How about that slugfest in Puerto Rico?
On Saturday night in San Juan, Puerto Rico, first there was the hotly contested bout between Juan Manuel Lopez and Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. which ended with Lopez scoring an 11th-round knockout. Then, in overtime, came Lopez’s heated exchange with Vazquez’s trainer.
It all took place at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum. The former two-division world champ, Lopez (35-5, 32 KOs), now 33 years of age, proved he’s still a force by defeating the 32-year-old, former WBO 122 pound champ Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. (24-7-1, 19 KOs). By the 11th round, Vasquez was getting hit so hard, there was no way he could have continued. In regards to mixing it up with the trainer, Lopez probably thought, ‘Why stop now? I’m on a roll. Maybe they’ll give me two victories.”
This was Lopez’s first fight back since his knockout loss to Jesus Andres Cuellar on September 11, 2014. At the outset, the ringside commentator stated Lopez looked rusty. That all changed as the fight progressed and Lopez’s superior punching power started to make a difference. Both men had lost their last two fights. Lopez lost to Jesus Andres Cuellar and Francisco Vargas while Vasquez Jr. lost to Rafael Rivera and Fernando Vargas. Some boxing pundits are suggesting that both boxers should consider hanging up the gloves at the pinnacle of their career.
Email from Benny Ricardo who was one of the announcers at this event: “What a fight and on a night where so many changes took place. As the lead announcer I had to be in the moment. The main event was a cracker. Then the riot broke out with people flinging water bottles into the ring. After things settled some and without a bullet-proof vest, I go up into the ring and do my interviews.
Now on a plane headed to announce the Broncos and Chargers game from Denver.
Enjoy your weekend
Retirement funds for California Boxers
We were asked by the California State Athletic Commission to get the word out concerning the funds available for boxers who have earned a pension during their time fighting in California. If you meet the following criteria, you may have funds entitled to you:
If you are at least 50 years old. Fought in at least 10 rounds a year for four years in California with no more than a three-year break. You must have fought in at least 75 scheduled professional rounds in California with no more than a three-year break.
Also, if you’re now over 36 and retired, funds may be requested to help you pay for a vocational school. These funds would be paid directly to the school and not to the athlete.
Retired fighters who qualify or who have questions are being asked to contact the California State Athletic Commission at 1-916- 263-2195 or contact Mo Noor at firstname.lastname@example.org for help with the process.
Denis Grachev looks impressive in his return
On Saturday, 34-year-old Denis “Drago’s Son” Grachev (14-5-1, 8 KOs) a popular boxing coach at City Boxing in San Diego’s Downtown by way of Chaykovsky, Russia, traveled all the way to the Coliseo Arena in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico to defeat fellow light heavyweight, 34-year-old southpaw Octavio “Tallo” Castro (16-16-2, 10 KOs) of Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico. It had been two years, two months and nine days since Grachev last fought. Asked if he was “rusty”? He replied, “Not really.”
Both men had faced the elite boxers in their division. Castro fought Marco Antonio Periban (25-3-1, 16 KOs), Luis Grajeda (18-5, 14 KOs), Marcos Reyes (34-3, 25 KOs), Jose Uzcategui (26-1, 22 KOs), Luis Fernando Uribe (29-1-2, 21 KOs) and Jorge Cota (25-1, 22 KOs) while San Diego’s Grachev had faced Thomas Oosthuizen (26-0-2, 15 KOs), Edwin Rodriguez (28-2, 19 KOs), Ryno Liebenberg (17-4, 12 KOs), Zsolt Erdei (34-1, 18 KOs), Lucian Bute (32-3, 25 KOs), Ismayl Sillah (23-3, 18 KOs) and Azea Augustama (19-2).
The Nightmare comes to Tijuana
Samuel “the Nigerian Nightmare” Peter (36-5, 29 KOs), who battled the likes of Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, James Toney, Eddie Chambers and Robert Helenius was the headliner of the boxing show held Friday night at the AS Boxing Arena. The 36-year-old faced Juan Carlos “Chino” Salas of Mexicali (6-10, 4 KOs) who he eventually stopped in round three. His opponent, Mr. Salas had also faced San Diego’s Keishaun Hill who incidentally TKO’d Salas in just two rounds.
For those of you who missed the Emmanuel Robles (15-1-1, 5 KOs) of San Diego versus Steve Claggett (24-4-1, 16 KOs) from Calgary, Alberta, Canada bout at the downtown Las Vegas Event Center on September 9th for the vacant WBA-NABA USA super lightweight title, we finally found some footage of this exciting fight. Take note, this is a highlight reel made for and likely by the promoter of Steve Claggett.
Two more Olympians announce they are turning pro
First, it was Claressa Shields of Team USA announcing her Pro debut and then it was Katie Taylor of Ireland doing the same. Taylor will be making her professional debut on November 26, 2016, at Wembley’s SSE Arena. The six-time European champion, who went from 2011 to 2016 without suffering a defeat but has had three losses this year, will now be a part of the powerful Eddie Hearn stable.
Shields’ fight against a to-be-named opponent will be on November 19th on the Sergey Kovalev–Andre Ward undercard. Ward is the last U.S. male Olympian to win a Gold Medal. He did so in 2004 at Athens. “After working hard for so many years and having the honor to represent my country at two Olympic games, I am thrilled to take the next big step in my career, fighting professionally and leading the rise of women’s boxing worldwide,” Shields said in her statement. “There is no better place to begin the journey than to join the biggest fight of the year, Kovalev vs Ward.” In Rio, Shields, now 21, became the first American boxer to repeat as an Olympic champion. Her record is 77-1. The middleweight hasn’t lost in more than four years.
Freddie Roach is already talking about Pacquiao’s next fight
Sounds like someone has become over-confident…again. On Saturday evening, November 5, the 37-year-old Manny Pacquiao will be taking on the 27-year-old Jessie Vargas for his WBO welterweight title at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, an event on pay-per-view rather than on HBO. Are Senator Pacquiao and his long time trainer ready for Vargas who is 10 years younger, five inches taller and will have a four-inch reach advantage?