cannot fight inside Japan as the Japanese Boxing Commission withdrew the licence of their gym effectively preventing them from fighting. They attempted to set up a new gym named K-3 but the JBC squashed that. The Kamedas, and particularly Daiki, have been in trouble with the JBC before. The current problem arose out of the unification match between then IBF champion Daiki and Liborio Solis in December 2013. The WBA champion Solis failed to make the weight so lost his title on the scales but won the fight. The JBC were angered by the IBF refusing to strip Kameda of his title for losing which led to a dispute between the JBC the IBF and the Kameda camp and that bad feeling continues and the Kamedas Cannot fight in Japan.
The JBC have one idea that others could usefully follow. The have an “Invited Boxer Ban List”. Any imported fighter who performs abysmally is put on the list and cannot fight again in Japan. If that list were used by authorities in Europe it would put a lot of Brazilians, Latvians, Georgians, Lithuanians, Hungarians, Slovakians, Czechs etc. out of business,
There is still no definitive information when/if Sergio Martinez will fight again. The former world champion will return to Spain at the end of the month for evaluation on his leg injury and make a decision after that. At 40 it would be good to think that Martinez is ready to walk away and concentrate of his stable of fighters and his business interests. He has nothing left to prove.
At the dinner to honour Flash Elorde both Donnie Nietes and Nonito Donaire were indicted into the Elorde Hall of Fame and Randy Petalcorin and Rey Loreto were named as Boxers of the Year.
As with Gabriel “Flash” Elorde it is good to realise how much fighters meant to their communities. Another example is the late (Juan) Carlos Duran. The Argentinian-born Italian hero is remembering by an annual tribute night in Ferrara with this year’s being the 14th. He turned pro in Argentina in 1958 and moved his base to Italy in 1960. He was Italian and European middleweight champion and later European super welterweight champion. He fought most of the top names in the 1960’s including Nino Benvenuti, Emile Griffith (not a good night as the fans rioted due to lack of action!), Ted Wright, Charlie Austin, Jupp Elze, Harry Scott, Luis Folledo, Wally Swift, Johnny Pritchett, Tom Bogs, Jean-Claude Bouttier and Jacques Kechichian and many more. He died in in 1991 at the age of just 54 and is still a hero to the citizens of Ferrara.
The South African fighters are still waiting to see a single rand from the Premier Boxing League in which they competed. There seems on the surface to be nothing being done to right the wrong. The Boxing South Africa (BSA) rules are quite explicit. They state:
(4) A promoter must not later than 30 days prior to the date of a tournament or by any other date specified by Boxing SA, deposit with Boxing SA in cash or by bank guaranteed cheque an amount equal to the total of - (a) the purses to be paid to the boxers engaged for the tournament or where one or more boxers are to be paid a percentage, the estimated amount thereof as determined by Boxing SA;
If this was not done then BSA should not have let the tournament proceed but it seems they did nothing to enforce their own rules and therefore bear a heavy responsibility for the boxer not getting paid.
The biggest loser was the competition winner Xolisani Ndongeni who stood to get a prize of over $80,000. At least some good has come out of it for Ndongeni as he has now joined Colin Nathan’s Hotbox gym. He will be stablemate of Hekkie Budler and through the working relationship between Nathan and Rodney Berman Ndongeni will get some high level exposure. The 25-year-old Ndongeni, the South African lightweight champion and former super feather champion is 17-0 and one of the best and most exciting fighters down in South Africa right now. As for the BSA these are the guys that say they should have control of broadcasting rights but this farce undermines what little case they had for that.
As I write this Shannon Briggs is in action again on Friday in Panama. He again proves what a fraud he is. He screams about wanting to fight Wlad Klitschko and thinks he proves his point by fighting guys like 48-year-old Zoltan Petranyi. The Hungarian veteran has a 51-21 record with 14 of those 21 losses by KO/TKO. He announced his retirement in June but returned to the ring in December to be knocked out in three rounds by 5 fight novice Zoltan Csala. Briggs has no intention of taking any fight which contains even the remotest hint of risk and the thought that he might get a world title shot by this path is depressing but in this sport of ours is not impossible.
