Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Why a re-energized Andre Ward is good for the sport of boxing by Kevin Iole

Please read Kevin Iole's column about Andre Ward as he gets ready to get back in the ring this Saturday on HBO 


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Former WBA President Gilberto Mendoza Dies


March 11, 2016

We have saddening news, today in Caracas Venezuela, Don Gilberto Mendoza passed away, former president of the World Boxing Association, an organization he leaded since October 7 of 1982, when he was elected during that sanctioning body's annual convention held in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
From that date he leaded the WBA as well as no else did in the past, even when this group was called National Boxing Association and was based in the United States. Don Gilberto, an expert in boxing, always considered the creation of the program known as "KO Drugs” as one of his greatest accomplishments as commissioner, done in Venezuela, in Panama and other countries for almost a quarter of a century.
Mr. Mendoza, engineer by profession, and with various degrees and postgraduate achieved in his native Venezuela, the United States and England, was 33 years at the helm of the WBA, always wearing his white hair, glasses and his soft and deep voice. He was a beloved leader who might have lasted many more years chairing the organization, if it were not for the disease that finally ended his life. It was just last year when he resigned the presidency and his son Gilberto Jesus succeeded him.
Don Gilberto, who was born in Barquisimeto, Lara State, Venezuela, in 1943, began in boxing as Treasurer of the Commission of Aragua, Venezuela. His last election was in 2013, when the WBA held its annual convention in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Before that, he went to work with his teammates, always trying to improve the functioning of his group. It was a great friend of our Honorary Life President, Don Jose Sulaiman, and like him, the moment came when his existence was extinguished, putting mourning the sport of fists. We wish his family prompt resignation, and friend gone, may God have him in his holy reign.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Follow and Support USA Boxing

