December 20, 2012

KO Digest Ringside Report - Rosinsky & Bracero win at the Roseland

Will "Power" Rosinsky pounds Griffin for the W
NEW YORK, N.Y. - In the sixth and final installment of Broadway Boxing this year, promoter Lou DiBella treated fight fans on Wednesday night to an action packed fight card dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. In the main event, Will Rosinsky and Otis Griffin created some hazardous conditions of their own, in an action packed light heavyweight battle scheduled for ten rounds. At stake was a regional title called the New York State championship.

Griffin 24-11-2 (10KO's) entered the ring first, and made the sign of the cross at each ring post. Rosinsky entered shortly after, and appeared calm during the instructions. Rosinsky 17-2(9KO's) was all business at the bell however, as he went straight on the attack firing the jab to the head and body, before digging the left hook to the body. Griffin focused on shooting sneaky lead left hooks to the head. In the second, Rosinsky attacked the body some more before going upstairs. Griffin landed a few hard uppercuts, and may have stolen the round with a big left hook, and a right hand at the bell. Chants of "Let's go Willie!" could be heard through the building, and the crowd favorite seemed to respond as he came forward behind power shots.

By the end of the fourth, Rosinsky showed some swelling around the left eye. After a closely contested fifth round, the fighter from Queens N.Y. changed the pattern of the fight, as he bounced on his toes, and relied on the jab and the left hook. He landed a right hand, and Griffin shook his head, as if to say "no, you didn't hurt me." Rosinsky tried another sneaky right at the bell. In the seventh, Will came down off his toes to get more leverage on the left hook. For the remaining three rounds, Griffin, perhaps by design, came to life, and it was bombs away, as he landed well with left hooks and right hands. Both men showed the wear and tear of battle in a very close ninth round, and in the tenth and final round, Griffin advanced behind the jab, and the right hand. He managed to pin his man on the ropes for a good stretch of the round and hooked to the head and body. Rosinsky tried to catch him with shots in between. Finally back at ring center, they let their hands go. Both fighters raised their glove in victory at the bell. Rosinsky was declared the winner by scores of 97-93 and 96-94(twice). KO Digest scored the fight 96-94 for Rosinsky.

Tito shows some pop - wins by knockout!
In the co feature, junior welterweight Gabriel "Tito" Bracero took on Johnnie Edwards in a scheduled eight round bout, and was determined to impress, as he dedicated the fight to the late Hector "Macho" Camacho. He entered the ring wearing trunks that would have made the fallen Puerto Rican fighter proud. He even had "Macho" printed across the waistband. Right at the bell, Bracero 21-1(4KO's) made an effort to have his presence felt, as he snapped a hard jab and a left hook to the head.

Edwards 15-6-1(8KO's) responded with a left hand of his own to the body, and a right hand to the head. Chants of "Tito" filled the arena throughout the contest. A hard left hand dumped Edwards into the bottom ropes near the end of the round, and the referee correctly rules it a knockdown. Things got kind of rough on the inside, and the referee warned Bracero for shoving on a few occasions. Bracero was very effective with the counter right hand and the left hook. He did receive a cut on his left eye in the third, but that all  became irrelevant in the fourth when Edwards paid for lunging with the left hook, and was drilled by Bracero with a right hand that snapped Edward's heads back violently. During an exchange against the ropes, Bracero landed an uppercut, and Edwards suddenly took a knee, and frantically blinking, and pointed to his eye. Unable to continue, the referee stopped the fight. Bracero was declared the winner by TKO at 2:48 of the fourth round.

Redach stays unbeaten
Ivan Redkach UD8 Edward Valdez (lightweights) - Southpaw Redkach 13-0(11KO's) was taken the distance against a tough Edward Valdez, in a battle that saw two warriors trade some heavy shots. At the end of the day, it was the left hand to the body that paid dividends for Redkach, as he slowly sucked the life out of his opponent. Valdez 11-9-2(8KO's) did land some good right hands, and a few left hooks throughout the bout, but by the mid rounds, Ivan had his opponent backing up, thanks to some wicked hooks and uppercuts that drew ooh's and aah's from the crowd. The swollen eyed Valdez was never humbled however, and managed to hear the final bell. Redkach won by scores of 79-73 and 78-74(twice).

