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Saturday, February 04, 2006
Photos: TOM CASINO/SHOWTIME
From Showtime: (Picture One) Jose Luis Castillo (left) and Rolando Reyes each tipped scales at 138 pounds Friday for their 12-round fight Saturday on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).
(Picture Two) Edner Cherry (left) weighed 131 1/2 pounds while defending NABF champion Jose Armando Santa Cruz weighed 133 1/2 pounds for their NABF lightweight title bout in the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING co-feature.
Links to my discussion with Jose Luis Castillo and Rolando Reyes are in the post right below this one.
Friday, February 03, 2006
Photo: TOM CASINO/SHOWTIME
Boxers (left-to-right) Jose Armando Santa Cruz, Jose Luis Castillo, Rolando Reyes and Edner Cherry pose after Thursday's press conference in El Paso, Tex. In the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader Saturday on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). Castillo faces Reyes in a 12-round lightweight belt and Santa Cruz risks his NABF lightweight title against Cherry.
If Saturday night’s fight between Jose Luis Castillo (53-7-1, 47 KOs) and Rolando Reyes (26-3-2, 16 KOs) turns out to be one-sided, you can’t really pin much blame on Showtime, the network which is televising it in the U.S., from the Don Haskins Center on the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) campus. This date was supposed to have featured the rubber match for the world lightweight championship between Castillo and current champ Diego Corrales, whose first battle last May is winning every 2005 Fight of the Year award in sight.
Corrales, as we know, injured his ribs during training for this third fight, and a last-minute replacement had to be found to salvage the card. While it would have been impossible to have found anyone, especially on such short notice, to guarantee a Fight of the Year-caliber match-up, a good job was done in landing Reyes.
Reyes’s most impressive recent fight was his next-to-last, on July 22, 2005, when he won by an eighth-round TKO and battering over recent lightweight contender Courtney Burton. Yet Reyes also has had his shaky moments. In his last fight, on Oct. 8, 2005, in Las Vegas, he only got a split decision win over Ivan Cabrera, who had a record of just 12-5-1 going into that one.
Fighting top-flight opponents like Castillo, however, sometimes brings out the best in fighters whose records, on paper at least, are not the best in the world. Such scenarios also at times lead to slacking and overconfidence by the adjudged superior fighter; just ask now-former undisputed welterweight champion Zab Judah and Carlos Baldomir, who, coincidentally or not, fought on the most recent of the monthly Showtime Championship Boxing cards, in January.
On a media conference call last week, we got a chance to speak about all this with Jose Luis Castillo (through a translator), Rolando Reyes, and the promoter of both Reyes and Corrales, Gary Shaw.
You can listen to that for free. All you need to be able to do is download an MP3 file, so please be patient if it takes a few moments.To hear this discussion, just click here or here or here or here.
While some people follow more than one or even all of the combat sports, there are many others who are just interested in one of them. We thus have made it easier for everyone, no matter what pleasures them the most, to navigate the Combat Sports News page on the King of the Cage web site.
For the main Combat Sports News page, with a menu of the five sections we have provided, click here.
For Boxing News, click here.
For MMA & NHB News, click here.
For BJJ & Grappling News, click here.
For Wrestling News, click here.
For Kickboxing, Karate, Sumo, etc. News, click here.
We also have now included these links in the right-hand column of this blog.
So click away, bookmark one or more of these pages, and support the combat sports!
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Powell’s last two fights have seen him defeat veteran Santiago Samaniego by a third-round TKO on Aug. 25, 2005, in New York, and by a clear-cut unanimous ten-round decision over another highly-touted prospect, Archak TerMeliksetian, on Nov. 4, 2005, in Miami, OK.
Now Powell tries to rise up in the ranks yet one more step by facing his most experienced and arguably his most dangerous opponent yet, veteran Robert Frazier (31-6-4, 15 KOs). This fight headlines a card to be held this Friday night, Feb. 3, at the Northern Quest Casino in Airway Heights, Washington, and also to be shown live in the U.S. on Showtime’s remarkable “ShoBox” series.
While Frazier has never held a major world title, he has competed against world champions in the past, and is 14-2-2 since 2000. His last two losses were both against title holders: in 2001 to Winky Wright for the IBF 154-pound belt, and in 2004 to Felix Sturm, who later became a WBO champ. Both were by decision. Frazier also was held to a controversial ten-round draw on April 9, 2005, against the unbeaten up-and-comer, Tarvis Simms, in Verona, NY. In addition, Frazier holds a ten-round decision win on March 3, 2000, again in Verona, NY, over Jose Antonio Rivera, later a WBA 154-pound champ.