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (March 11, 2016) - The United States team and their fellow competitors learned their road to Olympic qualification on Friday at the Americas Qualifier in Buenos Aires, Argentina. All of the American athletes successfully made weight on Friday night prior to the official tournament draw at the host hotel. More than 180 athletes from 33 nations in south, central and north America traveled to Buenos Aires for the Olympic qualifying event.
None of the U.S. team members will compete in opening night action but three American boxers will step in to the ring for Saturday's preliminary competition at the Ferial la Rural de Palermo in Buenos Aires. Light heavyweight Jonathan Esquivel (Anaheim, Calif.) and super heavyweight Marlo Moore (Hayward, Calif.) will compete in the early session, facing the Bahamas Israel Johnson and Canada's Aaron Huggins respectively. Lightweight Mikaela Mayer (Los Angeles, Calif.) will take on Kimberly Gittens from Barbados in evening action.
Three more American boxers will compete in Sunday afternoon's preliminary competition. Bantamweight Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.) will open the tournament in a bout with Colombia's Luis David Vargas while middleweight Charles Conwell (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) will battle Alejandro Mora of Uruguay. Heavyweight Cam F. Awesome (Lenexa, Kansas) will close the day's action from Team USA in a match with Davon Hamilton of the Bahamas.
On Monday, four U.S. athletes will compete in their first bouts. Welterweight Paul Kroll (Philadelphia, Pa.) will take on Hopkin Ebanks of the Cayman Islands in the afternoon session. Flyweight Virginia Fuchs (Kemah, Texas) and 2012 Olympic gold medalist middleweight Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) will box in Monday's evening competition. Fuchs will face the winner of an opening round match between Ecuador and Mexico and Shields will challenge Panama's Atheyna Byion in her first bout of the tournament. Pan American Games flyweight champion Antonio Vargas (Kissimmee, Fla.) will take on the Dominican Republic's Leonel De Los Santos in evening session as well.
Light flyweight Nico Hernandez (Wichita, Kansas) and light welterweight Gary Russell (Capitol Heights, Md.) will be the final two U.S. boxers to compete in Argentina, opening action on Wednesday. Hernandez will face the winner of Venezuela and Costa Rica in the early session while Russell faces the victor of a bout between Costa Rica and Ecuador in evening competition.   
The American team arrived in Buenos Aires on March 2 and spent their final week of training camp acclimating to their new time zone and surroundings in Argentina. All 12 Olympic Trials winners will compete in the continental qualifying event with 25 Olympic spots on the line in Buenos Aires in the 13 Olympic weight divisions.
Kroll, Conwell, Awesome and Moore will all need to place in the top three to secure their Olympic berths. The third place spot will be determined by a consolation bout on the same date as the championship matches.
Hernandez, Fuchs, Vargas, Stevenson, Russell, Shiels and Esquivel will all need to advance to the tournament finals and Mayer will need to win gold to earn their spots in the 2016 Olympic Games.
USA Boxing Women's National Team Head Coach Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and coaches Joe Guzman (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Kay Koroma (Burke, Va.), Benny Roman (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Augie Sanchez (Las Vegas, Nev.) will guide the American team in Argentina.  
The Americas Olympic Qualifier is the first of three qualifying opportunities for the men and two for the female athletes. The top four athletes in the Women's World Championships in May will also advance to the 2016 Olympic Games. The men will have two additional qualifying events in in June and potentially early July to determine the final male athletes competing in Brazil.  
Lightweight Carlos Balderas (Santa Maria, Calif.) qualified for the 2016 Olympics based upon his finish in the 2015 World Series of Boxing season and does not need to compete in any qualifying events.
Watch the entire competition live by heading over to http://tycsports.com
For full tournament brackets, click here.
Team USA's Opening Bouts
108 lbs: Nico Hernandez, Wichita, Kansas/USA vs. winner of Venezuela/Costa Rica on March 16
112 lbs/female: Virginia Fuchs, Kemah, Texas/USA vs winner of Ecuador/Mexico on March 14
114 lbs/male: Antonio Vargas, Kissimmee, Fla./USA vs. Leonel De Los Santos, DOM on March 14
123 lbs/male: Shakur Stevenson, Newark, N.J./USA vs. Luis David Vargas, COL on March 13
132 lbs/female: Mikaela Mayer, Los Angeles, Calif./USA vs. Kimberly Gittens, BAR on March 12
141 lbs/male: Gary Russell, Capitol Heights, Md./USA vs. Costa Rica/Ecuador on March 16
152 lbs/male: Paul Kroll, Philadelphia, Pa./USA vs. Hopkin Ebanks, CAY on March 14
165 lbs/female: Claressa Shields, Flint, Mich./USA vs. Atheyna Byion, PAN on March 14
165 lbs/male: Charles Conwell, Cleveland Heights, Ohio/USA vs. Alejandro More, URU on March 13
178 lbs/male: Jonathan Esquivel, Anaheim, Calif./USA vs. Israel Johnson, BAH on March 12
201 lbs/male: Cam F. Awesome, Lenexa, Kansas/USA vs. Davon Hamilton, BAH on March 13
201+ lbs/male: Marlo Moore, Hayward, Calif./USA vs. Aaron Huggins, CAN, on March 12
USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing, is the United States' member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). For more information about USA Boxing, go to www.usaboxing.org
Julie Goldsticker | USA Boxing | Phone: (719) 440-1050  | julie@goldstickerpr.com | www.usaboxing.org

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

NVBHOF 2016 Inductees Announced

NVBHOF 2016 Inductees Announced



LAS VEGAS, NEV. (March 8, 2016) -- Six outstanding boxers, including the first woman inductee, highlight the 11-person class that will be inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame on Saturday, July 30 at Caesars Palace.

Boxers chosen include ex-heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe; popular lightweight champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini; Mexican superstar Ricardo “Finito” Lopez; Olympic gold medalist and multiple-time world champion Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker; Christy Martin, the Nevada Hall’s first female inductee; and Freddie Little, the first native Nevadan to become a world champion.

