September 30, 2012

HBO Road To Glory RESULTS — Edwin Rodriguez & Vic Darchinyan shine

MGM GRAND FOXWOODS, CT — Rising star Edwin "La Bomba" Rodriguez scored a dominating eighth round TKO of Jason Escalera last night in his second consecutive fight telecast on HBO. The undefeated super middleweight contender Rodriguez (22-0, 15 KOs) hurt Escalera (13-1, 1 KOs) badly in the first and third rounds but couldn't finish him early.

More of the same unfolded in the fifth and the fight was almost stopped. Rodriguez continued to punish a game but overmatched Escalera who just wouldn't quit. Referee Steve Smoger finally stepped in at the :12 mark of round eight.

"I hit him with a good left uppercut in the first round and his mouthpiece came out so I went right after him but he's very strong willed and has a great chin. Escalera never hurt me and I think the stoppage could have come in the first round but Steve Smoger is a great referee and he gives fighters a chance to come back."

With another win on HBO in the bank, what does the immediate future hold for "La Bomba" Rodriguez? "We want any of the top 10 guys, definitely Kelly Pavlik. Super middleweight is my division and I feel comfortable at this weight but if any opportunity comes at light heavyweight, I'm a big kid, I'm 6'1, so I'm ready."

In the co-main event Vic Darchinyan, (121 lbs) UD10 Luis Orlando Del Valle, (122 lbs) Darchinyan (38-5, 27 KOs) and Valle (16-1, 11 KOs) had no feeling out round as they both swung and landed at will from the first bell.  Darchinyan giving the better of it early on but fading late and getting hurt in the final two.  Judges had it 96-94 and 99-91 twice.

"I'm back," said Darchinyan afterwards. "I feel good at this weight. I feel strong. I worked very hard. He's a tough kid. I just felt I was in a different class than him."

Antonin Decarie, (147 lbs) TKO6 Alex Perez, (146 lbs) Decarie (27-1, 8 KOs) scores an impressive stoppage of the previously unbeaten Perez (16-1, 9 KOs), the light hitter scored a knockdown before pouring it on. Time was 2:54.

Untelevised undercard results: 

Danny O’Connor, (142 lbs) TKO3 Josh Sosa, (140 lbs) The wildly popular Framingham, MA native O’Connor (19-1, 8 KOs) makes it an early night for Sosa (10-4, 5 KOs) ending it at :33 of the third with a vicious barrage of unanswered body shots. Ryan Kielczewski, (130 lbs) UD6 Jeremy Mclaurin, (130 lbs) Kielczewski (14-0, 2 KOs) in a one-sided albeit exciting fight against Mclaurin (9-4, 5 KOs). The final tally was 59-55 and 60-54 twice. Luis Rosa, Jr., (122 lbs) TKO6 Victor Valenzuela, (122 lbs) Rosa (11-0, 6 KOs) pounds into submission the game Valenzuela (8-4, 1 KO) at 1:21 of the sixth. Sonya Lamonakis, (237 lbs) MD 6 Tanzee Daniels, (225 lbs) Lamonakis (7-0-2, 1 KO) in a tough one earns it over Daniels (4-2-1, 1 KO).  57-57 and 59-55 twice were the scores. Issac Chilemba, (177 lbs) UD 8 Rayco Saunders, (175 lbs) Chilemba (20-1-1, 9 KOs) gets the nod in what was more of sparring session than a fight against Saunders (20-17-2, 9 KOs).  All cards were 80-72.

KO Digest Ringside Report by Edwin "Ace" Ayala
Images: Ed Diller - DiBella/Star Boxing
Edited by Jeffrey Freeman - KO Digest, EIC

September 24, 2012

Rocky Marciano Statue Rocks Brockton

The Rock unveiled in the City of Champions
BROCKTON — The City of Champions waited sixty years for a Rocky Marciano statue and on the day of the unveiling ceremony at Brockton High School's Marciano Stadium, they had to a wait just a little bit longer. Not everybody was so patient (60 years will do that to you) and there were boos heard from the crowd gathered around the still covered statue as one guest speaker after another took their time at the microphone addressing the crowd in honor of the undefeated former heavyweight champion. As the throng grew more and more impatient, the guest speakers got more and more unusual. From the rambling incoherency of Don King and Jose Sulaiman to the amusing invitation of Larry Holmes to meet him afterwards at George's Cafe where he'd be to "get drunk" - Brockton boxing fans were at their wit's end and wanted to see what they came for, the Rocky Marciano tribute statue.

When it was finally revealed, the massive monument to Marciano did not disappoint and there was an audible gasp from the crowd as the statue was finally uncovered by a big Brockton Fire Department crane. Weighing in at two tons and standing over twenty two feet tall, the imposing statue proved to be a fitting tribute to a man who was truly a giant in the ring despite his actual size.

As a gift to the city of Brockton from the World Boxing Council (WBC), the statue now takes its rightful place as an eternal reminder of why Brockton, Massachusetts is rightly called the City of Champions.

