Monthly Archives: March 2013

Zou Shiming Debut, Macao, China–Hawaiian Punch Brian Viloria Too!

Brian Hawaiian Punch Viloria is the high ranking fighter in this Macao Fists of Gold promotion by a substantial margin. He faces a significant challenge in Juan Francisco Estrada who is coming off a hard fought loss to Roman Gonzalez, the light flyweight king. Viloria’s WBA and WBO straps will put up for grabs.

The card is heavily laden with some other noted champs, contenders, former champs, and prospects such as Roman Martinez,  Wilfredo Vazquez JrDiego MagdalenoDodie Boy Penalosa Jr and his younger brother, Dave Penalosa of the Filipino Penalosa fighting family.

Sounds like a solid highly skilled lineup of action oriented fights, but all to take a backseat to the debut of the first ever Chinese Olympic gold medalist, Zou Shiming, who will be fighting the Mexican novice, Eleazar Valenzuela.

2013-04-06 Zou Shiming debut Venetian Casino & Resort, Macao, Macao S.A.R., China 4
Shiming Fists of Gold

Shiming Fists of Gold

Zou Shiming is a very popular Chinese athlete and seemed to be quite the affable fellow when he and his wife came to America to be wined and dined by Top Rank honcho Bob Arum as they announced his pro debut.  He is nearing 32 years of age, but a reputedly has talent oozing out his pores and looking to become a bigger sensation in China if not also in the rest of the world for as long as his pro career lasts. The venue in Macao, China  for his kickoff is significant in that it has potential to become the number one fight spot for big matches that generate lots of money, possibly usurping Las Vegas’ spot as the premiere destination for big fights.

The supporting cast is a pretty rainbow of primarily Asian fighters, such as   American Brian Viloria having Filipino roots, the pure Filipino Penalosa brothers, Filipino Melindo, a couple of Thai fighters and a couple of Japanese fighters, an Austrialian, and Indonesian. Puerto Ricans are thrown in the mix with Martinez and Vasquez Jr, and Mexicans Estrada and Valenzuela and an Argentine.

Arum is a cagey old salt and knows nationalist rivalries when he sees them, just the kind of stuff to generate a gate with lively interest in some lively bouts. I’m also thinking that Manny Pacquiao will be on prominent display to promote his next bout in either Macao or Singapore sometime in September the thinking goes.

HBO will be broadcasting the bout with Larry Merchant and Big George Foreman reunited for some additional fireworks.

Sounds like a fun place to be for a paying gig, but, alas, I wasn’t invited, que lastima. Maybe next time, but in the meantime, I’ll just have to catch the broadcast like everyone else. Enjoy.

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Man Up Boxrec–Curtis The Trollhunter Woodhouse!

Someone with some punch needs to knock those boxrec editors around. Curtis Woodhouse has earned his name, The Trollhunter unlike most of the candyboy self appointed names like Money, Mayhem, Executioner, SOG and other baloneyisms.

http://boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?human_id=368372&cat=boxer

The story of Curtis Woodhouse The Trollhunter has passed into internet legend status now when he tracked down the sick, vicious worm that was savaging him and threatening his family on Twitter.

Base level story here when Jimmybrownpants bricks his misanthropic moment in the bright lights after The Trollhunter shows up knocking on doors looking for him:

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/fighter-tracks-down-twitter-troll-becomes-an-internet-legend-177474

Wildman Trollhunter

Wildman Trollhunter

Woodhouse for his part needs to leverage his new found fame and respect to return to this wildman, trollhunter, twitterer, urban boxing man about town look:

Curtis Woodhouse

C’mon, Boxrec, get with the program and edit in Woodhouse’s proper nickname!

Slugger Paridiso–Brandon Rios vs Mike Alvarado II

Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado reprise their blunt force fan thriller to go mano a mano again Saturday, March 30th at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas. The undercard has the potential for even more fireworks when unrepentant sluggers Breidis Prescott and Khabib Allakhverdiev go toe to toe, tooth and nail in the same division. Could be the winners fight each other in the next promotion with the losers fighting each other in support.

Unfortunately the card suffered a premature knockout when Allakhverdiev pulled out with a damaged shoulder. An unsung American fighter Terence Crawford is making a big step up the division as the replacement. He has a 22nd lightweight rank in Boxrec with an undefeated 19-0, 15 KO. Go figure Boxrec if you can, 18 of his fights have been above the lightweight limit, but guaranteed Prescott and Crawford will be near the 140lb limit at the weighin.

