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Monday, April 20, 2015

What’s Next For Andrzej Fonfara And Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.?




The Light-Heavyweight fight between former WBC Middleweight world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Andrzej Fonfara presented an intriguing storyline. In one corner Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. a fighter who has had struggles in recent times losing his Middleweight world championship to Sergio Martinez in 2012 and engaging in two battles with top contender Brian Vera in 2013 and 2014.


 The first of those two battles between Chavez and Vera many observers including this one felt that Vera deserved the decision. To his credit however, Chavez left no doubts in his rematch with Vera earning a convincing twelve round unanimous decision. Despite his impressive performance in his second fight with Vera in March of last year, Chavez entered into this fight with Andrzej Fonfara having not fought in over a year. In addition to coming off of a layoff, Chavez was also fighting for the first time in the 175lb. Light-Heavyweight division. Although Chavez fought both of his fights against Brian Vera at catch weights above the 160lb. Middleweight division, it did interest me to see how Chavez would respond to being hit by a natural Light-Heavyweight.


Standing in the corner opposing Chavez stood top Light-Heavyweight contender Andrzej Fonfara. Fonfara established himself in the eyes of many as a player in the Light-Heavyweight division by giving a spirited effort in defeat in his challenge of WBC world champion Adonis Stevenson in May of last year. Fonfara rebounded from his loss to Stevenson by scoring a ten round unanimous decision over Doudou Ngumbu in November of last year.


The fight between Chavez and Fonfara presented a unique opportunity for both fighters. For Chavez this fight represented an opportunity to establish himself as a contender in the Light-Heavyweight division by defeating a recent world title challenger who is ranked in the top ten in all of the sport’s major world sanctioning organizations. For Fonfara this fight was not only an opportunity to continue building momentum toward a potential title shot, but one might argue that a victory over a marquee opponent such as Chavez presented the opportunity to possibly secure a title shot in the near future.


An intriguing storyline culminated when Chavez and Fonfara met on April 18th at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Stylistically, this fight had the ingredients of an exciting battle between two fighters who have shown willingness in the past to go toe to toe with their opposition. What was somewhat surprising from the outset was the disciplined approach in which Andrzej Fonfara executed his offense.


Fonfara dictated the pace of this fight from the beginning keeping Chavez at distance and landing combinations. Fonfara’s ability to place his punches well was complimented by a high defensive guard and his ability to use lateral movement to keep Chavez from being able to get on the inside for significant periods of time.


As the fight progressed Fonfara continued to dictate how the fight was fought. Fonfara’s combination punching, ability to counter Chavez, and return offense whenever Chavez was able to get close and let his hands go was the story of this fight. Chavez’ defensive flaws were something that Fonfara was able to take full advantage of as Chavez would often lead in with his head and in the process leave openings for Fonfara to execute his offense.


Even though Chavez needed to find a way to close the distance between himself and Fonfara and get on the inside of the naturally bigger fighter who also had a three inch reach advantage over him, Chavez’ jab was noticeably absent throughout much of this fight as he often walked forward without throwing punches or using head movement to get on the inside. This resulted in Chavez taking significant punishment before being able to let his hands go.


Despite being able to have his moments periodically throughout the fight, it became evident as the rounds went on that Chavez was gradually taking a beating at the hands of Fonfara. Although it was clear as the fight progressed that Fonfara was in control, what was impressive about his performance in my eyes was how he maintained his approach throughout and did not leave Chavez too many openings to attempt to turn the fight in his favor. Even though Fonfara would suffer a point deduction in the seventh round for shoulder butting Chavez, it did not cause him to change his strategy.


In the ninth round Fonfara dropped Chavez with a short left hook to the head. Although Chavez would get up from the knockdown, the first of his career, the bout would come to an end at the conclusion of the ninth round as Chavez would ask his corner to stop the fight indicating a possible leg injury.


The victory for Fonfara however, would be overshadowed briefly by fans who showed their displeasure of the stoppage by throwing beverages at the ring. Whenever situations such as this arise where debris get thrown in the ring in response to the outcome of the fight, readers have seen this observer periodically reference the scene that followed in the aftermath of John John Molina’s tenth round stoppage of Tony Lopez in their second fight in October 1989.


In that fight Molina dominated the action from start to finish and administered a beating to Lopez throughout. The one-sided fight was stopped in round ten causing a near riot from the pro-Lopez crowd in Lopez’ hometown of Sacramento, California at the Arco Arena. A similarity between that fight nearly twenty-six years ago and this fight between Chavez and Fonfara is that like Chavez, Lopez was significantly behind on the official scorecards and was not in a position where he could win the fight by decision.