In addition to the abovementioned Holmes, Sulaiman, and King - the boxing community turned out in good numbers for the unveiling ceremony to pay their respects to Marciano. Spotted throughout the day were Tony Petronelli, Robbie Simms, Vito Antuofermo, Micky Ward, Tony Grano, Joe DeNucci, John Scully, Ray Olivera, Hank Lundy, John Ruiz, Lou Duva, Tony DeMarco, Gasper Ortega, Vinny Pazienza, Rich LaMontagne, and George Foreman Jr.

Following the ceremony, those in the know headed over to George's Cafe on Belmont Street in Brockton for some good eats and a chance to mingle with boxing immortality. George's is one of those old fashioned Italian restaurants where the walls are covered in local sports history but with a strong emphasis on boxing. Holmes entertained patrons with his singing and good humor while local legend and former welterweight champion Tony DeMarco posed for photos and met with fans. Vinny Pazienza was in the house and he delighted fans with his charm and good nature. John Ruiz was also there and he lived up to his nickname of the "Quiteman" - not really saying much but wearing a big smile that showed he was having as great a time as everybody else in the room.

In all - it was a great day in Brockton and a spectacular way to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the date (September 23, 1952) that the "Brockton Blockbuster" Rocky Marciano defeated Jersey Joe Walcott for the Heavyweight Championship of the World with an unforgettably dramatic come from behind one-punch knockout!

Images & Words by Jeffrey Freeman, KO Digest

September 20, 2012

Fight To Educate Boxing Results from NH‏ - Andrade wins by TKO

Boo Boo drops and stops the Hurricane
MANCHESTER, NH - The 11th Annual Fight to Educate charity boxing card was held tonight in front of a good crowd at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH. Presented this year by Absolute Broadcasting, "Fight to Educate" raises money for local charities and people in need. This year, proceeds from the event will go to the SEE Science Center, The Bobby Stephens Fund for Education, and New Horizons for New Hampshire.

This year's card featured a mix of amateur and professional boxing highlighted by junior middleweight prospect Demetrius "Boo Boo" Andrade in the main event for the third consecutive year. 

The evening featured a black tie dinner at tables set around a boxing ring, a boxing memorabilia auction, and a chance for fans to meet with boxing stars James "Buster" Douglas, Irish Micky Ward, Dana Rosenblatt, and John Ruiz - all of whom were in attendance to raise money and mingle with fight fans. More than any other celebrity fighter in attendance, Buster Douglas drew the most attention and there was no shortage of fans eager to meet him and recant stories of Douglas' stunning 1990 upset win over Mike Tyson for the heavyweight championship of the world.

In the professional main event, Demetrius Andrade (18-0 w/ 13KO's from Providence, RI) knocked out Alexis "Hurricane" Hlores (16-5-2 w/ 12KO's from Mount Clemens, MI) in the second round of a very uncompetitive main event. Andrade used his jab and combination punching in the first round and closed the show in the second round, scoring two knockdowns, the first coming from a straight left to the face and the final knockdown coming from a whistling right hook to the chin. Hlores bravely beat the count but rose on unsteady legs and the fight was stopped by the referee. Time of the TKO was 2:59. 

Said the victorious Andrade, "I showed it, power and speed. I looked good, and sealed the deal. I want Serhiy Dzinziruk next. He lost to only the best, Sergio Martinez and I only want to fight the best. His name would be a good name on my resume."

Chris Gilbert stays undefeated
In the professional co-feature, Chris Gilbert (5-0 w/ 4KO's from Windsor, VT) stopped Antonio Fernandez (2-8-1 from Quincy, MA) in the forth round of a very one-sided welterweight fight. The rail thin Fernandez was knocked down in the first round by a powerful left hook and spent the rest of the fight in retreat mode, being stalked by the highly aggressive Gilbert. Fernandez used a flicking jab but just couldn't keep Gilbert off of him. In the fourth, Gilbert exploded with a right uppercut and Fernandez crashed to the canvas. Though he beat the count, he was ruled unfit to continue by the referee. Time of the TKO was 2:50.

On the undercard, several local amateur boxers entertained the crowd and got them warmed up for the pros. Results are as follows: 

Tevin Aleau (Providence, RI) beat Brandon Berry (West Forks, ME) by three round decision in a give and take super welterweight bout. Berry was knocked down in the second round but recovered quickly and came back with a strong body attack in the third round.

Nico Clow (Clearemont, NH) defeated  Ricky Ford (Claremont, NH) by three round decision in a closely contested light heavyweight bout. Joel Biship (Bingham, ME) won a three round decision over John Rosa (Lawrence, MA) in a hard hitting light heavyweight match. Zack Morel (New Hampton, NH) beat Phil Kyser by three round decision (Searsport, ME) in a spirited light welterweight contest. Rory Stapleton (Lancaster, NH) defeated Keenan Manzi (Keene, NH) by three round decision in a fast paced light welterweight bout.   

Wyatt Stearns (Searsport, ME) won a three round decision over Angel Tricoche (Haverhill, MA) in a light flyweight bout. Both young fighters went toe to toe from start to finish in a very entertaining opening match.

Images & Words by Jeffrey Freeman