It seems that the boxing revival in Spain is not as strong as I hoped. A show this month featuring Gabriel Campillo and Juli Giner had to be cancelled for “financial” reasons i.e. not enough tickets sold. Pity as they have some good young fighters coming through and they need plenty of home activity to avoid being used to pad out someone’s record on the road. Former WBO super feather and lightweight champion Acelino “Popo” Frietas is returning to the ring and will fight in Sao Paulo on 6 June. No opponent named yet. Acelino, 39, retired in 2007 but returned for one fight in 2012 when he kayoed young upstart Michael Oliveira. As far as I know he has no money worries so not sure of his motivation.
The excellent ESPN Boxcino super welter (154lbs) tournament will continue on 10 April with the semi-finals. I guess it should be called the super welterweight or as near as you can get. For the 1st round both Brandon Adams and Vito Gasparyan were 155lbs, Michael Moore was 154.75, and John Thompson and Simeon Hardy were both 154.25. So it looks like close enough is good enough.
Matches made or being made include Sadam Ali vs. Francisco Santana under the Klitschko vs. Jennings fight on 25 April in New York, Mickey Bey defending his IBF lightweight title against Russian Denis Shafikov in Las Vegas on 30 April, Mercito Gesta vs. Carlos Molina in Indio on 30 April, on 1 May Ray Beltran fights Takahiro Ao for the vacant WBO light title, Tony Mundine vs. Austin Trout for the WBC Silver title is in San Antonio on 9 May, London on May 30 sees Kevin Mitchell challenge WBC light champion Jorge Linares, Marco Huck defends his WBO cruiser title against his mandatory challenger Krzys Glowacki on 12 June in Chicago, unbeaten German hope Tyrone Zeuge has recovered from flu and returns to action on 25 April with Enrico Koelling also on the show and looking to rebound from a loss to Italian Mirco Ricci last month
A couple of fights not taking place: Zaurbek Baysangurov’s return on the Klitschko-Jennings show is off due to injury and the big show in Ghana with Emmanuel Tagoe against Filipino Joebert Delos Reyes has been postponed to 24 April to allow Tagoe to recover from a bout of Malaria. This one is planned to go Africa-wide by a telecast.
It was sad to read that fellow-Scot Ricky Burns has declared himself bankrupt. The former two-division WBO champion successfully fought off a claim for £1.8 million in lost profits from Frank Warren for ending his promotional agreement with Warren’s company and joining rivals Matchroom but it was a pyrrhic victory as the court ruled that Burns was not entitled to end the promotion with Warren and was ordered to pay Warren £170,000 commission and his £200,000 costs. Those awards left Burns with debts of £400,000 and negligible assets. He fights former undefeated WBC light champion Omar Figueroa in San Antonio on 9 May but the purse from that will not put him back on his feet. You know where you are in the ring but in a court of law that’s a different arena altogether.
AsianBoxing.info- The Site for Asian Boxing News, Results and Profiles
The amazing Eric Armit is in great form once against his latest Snips and Snipes. Thanks, as always, Eric.
Over the last few weeks we've been doing divisional overviews as part of our features. Last week we made an exception to do a feature on Japanese boxing's fast risers. This week we're making another exception as the division we got up to in our over-view is the Bantamweight division. Rather than rush out a Bantamweight over-view we've decided to put that off for a few weeks due to the potential changes the division will see in the month or so. Instead of a divisional over-view we've decided to take a look at some of the divisions up coming bouts and what they may mean for future of the Bantamweight division.
This first major bout is this coming Saturday, March 28th, when Japan's Ryo Akaho (25-1-2, 17) steps foot in the ring against Prosper Ankrah (24-4, 15) in a bout for the WBO International title. Akaho is ranked in the top 15 by all 4 world title bodies, including a #1 ranking with the WBO, and seems to be on the verge of a world title fight. He'll need to over-come Ankrah to get that opportunity but it shouldn't be that difficult for the heavy handed Japanese fighter who has won his last 6 bouts since moving up from Super Flyweight in 2013. This will be Akaho's first bout since signing a 1-year promotional deal with ALA in the Philippines and is expected to be an impressive showing from the confident Japanese fighter.