Ion is on the mark against Gonzalez
Ionut Dan Ion KO5 Franklin Gonzalez (junior middleweights) - This bout featured two southpaws with contrasting styles. Ion 30-2(16KO's) relied on a solid jab to come forward and fire the straight left hand, while Gonzalez 15-12(10KO's) would retreat, and wing the left hand, and an occasional right hook. The pattern continued into the fourth round, until some hard body shots and a few well placed uppercuts by Ion put Gonzalez in trouble. Early in the fifth, a bolo left hand to the body dropped him to his knees near the ropes, and the referee decided he saw enough. Time of stoppage was :11 seconds into round five.

Mikkel Lespierre D4 Cornelius Whitlock (junior welterweights) - Poor Whitlock! In his professional debut, he managed to score two knockdowns in the third round, pick up three points, and still managed to not win a four round fight! Lespierre 1-0-2(1KO) started well in the first two rounds with shots to the head and body, and was well on his way to an easy win, when in the third,Whitlock dropped him twice, first with the left hook, and shortly after, a counter right hand. Incredibly, Whitlock fought in retreat the fourth round, as if sitting on a lead, while Lespierre advanced behind the jab. A groan came from the crowd as all three judges scored the bout 37-37.

Shutout win for Peterkin
Travis Peterkin UD4 Eddie Tigs (light heavyweights) - In this scheduled four round fight, southpaw Peterkin 6-0(3KO's) dictated the pattern of the fight, by using an up-jab, followed by left hands to the body and head. Behind on points, Tigs 1-5-2(0KO's) became more aggressive in the third, but was knocked down by a straight left to the head.

The win was a formality for Peterkin, as all three judges scored the bout 40-35.

Akima Stocks UD4 Marva Dash (female junior middleweights) - Southpaw Stocks 5-0(3KO's) used a double jab and a straight left hand to keep Dash at bay. She also used the left hand to the body as well as the head. Dash 0-2(0KO's) spent too much on the retreat, and threw one punch at a time, before tying up her opponent. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Stocks with identical scores of 40-36.

Jarrell Miller TKO2 Tyrone Gibson (heavyweights) - In this scheduled four rounder, Miller 4-0(4KO's) relied on a stiff jab and a solid left hook to the head to get Gibson in trouble early in the bout. Gibson 1-4(1KO) did land a left to the body, but a straight right hand in the second round bounced Gibson into the ropes, and he didn't appear to know where he was, and the referee stopped the bout after Miller threw a flurry of punches on the defenseless Gibson. The end came at 1:25 of the round.

Danny Calzada UD6 Allan Benitez (junior lightweights) - Both fighters appeared to be more comfortable in the role of counterpuncher, but Calzada's decision to take the lead probably won the fight for him. Benitez 7-2(1KO) fell behind early, and even though he tried to turn things around with the counter left hook, he just wasn't busy enough. Calzada 5-6-2(1KO) made sure to keep his opponent on the retreat for most of the bout. The judges scored the fight 60-54 and 59-55(twice).

Maurice Hooker UD4 Cameron Kreal (junior welterweights) - Hooker made it look easy, as he dictated the pace of the fight with a crisp jab, and the right hand to the body and head. A straight right hand dropped Kreal in the second, and although he did better in the third with an occasional left to the body, Hooker regained control in the fourth with the jab and right to the body, followed by the left hook. The judges scored the fight easily for Hooker by the scores of 39-35 and 40-34 (twice).