The scene that developed in the aftermath of the stoppage of the second fight between Lopez and Molina remains one of the most ugly this observer has ever seen in the sport. Molina, who won the IBF Jr. Lightweight world championship from Lopez in that fight and his handlers, had to run for cover following the fight being stopped. 


Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, who was doing commentary on the broadcast of the fight for NBC Sports perhaps put it best when he said that the aftermath of that fight was a disgusting commentary on how far misplaced enthusiasm can go in sports as Lopez was significantly trailing on the scorecards and it was merciful in Pacheco’s opinion that the fight was stopped. The same can easily and perhaps should be said in regard to the fight between Andrzej Fonfara and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. 


Although it was clear that the majority of fans who attended the fight between Chavez and Fonfara were supporters of Chavez, the reaction to the stoppage from the crowd in attendance was quite frankly unwarranted and unacceptable. Unlike the scene that emerged in the aftermath of the second Lopez-Molina fight, the scene that followed Andrzej Fonfara’s stoppage of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. would not be as chaotic as things would quiet down quickly allowing Fonfara to be formally announced as the victor and for both fighters to give post-fight interviews and leave the ring at their own pace.


The brief ugly scene that emerged shortly after the fight was stopped however, should not overshadow the performance of Andrzej Fonfara. Fonfara not only confirmed his status as a legitimate Light-Heavyweight contender to those who may not have given him that credit prior to this fight, but he also dominated a fighter who was moving up in weight and who has enjoyed marquee status throughout his career.


It will be interesting to see where the twenty-seven year old Fonfara goes coming out of this fight. Fonfara, who called out Adonis Stevenson for a rematch after his victory over Chavez may have to wait for his opportunity for another shot at a world title as Boxing fans and experts alike have been calling for a unification bout between WBC champion Stevenson and undefeated unified WBO/IBF/WBA world champion Sergey Kovalev to determine an undisputed Light-Heavyweight world champion.


If a fight between Kovalev and Stevenson can be made in the near future it seems logical that Andrzej Fonfara could face the winner of that fight based not only on his performance against Chavez, but also his status as a top ten contender in the WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO Light-Heavyweight ratings. Fonfara certainly deserves a rematch against Stevenson if it can be made and he would also pose an interesting challenge for Sergey Kovalev. We will have to wait and see what the future holds for Andrzej Fonfara, but it is clear his stock continues to rise coming out of this fight.


As for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. it is difficult to tell what he might do coming out of this fight. One should remember that this was Chavez’ first fight in the Light-Heavyweight division and to his credit he chose to face a legitimate contender who recently fought for a world title. Some might say that Chavez could have opted to face someone who was not ranked in the top ten and perhaps someone who is not well known for his first fight as a Light-Heavyweight.


Even though Chavez came out of this fight with Andrzej Fonfara on the losing end, he deserves credit for choosing to face one of the best fighters in the division. Although Chavez has lost two of his last four fights and has suffered the first knockout loss of his professional career, this observer does not believe that Chavez is a shot fighter by any means.


This fight could be viewed as scenario of a naturally bigger man in Andrzej Fonfara simply besting a fighter in Chavez, who was moving up fifteen pounds above the weight where he was a world champion. In terms of what route Chavez might take next there are a few interesting options.


One option might be that Chavez moves down in weight to the 168lb. Super-Middleweight division where he is ranked in the top five by both the WBC and WBA. Although one might assume that the loss to Andrzej Fonfara might affect Chavez’ standing in the Super- Middleweight ratings, despite the fight taking place in a different weight class, perhaps moving down in weight to Super-Middleweight might be viewed as the best option for him.


Another option could be that Chavez chooses to continue competing as a Light-Heavyweight and if so he could find himself in position to secure a lucrative fights against some of the best fighters that the division has to offer. Despite losing this fight against Andrzej Fonfara, Chavez does still have a sizable fan following and is still a marquee draw in the sport. 


Although one might say that the scene that briefly emerged following the stoppage of this fight came from fans who may not have been aware that Chavez himself asked for the fight to be stopped and now knowing that it was he who ultimately stopped the fight that Chavez’ marquee value might be damaged going forward, I respectfully disagree. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. has now competed in fifty-two professional fights, winning forty-eight of those bouts as well has earning a draw along the way.