Just 8 days later, April 5th, we see an OPBF title fight which will see the heavy handed Takahiro Yamamoto (15-3, 12) battle against Yu Kawaguchi (22-6, 10). Yamamoto is from the Ioka stable, which features world class talents like Kazuto Ioka, Ryo Miyazaki and Sho Ishida, and he'll be hoping to follow in their footsteps. Kawaguchi on this other hand comes from a less known stable though is the more experienced man and has previously fought in a Japanese title fight, coming up slightly short there. The match up isn't hugely attractive but it is significant and the winner will be involved in at least one more significant match up later in the year. The two should make for a very competitive match up and the winner will deserve another big bout in the near future, unfortunately however neither is the best Japan, never mind the best in Asia.
On the same show we will get the chance to see the very highly touted Kazuki Tanaka (1-0, 1) in action. Tanaka is regarded as one to watch and those in the know suggest he could be fast tracked at an electric pace. Tanaka should be able to claim a notable and impressive victory here as he takes on Kaname Tabei (10-8-2, 7), though this is a step up from his debut. If Tanaka looks as impressive as our sources say, he should then we suspect he will be moved into 8 rounders in his next bout.
On April 13th we see a brilliant Japanese title fight as the world ranked Kentaro Masuda (21-6, 11) attempts to defend the title against the unbeaten and fast rising Shohei Omori (13-0, 8). Masuda has been in sensational form in recent years winning the title, with a victory Kawaguchi, and defending it impressive fashion against Konosuke Tomiyama and Tatsuya Takahashi. On the other hand Omori is just breaking through though looks to be a very special fighter who understands everything involved in being a top level boxer. The unbeaten youngster will be getting a gut check here but a win will see him moved onwards and upwards fast over the next 12 months.
April 16th sees another title bout as unbeaten WBC champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (22-0-2, 16) defends his title against unbeaten Argentinian challenger Diego Ricardo Santillan (23-0, 15). For us, and many others, Yamanaka is the division's clear #1 fighter and although he didn't look sensational last time out, against Suriyan Sor Rungvisai, his record speaks for it's self. Blessed with a missile of a left hand Yamanka has skills and power and will be expected to see off Santillan without too many problems in this one. Santillan does seem to be confident and a upset win would really shake up the division though a win for Yamanaka is widely expected.
April 22nd will see another unbeaten Japanese fighter, Naoto Uebayashi (7-0-1, 4) put his unbeaten record on the line as he takes on Filipino fighter Giovanni Escaner (12-3, 8) in a really fantastic match up that will give the winner a massive boost towards an OPBF title fight. Uebayashi was a very touted fighter when he turned professional though has failed to really shine in the professional ranks, having been down twice already. Escaner is on the verge of an OPBF title fight and will be hoping to score a career boosting win on foreign soil. Although this bout will go under the radar it is incredibly significant on the Asian scene.
Possibly the best match up comes on May 9th when Tomoki Kameda (31-0, 19) takes on Jamie McDonnell (25-2-1, 12) in a really intriguing contest between two top 15 fighters. Originally it was hoped that this would be a unification of the WBO and WBA “regular” title but the WBO have made the decision not to allow their title to be on the line, and have actually threatened to strip Tomoki. As controversial as the WBO's move is we have to agree with them in principle that the WBA have created too many paper titles. In regards to the fighters Tomoki is a beautiful to watch boxer who throws eye catching combinations, can switch between head and body and can hit a lot harder than his record suggests. McDonnell is a solid all round fighter with great volume punching, though of the two he's the one with more to prove despite being a “2-time world champion”. The winner here will probably be seen as the "#2 champion" behind Yamanaka though will remain a clear second.