What this means is that while Frazier may have become more or less a journeyman, he still has skills, has a wealth of experience, and can take advantage of any rookie mistakes an opponent may make. While Powell has a strong grasp of boxing fundamentals, and as an amateur was a national Golden Gloves champ, his fights with Brewer and Bundrage both show that he can be hit, and hit hard.
Powell, of course, believes that he has learned enough to begin to be taken seriously in the 154-pound title quest. If he gets by Frazier, and does so convincingly, he will become yet another “ShoBox” alumnus to graduate to the big time.
The televised co-feature on this card will be a showdown between two more unbeaten prospects, 2004 Olympian Andre Berto (9-0, 7 KOs) and Jonathan Tubbs (7-0-1, 3 K0s). While these two met as youth in the amateurs – Berto recalls it being when they were 12 or 13 – and Tubbs won, both men are going into this fight confident that they will prevail under pro rules.
We got a chance on a national media conference call to speak with Sechew Powell. Andre Berto, and Jonathan Tubbs about their fights this Friday night (Robert Frazier had left the call at the beginning of it). You can listen to how it went for free. All you need to be able to do is download an MP3 file, so please be patient if it takes a few moments.
To hear this discussion, just click here or here or here or here.
USA Wrestling has a preview of it here.
Physical education of America's youth has been under attack for some time. Both those politicians who love to defund public education and those who separate educating the mind from developing the body have a tacit and unholy alliance to leave far too many of the youth uneducated, overweight, out-of-shape, with low self-esteem, and with little future.
Fortunately there have been several organizations in New York which have been battling against these trends, at least as far as the sport of wrestling goes, virtually the only combat sport offered in schools below the college level. The Metropolitan Wrestling Association has been working with the Public School Athletic League and the New York City Sports Commission, along with, of course, the coaches, athletes, parents, and community, to enhance the wrestling programs and attract more youth to them.
One of the fruits of their labor is an event called the Mayor's Cup New York City High School Wrestling Championships. It is a tournament which includes the top four high school wrestlers in each weight class from the PSAL, the CHSAA (Catholic schools), and the Independent Schools Association (private schools).
Calling this event the Mayor's Cup, a name which has been used for years both in other scholastic sports as well as the exhibition games between the New York Yankees and New York Mets, adds prestige to high school wrestling and also draws more fan and media attention.
This year's edition will take pace Saturday, February 11, at Hunter College in Manhattan at 68th Street and Park Ave., beginning at 9:00 AM ET. It will run all day through the late afternoon or early evening.
Don't just complain about the situation in the New York schools and the direction many of our youth are taking; DO something about it, and support them in participating in the world's oldest sport.
For more information on the 2006 Mayor's Cup New York City High School Wrestling Championships, click here.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Kid Peligro also has a report on the ADCC News.
According to his brother, Adel Ibrahim, Karam is beginning to work on seeking U.S. citizenship. He also plans to continue wrestling as well as learning grappling. Negotiations are underway for him to train with, let us just say, the best grappling instructor in the New York region if not beyond.
Karam also may resume fighting in mixed martial arts events. In his one appearance, on Dec. 31, 2004, in the K-1 Dynamite card in Osaka, Japan, he was knocked out in the first round by Kazuyuki Fujita.
We will have more news to come on this developing story.
The Combat Sports News page on the King of the Cage web site has been revamped to allow quicker posting than before. There are still the same five categories which we had, representing the various major areas of the combat sports: Mixed Martial Arts & NHB; Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu & Grappling; Boxing; Wrestling; and Kickboxing, Karate, Sumo, etc.
While much of what is posted are press releases, this makes it the only page which we know where news about ALL the combat sports appears in one place.
You can still get to this page through the main King of the Cage page, or through the main Combat Sports News page on it.
You can also now get to it through the KeepersoftheCage.Com forum page.
But if you want to get directly to the main menu for the five sections in the Combat Sports News, click here.
So make sure to bookmark all these pages and check them regularly.
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Here is a press release by the NAACP about her passing.