Tête à Tête

Tête à Tête

Rios has become something of a star for Top Rank. They have floated his name in potential bouts against Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, and supermegafighter, Manny Pacquiao. He won the last dukem up with Alvarado by way of spectacular knockout, but not before using his face to block a furious blizzard of shots from the smart boxing Alvarado who must have thought he was beating on a block of granite by fights end. That was for the WBO Latino title, this time around they’ll fight for the WBO interim title.

If Rios is to enter into the mega fight promotions, he absolutely has to win again and should be a substantial favorite to do so. The sticking point for him is how much more face first punishment can he absorb in a career before the wheels come off his express? To a lesser extent, the same applies to Alvarado who took similar punishment against Breidis Prescott before knocking him out in another spectacular fight.

Speaking of, Breidis Prescott briefly became an up and coming star of boxing after back to back wins, a gritty split decision win against current WBA lightweight champ Richar Abril, then a spectacular first round knockout of British darling, Amir Khan. The Prescott name was plastered across front pages of British tabloids for whom Khan had been tapped as the King in waiting. Unfortunately boxing is vicious at the business end and Prescott was never properly developed as mismanagement butchered his momentum and title aspirations. Newly signed under the Top Rank banner, he was finally challenging for the WBA light welterweight title against  Khabib Allakhverdiev, but no more since that fight was nixed.

Now Prescott is fighting to stay busy for his next shot at glory, but you can bet that Terence Crawford would like to take that shot instead. That’s what they all fight for, future opportunity, and perhaps a minor belt on the line by the time of the fight.

The 140 division currently has the lean and hungry look of the most dangerously stacked division in boxing, thank goodness for that.

*** Noted development in advance of fight: Brandon Rios and trainer Robert Garcia have revealed they are using BALCO derived elixirs of disgraced Angel Heredia/aka Hernandez to assist the Rios physical development.

Alvarado for his part doesn’t seem to care, but the news highlights further inroads the infamous BALCO tag team of Victor Conte and Angel Hereria have made into elite boxing circles.

Tyson Fury–Madison Square Garden–Steve USS Cunningham–Look Out!

Look out United States of America, Tyson Fury, Britain’s most beloved and hated man-child and most congenital twitterer comes to New York City’s storied Madison Square Garden venue to take on Steve USS Cunningham in a 12 round IBF eliminator donnybrook. The good news is that he will have to pass through Homeland Security screening.

And the bad news? The bad news is that in spite of informing the public that he is coming after USS Cunningham with the intent to knock him out, Fury will pass seamlessly through screening and find a taxi to take him to Madison Square Garden, so what then you ask?

Fury With Friends

Perhaps a reflection of the reverse story backdrop that played out weeks ago in sunny London would be instructive. Grizzled southpaw contender Tony Thompson sicced his Tiger on British heavyweight hopeful David Price to take him down for the abrupt stoppage that left British pints full of tears that mournful Saturday night. Steve Cunningham is not as large, grizzled, and scary as Thompson, but he’s quick, moves well, and jabs well and still hungry for respect in his new heavyweight division.

But can Cunningham really take down the heavyweight hopes and dreams of the young mountainous man-child  Fury?

Fury has big ambitions planned when he intends to introduce his “little” 18 year old cousin Hughie Fury to the world by way of his pro boxing debut at the Madison Square Garden venue. Both Furys are trained by Peter Fury, keeping this Irish Traveler family tight in the spilled blood bonds of the often treacherous sport of boxing. This card will be their first step towards consolidating the heavyweight championship belts between them as The Furious Two, the new dynamic duo tapped to replace the Klitschko brothers when they retire.

Here is an entertaining Youtube video of Fury reprising his best devil may care, sly tongued, young, lean and hungry Cassius persona. Twinkles fall like stars out of his eyes as he showers the camera with his gift of self promotional gab. It’s a good time to be Britain’s biggest, brightest, undefeated heavyweight star with a bountiful future all laid out in front of him as you can see:

http://news.boxrec.com/news/2013/video-decent-quality-smack-talk-tyson-fury

Mr. USS Nice Guy Helping Others

Mr. USS Nice Guy in Assistance

Steve Cunningham is coming off a disputed split decision loss to his old nemesis, Tomasz Adamek in an IBF eliminator. The 6-9 Fury will be substantially larger with greater reach than any previous opponent of Cunningham. He has a busy offense, quick hands, can box outside and especially loves mixing it up inside, and moves very well for a big man. More unsettling, Fury has become a switch hitter, boxing orthodox or southpaw as the mood strikes, a completely southpaw fight against Martin Rogan as I recall.