Another bout in the pipeline, though one with out a date at the moment, will see Ryosuke Iwasa (19-1, 12) battle against Lee Haskins (31-3, 13) in a contest for the IBF interim title. This is another match up that will pit a pair of top fighters each other and could against set the tone for the division over the remainder of the year. Iwasa is a talented boxer-puncher though is relatively unknown outside of Japan despite being in a nail biting clash with Yamanaka and being a very solid amateur on the Japanese domestic scene. Haskins is a talented but frustrating fighter who has perfected a style that gets him wins but has turned fans away from him. The winner here will be expected to fight Randy Caballero later in the year to unify the IBF and IBF interim titles and then a possible high profile bout may be scheduled for the winter.
With all these bouts either signed and sealed, or in the pipeline, it's clear that the division is going to under-go a lot of changes in the next few weeks. It's also worth noting that later in the year we're expecting to see the debut of Hinata Maruta, who is likely to make a name for himself at Bantamweight.
Also we're expecting big things from the Thai trio of Suriyan Sor Rungvisai (40-6-1, 18), Panomroonglek Kaiyanghadaogym (44-2, 26) and Petch Sor Chitpattana (29-0, 19) who have all been linked to world title fights later in the year just like Kazakh puncher Zhanat Zhakiyanov (24-1, 17). Though these title bouts aren't expected until much later in 2015.
(Images courtesy of boxmob.jp and WBO Boxing)
Over the last few years we've seen the emergence of the "Super Prospect" from Japan. Unlike most prospect's the hope with these guys isn't to work their way to a world title in a few years whilst running up a double figure record. Instead the hope is to do things quickly with the emphasis on fighting the fewest fights to become a world champion.
Japanese fighters winning titles early isn't a new thing. In fact in 1976 Yoko Gushiken began his sensation reign as the WBA Light Flyweight champion, dethroning Juan Antonio Guzman in just his 9th fight. Some 11 years later we saw Hiroki Ioka claim the WBC Minimumweight title with a decision win over Mai Thomburifarm to equal Gushiken's achievement.
Between the rise of Gushiken and Ioka we saw Satoshi Shingaki claim a world title in just his 8th bout when he stopped Elmer Magallano for the IBF Bantamweight title to set a Japanese record*. It was an impressive achievement for the Southpaw who at the time was just 2 fights removed from a world itle loss to Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr, all the way down at Light Flyweight!
In 1991 we saw Shingaki's record equalled by the charismatic Joichiro Tatsuyoshi who claimed the WBC Bantamweight title in his 8th bout, when he stopped Greg Richardson. The always exciting "Joe" lost the title in his very next fight but went on to reclaim the belt and become a 3-time WBC champion, albeit with one reign as the "interim" champion.
Another fast riser emerged in 2006 when the insanely tough Nobuo Nashiro claimed the WBA Super Flyweight title in his 8th bout, out lasting Martin Castillo. Like Tatsuyoshi the reign was a short one though it seemed to set the stage for the rise of the super fast. The question however was "how fast is super fast?"
It wasn't until 2011 that a Japanese fighter managed to cut another fight off the record as the talented Kazuto Ioka, the nephew of Hiroki Ioka, managed to break the record and claim a world title in his 7th bout. Ioka, a former amateur stand out, claimed the WBC Minimumweight title, just like his uncle, when he stopped the previously unbeaten Oleydong Sithsamerchai for the title. At the time it seemed likely that Ioka's record would stand for at least decade, especially considering how long it had taken for a Japanese fighter to break the 8 fight barrier.
Sadly for Ioka his record was broken just over 3 years after he set it as Naoya Inoue did it in 6, stopping Adrian Hernandez in the 6th round of their clash to claim the WBC Light Flyweight title. Amazingly Inoue then went on to become the quickest 2-weight world champion, worldwide, whenhe blew away Omar Andres Narvaez to claim the WBO Super Flyweight title. Inoue had essentially taken Ioka's record, smashed it and then put the cherry on top all in the space of 9 destructive months.
Inoue's records, both of them, are amazing achievements. It seems however that one, if not both, may be under threat from a 19 year old wonder kid who may well be every bit as good as Inoue. That is Kosei Tanaka who attempts to claim his first world title at the end of May when he takes on Julian Yedras for the WBO Minimumweight title in what will be Tanaka's 5th professional bout. A sensational achievement if he manages to do it, and it seems his team really believes he will manage it and in some style. It's worth noting that in Tanaka's 4th bout he set a Japanese record for the fewest fights to become an OPBF champion, defeating the then unbeaten Ryuji Hara in 10 rounds.