January 30, 2006
Coretta Scott King Will Be Sorely Missed
Statement of Myrlie Evers-Williams, Chair Emeritus, NAACP Board of Directors
“I was saddened to learn about the passing of my personal, very special friend, Coretta Scott King. She and I, along with Betty Shabazz, were members of a club that no one wants to join--the "widow of." We shared the challenges of raising our children without their fathers; we shared the challenges of bearing our husbands’ legacies with dignity; we shared the challenges of the ever-shifting civil rights movement. And, through it all, she maintained her graciousness while impacting the world's politics with her strength and sophisticated influence. And, now I share with the rest of the world in mourning the loss of such a wonderfully caring and spiritual woman. We shall sorely miss her.”
(In 1998, Mrs. King presented Mrs. Evers-Williams with the NAACP Spingarn Medal)
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.
Check it out and enjoy and learn.
This is the official poster for "Shamrock vs. Gracie", California's first licensed mixed martial arts fight card. It will take place at San Jose's HP Pavilion on Friday, March 10. For more information, click here.
Monday, January 30, 2006
Ah, those were the days.
The word has been out on the Internet for some time that I've been working to bring back my "No Holds Barred" Internet radio show which ran on the now-defunct eYada.com network from 1999 until it closed in 2001.
This version will differ from the first in a few significant ways. That show was daily, while this show will be more or less weekly. That show was live, while this one will be prerecorded. That show was backed by a network which had $25 million in seed money to play around with during the first Internet boom, while this show -- well, I guess you can figure out that we have almost $25 million less. That's where sponsors come in.
After a few false starts with this thing in the past few months, I've come to the conclusion that the best way to get this going is to do it myself. As you see from my post about podcasting, I have been experimenting with posting some recent audio interviews. I've found several free sites to host the audio, with Ourmedia.org being the lead site for that. And yes, I've already checked with its co-founder and executive director, J.D. Lasica, that posting commercially-supported content there is OK.
This blog right here, as well as my blog and page on Ourmedia.org, will be the text centers of the show. There also will be various sites which highlight the show and sponsor it. And I will also use my MySpace.com presence to push the show.
The new show will also be a podcast, meaning, for those who have just discovered electric typewriters and touch-tone phones, it will be in the MP3 format and thus downloadable to iPods, other MP3 players, and of course hard drives. The support from the sponsors will allow it to be heard for free. And as I learn more about podcasting and everything related to it, I will attempt to make it available as widely as possible, including through services like iTunes.
Oh yeah, the content. This show will be more oriented towards talk and interviews than the old show, especially since it is not live and not daily. But since it is a podcast, I just may experiment with putting up shorter shows and even plain interviews more often, rather than waiting longer to produce, say, a half-hour weekly show.
The goal is to cover the combat sports in general. Where boxing fits in depends upon what happens with another idea I have which is still under discussion. Let's just leave it at that for now.
So when the hell is the "No Holds Barred" show coming back? As soon as we finalize the sponsorship deals, which should be very soon. But if you want to get in on the ground floor, ping me, baby.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
I started by reposting the interview recorded this past Wednesday with WBA super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler. You can hear it on My Odeo Channel (odeo/e01e99936189cf95) .
You can also hear it on my pod-O-matic page.
I hope these work for you.
This fight was shown live in the U.S. on HBO, following the replay of last week’s Pacquiao-Morales rematch.
According to CompuBox numbers, at the time of the stoppage Gatti had a slight edge in total punches landed. He was 328 of 853 for a 38% connect rate, while Damgaard was 320 of 908 for 35%. But Damgaard exhibited much less power than Gatti, who outlanded Damgaard by a wider margin in power punches. There Gatti was 275 of 488 for a whopping 56%, while the lighter-hitting Damgaard was 196 of 403 for 49%.
After the fight, Gatti, returning to the welterweight division for the fist time on five years, admitted to HBO’s Larry Merchant, “My right hand is hurt.” He added, “It’s been hurt for the last couple of years.” And then, almost matter-of-factly, he stated, “It happens almost every fight.” Gatti also fessed up to injuring a rib during training camp.
Yet, as the fans both in Boardwalk Hall and watching on TV saw, once again Arturo Gatti had no quit in him.
Gatti, now 40-7 with 31 KOs, and in his first fight back since his devastating loss last June to unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr., said he is considering next going after new welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir. Damgaard, with his first career loss, falls to 37-1 with 27 KOs. Ironically or not, Baldomir is represented in part by attorney Mike Marley through Sycuan Ringside Promotions, with Marley also working with Damgaard’s camp for Saturday night’s fight.