Ringside Report by David McLeod, exclusively for KO Digest
Photos by DiBella Entertainment/Ed Diller 

December 15, 2012

KO Digest Spotlight On Boxing's Up and Comers - Keith Thurman

"One Time" Keith Thurman is 19-0 with 18 KOs
By Terry Strawson - Undefeated prospect Keith Thurman was born on November 23rd 1988 in Clearwater, Florida. His early career, which included six National Championships and a Silver Medal at the US Olympic Trials in 2008, was guided by the late Benjamin Getty. More recently, with the same success, he has operated under the watchful eye of Dan Birmingham.

Known as "One Time" - he is a Knockout Artist. 

Thurman's attacks, although ferocious and thrown with bad intentions, are controlled and calculated. His aggression is effective. Operating behind a jab that is deployed as more of a range-finder than a weapon, Thurman stalks his opponents like a predator does prey. His straight right is thrown sharp and at times he whips overhand rights and lefts viciously in an attempt to leave opponents motionless. Crippling hooks, which have resulted in many victims wincing and writhing in pain, are further cause for concern. 

His win over Carlos Quintana, at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, CA which preceded, and was slightly overshadowed, by the Robert Guerrero and Andre Berto fight, was his most impressive performance to date. It was viewed, due to the pedigree of Quintana, as a big test for Thurman.
A real fight.
Thurman, as is customary for him, started strong. Quintana (29-4 w/ 23KOs) began with caution, almost fearful it seemed. "He looked a little concerned. With me being an undefeated fighter, with all those knockouts, he probably started second guessing signing the fight agreement."

Quintana, who holds a victory over a then unbeaten Paul "The Punisher" Williams, was coming into the ring on the back of an impressive sixth round stoppage of Deandre Latimore last May. He posed a legitimate threat to Thurman.
Or should have.

Quintana crumbles - Thurman wins on HBO
The fight, which saw the 24 year old Thurman drop his 36 year old counterpart with a thoughtful and well-placed body shot in the opening stanza, did not last too long. After a barrage of well timed and unanswered blows, referee Jack Reiss was forced to call a halt to the bout at 2:19 of the 4th round. The victory, his second on HBO this year following his TKO win over Orlando Lora, capped what has been a fine year for Thurman.
"2012 was a real fantastic year," Thurman explained. "We were able to pull off four fights, four KO victories and, you know, the two appearances on HBO. I just think it's been perfect."
It's just the beginning.
The assignments that await in 2013 are only going to grow tougher and the pressure and expectations will continue to rise as Thurman progresses through the ranks of a welterweight division littered with talented fighters. Thurman seems ready though. And when quizzed on who he would like to get his hands on specifically, he leaves no doubt telling KO Digest, "I wanna slap Paulie up!"
"I definitely want that fight right there," Thurman continued, calling out the current WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi. Thurman also spoke about a desire to face Marcos Maidana in a bout that was scheduled once, and later cancelled, earlier this year. He touched on aspirations of working his way towards WBO welterweight kingpin Timothy Bradley in the not too distant future. And, although Thurman is comfortable at welterweight, we should not rule out the possibilities at junior middleweight. "Where I am at in my career I am ready to make moves, ready to get my foot in the door, whether that be at 147 or 154 lbs."

Thurman under the watchful eye of Dan Birmingham (L)
Keith Thurman is a dangerous man. Those in the upper regions of the welterweight division should be very wary of his presence. Is he the finished article? No. Can his power change a fight at any moment? Yes. And that, although he's a very capable boxer otherwise, is where the worry from the likes of Malignaggi and company stems from.

After his victory over Quintana, when called upon by Max Kellerman to rate his performance, Thurman awarded himself a B+. During our conversation last week I asked Thurman what had been missing, or what he felt he could of done better.

"Well, for the most part. I pretty much felt like I did everything that I needed to do to win that fight"

And this quote, regarding that particular fight, resonates with his career as a whole so far. Thurman will certainly face bigger challenges in 2013 but there is reason to believe the best is yet to come from Keith 'One Time' Thurman.

Overall Rating: B+

Written by Terry Strawson - exclusively for KO Digest