For sake of comparison we've compared the first few bouts of Ioka, Inoue and Tanaka in the table below. For Ioka and Inoue we've included their first 7 bouts, taking us up to Inoue's first world title defense and Ioka's first world title win. Due to Tanaka having only fought 4 bouts we've only included 4 bouts for him.
*Indicates Japanese Title win
**Indicates OPBF Title win
***Indicates World Title win
^Indicates world title defence
*In 1984 Satoshi Shingaki won the IBF Bantamweight title in his 8th bout but at the time the IBF wasn't recognised by the JBC and his reign is a bit of a grey area. He was technically the first Japanese world champion to have had just 8 fights when he won the title though his reign seems to come with an asterisk and isn't fully accepted by some in Japan.
(Image of Gushiken courtesy of Boxrec.com)
The brilliant Eric Armit has again shared his brilliant Snips and Snipes column with us, well worth a read! As always, thank you Eric!
Snips and Snipes 12 March 2015
Over the past week or so the Super Flyweight division has come to the attention of fans world wide. In the UK fans saw a much touted and previously unbeaten fighter come up short against a world class but unheralded African world champion whilst fans watching a stream from Macau got the chance to see an all-action war courtesy of TopRankTV. Despite these two memorable event over this past weekend many still suggest the division is a weak one. The reality however, is that the division is one of the toughest and most packed out there.
The Japanese Renegade-
Koki Kameda (33-1, 18) The oldest of the Kameda brothers is the current #2 WBA ranked fighter in the division and is the mandatory challenger to Kohei Kono with the WBA demanding the two men negotiate or face purse bids in a few weeks time. Kameda's resume is highly impressive with title reigns at Light Flyweight, Flyweight and Bantamweight though he wants a Super Flyweight title to become Japan's first ever 4 weight world champion. Sadly he is a divisive figure, similar to Adrien Broner, with many in Japan turning on him. Among those who have gotten sick of him and his brothers are the JBC who have banned him from fighting in Japan, though he has since made a very powerful ally in the form of Al Haymon who is likely to help make Kameda a big name in the US.
The tricky African champion-
Zolani Tete (20-3, 17) The first of two non-Asian that we're going to mention here is IBF champion Tete who impressed last week when he derailed the hopes of the previously unbeaten Paul Butler in the UK. Tete won the title last year, when he out pointed Teiru Kinoshita, and his fight with Butler was his first defence. Tall, rangy and with an educated southpaw jab Tete is a nightmare to fight and made both Butler and Kinoshita look clueless in their bouts with him. His biggest worry as a Super Flyweight will be out growing the division, a possibility given his frame, but for as long as he can made 115lbs he's going to be an avoided opponent. Most worryingly for his future opponents, he seems happier fighting on the road than he does at home.
The Mexican champion-
Carlos Cuadras (31-0-1, 25) The remaining champion in the division is WBC champion Teiken managed Mexican boxer-puncher Cuadras who won his title last year when he over-came Srisaket Sor Rungvisai via a technical decision. The talented Cuadras is a fighter who can box or brawl, electing to do what suits him best for each fight. Unfortunately for Cuadras recent bouts have been marred with headclashes though it's hard not to be excited when we see Cuadras in the ring. Thankfully we won't need to wait long to see him back in the ring with Cuadras set to fight Luis Concepcion on April 4th in what looks likely to be an absolutely enthralling contest.
Images courtesy of:
Eaktawan Mor Krungthepthonburi's facebook
Images courtesy of:
Image of Amnat courtesy of http://www.kiatkreerin.com
Image of Ioka courtesy of http://ameblo.jp/ioka/
Image of Eto courtesy of http://www.zimbio.com
Image of Shiming courtesy of http://www.toprank.com
Image of Muranaka courtesy of http://flash-akabane.com
All other images courtesy of boxrec.com
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features