It is true that Chavez has now suffered two losses in his career, but many great fighters throughout the history of the sport, including Chavez’ father the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. have at one time or another suffered setbacks and were able to rebound from them and go on to have continued success in their careers. This observer believes the twenty-nine year old Chavez needs time to regroup and if he can bounce back from this defeat, his loss to Andrzej Fonfara may ultimately be viewed as a bump in the road of what could be viewed as a great career when all is said and done.


“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”


The Boxing Truth ® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved. 


Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Beau_Denison 

 






Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Update:





We want to let our readers know that we are between rounds and will return to our regular weekly schedule on Monday April 20th. Stay Tuned.


“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”


The Boxing Truth ® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.


Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Beau_Denison 
 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Black Promoter Hopes To Have Success In One Of The Toughest Industries In Entertainment





Press Release: April 9, 2015- By League of Extraordinary Fighters and Majestic Raven Entertainment- “You say successful black boxing promoter and only one name pops up. I won’t say who but you know”.- Allen Jaco


Allen Jaco Pictured (Right) Photo Credit: Majestic Raven Entetertainment
Most 25 year old entrepreneurs dream of finding success as a business owner by looking at past success stories as inspiration. Inspiring record label owners dream of being the next P.Diddy or Russell Simmons. Some even dream of being the next Oprah or Virgin® founder Richard Branson. For Allen Jaco his entrepreneurial spirit led him to an endeavor where entrepreneurial inspiration is minimal: boxing.



Unlike other industries where the American dream is plentiful, Allen picked a sport where success is shrouded by controversy. Successful promoters like Don King, Bob Arum and Oscar De La Hoya all have had their share of turmoil and controversy in the sport. “I got into boxing because a couple of close friends of mine were boxing. I always had more than just love for the sport. I always wanted to be a part of this sport.” says Allen. “I just love it.”  While he has yet to promote a show (his first one will be May 8th) he has seen the difficulty that many in the industry face.  He realizes that history has not been favorable to African-American promoters. “There are so many successful African American boxers that even the casual fan can name. You say successful black promoter and only one name pops up. I wont say who but you know."



In January of this year Allen had scheduled his first boxing show, but due to injuries he had to cancel the event days before the show was to take place. “It was painful, I mean it was one of those things where you didn’t realize how much this business can be up and down. I mean we are days away from the fight and it just seem to fall apart. But, I learned a lot from it. Boxing is a sport just as much as it is a business.” 


Allen hopes that his May show will allow him to not only look for success but to accomplish a long term goal. “I always wanted to do a show in my hometown (Beaumont, Texas).  One of my goals was to bring boxing back here. May is the month where I start building my own inspiration.”

Allen Jaco is founder of League of Extraordinary Fighters, a Beaumont, Texas boxing promotional company. For more information about League of Extraordinary Fighters Please visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/League-of-Extraordinary-Fighters-Boxing-Promotions-Llc/928287587200789?ref=hl


For more information about Majestic Raven Entertainment please visit:
www.majesticraven.com

 

 

Material Courtesy of: League of Extraordinary Fighters and Majestic Raven Entertainment. Used with permission.


The Boxing Truth ® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

BKB Produces Another Action-Packed Night Of Boxing



There was much anticipation heading into the fourth BKB Boxing card on Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. In it’s nearly two year history the concept/sport known as BKB: Big-Knockout Boxing has established itself as a new venue for the sport of Boxing and has also become known for consistently producing action-packed excitement with each card.  This card, much like previous BKB cards would be no different. 

The night’s action began with an exciting Heavyweight battle between Julian Pollard and Elijah McCall. From the opening bell both fighters were willing to engage each other and each had periods of effectiveness in the first round.  Although both fighters would continue to let their hands go in the second round it was Pollard who would begin to stand out from McCall by landing combinations highlighted by his right hand. 
 

McCall was able to be effective during periods where he was able to step in on the inside of Pollard and get his offense off first. When Pollard was able to establish some distance however, and execute his offense before McCall could get on the inside the advantage was in his favor.    A flush right hand from Pollard dropped McCall early in round four. McCall was able to beat the count, but was on unsteady legs causing Referee Russell Mora to stop the fight. Official time of the stoppage was 1:07 of round four. 