The other honorees are long-time trainer and gym operator Johnny Tocco; legendary trainers Thell Torrance and Kenny Adams; and journalists Tim Dahlberg and James “Smitty” Smith.

Rich Marotta, the president and founder of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, and Michelle Corrales-Lewis, made the announcement Tuesday at a news conference in Las Vegas.

The honorees will be officially inducted during a July 30 ceremony at Caesars Palace, which has hosted many of the most significant fights of the last half-century century.

“Yet again, we have an outstanding class to present for induction,” Marotta said. “It’s a great mix of fighters and we’re thrilled to induct our first woman, the great Christy Martin.  This will be a big night for us and will add many legendary names to our already prestigious group of inductees.”

A brief look at the inductees:

Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe – A member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015, Bowe was the undisputed heavyweight champion and a 1988 Olympic silver medalist.  He made his professional debut in Reno when he knocked out Lionel Butler, and fought all three of his legendary bouts with Evander Holyfield in Las Vegas.

Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini – Mancini, a former lightweight champion and a member of the 2015 Class in the International Boxing Hall of Fame, was one of the most popular fighters of his era.  He won the lightweight belt by defeating Arturo Frias in Las Vegas, produced a spectacular KO of Bobby Chacon in Reno and had a 29-5 record with 23 knockouts.

Ricardo “Finito” Lopez – Lopez was 51-0-1 with 38 knockouts and is regarded as one of the greatest Mexican fighters in history.  He won the WBC minimumweight title in 1990 and remained a world champion for the rest of his career, which ended in 2001.  He also held a light flyweight championship.  He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2007.

Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker – Whitaker, one of the greatest defensive boxers ever, was a 1984 Olympic gold medalist and held world titles in four weight classes.  He’s most known for a controversial 1993 fight with Julio Cesar Chavez that was ruled a draw, though most observers felt he’d won.  It ended Chavez’s 87-fight winning streak, however. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2006.

Christy “The Coal Miner’s Daughter” Martin – Martin helped women’s boxing gain widespread public acceptance with her many appearances on Mike Tyson undercards.  She became the first woman fighter to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated after a great bout with Deirdre Gogarty in1996.  She was 49-7-3 with 31 KOs.

Freddie Little – Little became the first Nevadan to win a world title when he bested Stanley Hayward for the WBA-WBC super welterweight title in Las Vegas in 1969.  He was 51-6 with 31 knockouts, and later became a well-respected member of the Nevada Athletic Commission.

Johnny Tocco  -- Tocco operated the famous Ringside Gym in Las Vegas and was one of the game’s best trainers.  He moved to Las Vegas in 1953

Thell Torrence – One of the sport’s most respected trainers, Torrence learned the game at the side of the legendary Eddie Futch.  He worked with stars such as Ken Norton, Riddick Bowe, Mike McCallum and Hasim Rahman.

Kenny Adams – Adams was the trainer of the 1988 U.S. Olympic team and guided 26 world champions as a pro, including Diego Corrales, Michael Nunn, Johnny Tapia and Kennedy McKinney.

James “Smitty” Smith – Journalist who hosts "In This Corner," a syndicated weekly boxing show and is a regular contributor to Fox Sports radio.  He was previously inducted into the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame.

Tim Dahlberg – A boxing writer for the Associated Press since 1979, Dahlberg has covered hundreds of title fights around the world including most big events in Las Vegas.  He won the Nat Fleischer Award for career excellence in boxing journalism in 1999, as chosen by previous winners, and is the author of the definitive book on boxing in Las Vegas, “Fight Town.”

Ticket sales, information about the gala dinner and surrounding events, as well as media credential information will be announced shortly.

The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame was founded by Marotta, a long-time boxing television and radio personality in 2012 and it inducted its first class in 2013.  It is an IRS 501 (c) (3) non-profit charitable organization. All ticket purchases, auction and raffle purchases and donations are tax deductible.

For more information, visit the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame on the web at www.nvbhof.com or phone 702-3NVBHOF (702-368-2463).