That’s a really tall order for Cunningham to be sure, but USS has been a staple in Germany for a number of years and had good sparring against many of the tall heavyweights who dominate modern divisional ratings. You can bet a championship fighter of his caliber has a plan mapped out to surprise Fury, but it best be better than the tepid game plan he showed against Adamek. Feather jabs alone just won’t cut the mustard at this level, so we shall just have to see what the fighters bring.

Tyson Fury fights tend to be interesting because of his palpable charisma and busy, animated style. I daresay he will attract a raucous crowd who have heard the noise and want to check out the reality. That’s Saturday, April 20th, Madison Square Garden, that’s where the action will be. 

Timothy Bradley Returns Against Freddie Roach & Ruslan Provodnikov

Timothy Bradley is getting his desired rematch of sorts, the rematch against Manny Pacquiao trainer, Freddie Roach, who will be administering the corner of his charge, the  mauling Siberian bear, Ruslan Provodnikov. The anticipated fire fight will take place Saturday, March 16th at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

Mr. Desert Storm

Bradley has regrettably been missing in action since his mega dustup last June at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas against Manny Pacquiao that created as much radioactive fall out as the Chernobyl Nuclear accident near 30 years previous. The ever game challenger to Pacquiao’s WBO title put in a gritty effort to hang on for the split decision in perhaps the most hotly disputed, high profile boxing result of the 3rd millennium.

He managed to finish the grueling, high paced bout on his feet before requiring immediate convalescence in a wheelchair with serious injuries to both his ankles and feet requiring rest and therapy, torned tendons and fractured bones being mentioned, but never verified.  I never got the final updated injury report, but Bradley needed and took substantial time away from boxing to sort out his health and future career options.

The Timothy Bradley name instantaneously became infamous in spite of being a fine Ring ranked P4P fighter long under appreciated by the larger boxing public. He was savaged on antisocial internet and boxing websites as if he had made the final decision of the judges, even reporting death threats by email and snail mail, a real stain on boxing fans if true.

His promoter, Bob Arum, called for an investigation into the bout which, ahem…..drum roll….revealed nothing. The WBO honchos reviewed the fight with a panel of judges and awarded the decision to Manny Pacquiao which, ahem…..drum roll….meant nothing.  

The highly radioactive Bradley rested on his laurel of thorns as Top Rank scrambled to find him another fight in advance of the anticipated rematch with Pacquiao. Nothing doing, Bradley wouldn’t budge. The opponents and the money just didn’t tick all the right boxes for him, so he waited, and waited, and waited some more. As Pfc Gomer Pyle was want to remind Sgt Carter, “Surprise, surprise,” and now Bradley’s a week away from his return against the aggressive punching, always swarming Ruslan Provodnikov. Both have been fighting in the 140 – 150 lb range for their careers. Both are at near identical 5-6 short stuff statures and 29 years of age, but they’ll be easy to tell apart in the ring, trust me.

Ruslan Provodkinov

The relatively unknown Provodnikov is Ring ranked in Bradley’s old junior welter division at #10, but lacks Bradley’s championship experience against top contenders. That along with being slower on the draw and a somewhat plodding face forward style makes him imminently beatable by Bradley on paper. The paper doesn’t record that Bradley pretty much ran out of steam in his intense bout against Pacquiao last year, meaning a high intensity pressure fighter in excellent condition could exploit that weakness late in the fight, especially if Bradley no longer has best use of his legs which have always been a key principle in his herky, jerky, jumping around style that has thus far kept him unbeaten.

The intangibles in this bout are intriguing enough. Freddie Roach has been baiting Bradley with some classics, ie; “When he feels Ruslan’s power, like when he felt Manny’s, it’s going to be a remake of Forrest Gump. ‘Run, Timmy, run!’ This isn’t about Ruslan finishing what Manny started. It’s about duplicating  it.” Roach has been working with Provodnikov long enough to add some wrinkles for this bout, so clearly the Siberian is hungry enough to pull an upset since Roach doesn’t work with slackers. He’s been Pacquiao’s lead sparring partner for two camps now.

Speaking of hungry, Bradley says he goes vegan during his training camp to pare down his unusually cut, overdeveloped physique. His legs look like pipe cleaners compared to his bulging torso, perhaps a clue to his recent ankle injuries.

Bigger than advertised!

Bigger than advertised!

Bradley has said he wants to make a statement with a knockout of the very durable Siberian who has only lost one bout, and that by decision. Since Bradley has stepped up to championship level boxing in his last 9 fights, he’s only had a single knockout and that over the 40 year old Joel Casamayer.

We could have some fun here and note that Bradley looks like Tarzan and punches like Jane, but truth is he does have some hurtful enough pop to knock fighters down and change their fight strategy, so we’ll just have to see about all that.