As the concept of BKB continues to grow it will be interesting to see where Julian Pollard will rank in the BKB’s Heavyweight division. With now two victories in BKB, one might assume that Pollard could be a contender in a fight to determine a vacant BKB Heavyweight world championship. We will have to wait and see what the future holds for both Pollard and the BKB’s Heavyweight division. 


In a Jr. Welterweight bout Gabe Deluc scored a five round unanimous decision over Antonio Canas. Deluc dominated this fight with combination punching and his ability to keep turning Canas to avoid being a stationary target inside the narrow fighting area known as the “BKB Pit.” Official scores were 50-45 on all three scorecards for Gabe Deluc. Unofficially I scored this fight the same as the judges 50-45 for Gabe Deluc.


Also in the Jr. Welterweight division Herbert Acevedo scored a five round unanimous decision over Bill Hutchinson. The story of this fight was Acevedo’s well-balanced attack to the body and head that battered Hutchinson over the course of the fight. Hutchinson was very “Game” and despite suffering a cut under his right eye in round three, he never stopped trying to turn the fight around in his favor. Official scores were 50-45 all in favor of Herbert Acevedo. Unofficially I scored this fight the same as the three official judges 50-45 in favor of Acevedo.  It will be interesting to see whether a potential fight can be made between Acevedo and Gabe Deluc. Based on their dominant performances in their respective bouts on this card a bout between the two is intriguing and quite possibly could headline a future BKB card.


In a bout for the BKB Welterweight world championship Jonathan Chicas scored a third round knockout over champion Javier Garcia to win the title. Chicas established a consistent body attack on the champion in the opening round and dropped Garcia twice in round two. Chicas closed the show with a left hook to chin of Garcia in round three. Following the third knockdown the fight was immediately stopped by Referee Tony Weeks.  Official time of the stoppage was :16 of round three.

In first ever Women’s bout in the history of BKB for the vacant BKB Women’s Lightweight world championship Layla McCarter scored a seventh round knockout over Diana Prazak to win the title. McCarter dictated the pace of the fight from the outset picking her spots, and frankly put on a Boxing clinic. McCarter scored a knockdown of Prazak with a combination at the end of round four.


McCarter dropped Prazak for the second time with a barrage of punches in the seventh and final round. Prazak was able to get up from the knockdown, but McCarter closed the show with another barrage of punches forcing Referee Russell Mora to step in and stop the fight with ten seconds left in the contest. Official time of the stoppage was 1:50 of round seven.


In a bout for the BKB Cruiserweight world championship Anthony Johnson successfully defended his world title with a seven round unanimous decision over Joey Montoya.  Both fighters suffered knockdowns in the opening round. Montoya dropped the champion with a left hand to score the first knockdown of the bout.   Johnson however, would score a knockdown of his own in the closing seconds of the round when he dropped Montoya with a left hand of his own.

Both fighters continued to engage and would each score a knockdown for the second time in round three. As was the case in the first round Johnson would be knocked down first in the third round from a left hand. Johnson would however, be credited with a knockdown later in the round when Montoya stepped out of the fighting area of the “BKB Pit.”


The tempo of the fight began to shift in Johnson’s favor in rounds four and five due to his combination punching and landing the cleaner punches. Montoya however, had a solid round six where he briefly stunned the champion with a right hand and brought the fight to Johnson throughout the round. 



Johnson would ultimately earn a hard fought unanimous decision to retain his world title. Official scores were 68-65 on all three scorecards in favor of Anthony Johnson. Unofficially I scored this fight the same as the official judges 68-65 in favor of Johnson.  This was a very entertaining fight to watch and it would not surprise this observer to see a rematch between these two fighters on a future BKB card.  On this night Johnson simply did a little more than Montoya and was able to retain his world championship as a result.  


In a bout for the BKB Jr. Middleweight world championship Khurshid Abduliaev scored a seven round unanimous decision over champion David Estrada to win the title.  Abduliaev consistently pressed the action and backed the champion up from the outset with a well-balanced attack to the body and head. Estrada seemed to have trouble letting his hands go with consistency during this fight due to Abduliaev’s ability to control distance, get his punches off first, counter punching, and being solid defensively.


Abduliaev was credited with a knockdown in round five when Estrada stepped out of the “BKB Pit.” Moments later Abduliaev would score a second knockdown of Estrada as a result of a straight left hand. Despite Abduliaev dominating the fight, he would be penalized a point in round six for pushing Estrada.



Although Abduliaev lost a point in round six he dominated the fight from start to finish and earned a convincing unanimous decision on the scorecards. Official scores were 69-61 (on two scorecards), and 68-62 all for Kurshid Abduliaev. Unofficially, I scored this fight 69-61 in favor of Abduliaev. If one takes the point deduction against Abduliaev out of the equation, he nearly won every round of this fight. Estrada was able to connect with some solid punches in the final round, but he simply could not find a way to be consistent with his offense and that should be credited to the Boxing ability of Abduliaev. 



Also in the Jr. Middleweight division Jesus Soto Karass scored a five round unanimous decision over Ed Paredes.  Soto Karass consistently pressured Paredes over the course of this fight. Soto Karass’ pressure and ability to mix his offense to the head and body of Paredes including landing several flush overhand rights throughout allowed Sotto Karass to earn a convincing unanimous decision. Official scores were 49-46 on all three scorecards in favor of Jesus Soto Karass.  Unofficially I scored this fight the same as the official judges 49-46 in favor of Soto Karass. Paredes was able to have his moments periodically throughout this fight, but he was unable to neutralize Soto Karass’ pressure and that is what cost him the fight, in my opinion.


It will be interesting to see what may be in store for Jesus Soto Karass in the BKB’s Jr. Middleweight division. If Soto Karass chooses to continue to compete in BKB fights against either Kurshid Abduliaev or David Estrada could both be potential options.  


In the main event of this card BKB Middleweight world champion Gabriel Rosado retained his world title in a hard fought seven round draw with Curtis Stevens.   This was a fight that was extremely competitive and was a contest where both fighters had their moments.  Stevens seemed to get the upper hand when he was able to get on the inside of Rosado and let his hands go. Rosado meanwhile was more effective when he was able to establish some space between himself and the challenger and able to keep Stevens at distance and able to work off of his jab. 

 

Several of the rounds in this fight were difficult to score due in part to both fighters being able to have periods of effectiveness as well as the two minute round durations in which all fights in BKB are fought. Stevens scored a knockdown of Rosado with a flush left hook in the closing seconds of round five. Rosado did not appear hurt by the knockdown and the battle continued into round six. Although he was more effective when he was able to keep Stevens on the outside, Rosado was more than willing to engage with the challenger whenever Stevens would get on the inside. Despite Rosado suffering the knockdown in round five, the fight remained close and competitive.  At the conclusion of the seven round championship bout the judges rendered a majority draw.  Official scores were 69-63 for Stevens, and 66-66 (on two scorecards) resulting in a majority draw.  


Unofficially I scored this fight a draw 66-66.  Although Stevens was able to drop Rosado in round five, neither fighter was able to really stand out from the other for much of this fight and given that the BKB format differs from the traditional form of Professional Boxing with different round limits and durations than a traditional Boxing match, it was not surprising to this observer to see this fight scored a draw.  It was also not surprising to see one scorecard determine a winner by a significantly wider margin than the other judges. Much as is the case in traditional Boxing, when it comes to close fights it will often boil down to what a judge prefers in their own individual criteria in how they score a fight based on clean punching, effective aggressiveness, ring generalship, and defense.  The same criteria exists in BKB and from time to time close fights as this fight was will happen and there will be a difference of opinion as to who won.


Based on how close this fight was I believe that those behind BKB should consider an immediate rematch between Rosado and Stevens. If a rematch between the two is in the near future it will be interesting to see whether the rematch will be scheduled for a distance beyond seven rounds. 


Although BKB is still very much in its growing stages and even though the BKB format is different from traditional Professional Boxing this observer believes that championship fights should be scheduled for a distance of at least ten or twelve rounds. The fight between Rosado and Stevens was very competitive and could have gone either way, but I believe the outcome of this fight can be best summed up as “Inconclusive” and it would have been interesting to see what might have happened had the fight been scheduled for a longer distance.



Overall the fourth card in this history of BKB and the second card since undergoing a slight revamp and name change much as the previous three produced action, excitement, and a healthy mix of knockouts and competitive fights.  As this concept/sport continues to grow it will be interesting to see more fighters attempt to make the transition to the BKB format and whether BKB will attempt to stage cards perhaps on a cable network in addition to traditional pay-per-view to expand the exposure of BKB to a wider audience.


In this observer’s eyes the concept of BKB: Big-Knockout Boxing has consistently showed progress with each card and will likely continue to grow in time. For now, the future looks bright for BKB and I very much look forward to seeing this concept continue to evolve.


“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”


The Boxing Truth ® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.


Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Beau_Denison