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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Zachary Wohlman to Make Debut Tomorrow

Zachary "Kid Yamaka" Wohlman is scheduled to take part in a welterweight bout against Rocardo Malfavon (1-6-1, one KO) tomorrow at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Netzer Wins Debut

Danny Netzer won his professional debut, a super middleweight affair against Eric Roy, this past Saturday night in New Brunswick, Canada. Netzer, who is a Krav Maga expert in the Israeli Defense Force, stopped Roy in the second round.

Roy, who falls to 6-3 (3 KOs), got the better of Netzer in the first stanza. But Netzer was able to get inside and hurt Roy to the body in the second. It was a body shot that put Roy down in that round. Roy was not only more experienced than Netzer, but was bigger too, holding a 168.5 to 164 pound advantage.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Look Back: Victor "Young" Perez

In an effort to link the past with the present, The Jewish Boxing Blog will present monthly a short biography of notable former Jewish boxers.

Victor "Young" Perez was a flamboyant ladies man, who won the flyweight championship in the early 1930s. Perez was a victim of the Holocaust, interred in Auschwitz and died during the Death March. But during that tragic period, Perez was able to display uncommon heroism. A movie of his remarkable life is reportedly forthcoming.

Victor Perez was born on October 18, 1911 in Tunis, Tunisia. His family was of modest means and his parents were merchants. Perez, who was a small kid, loved boxing. He took up the sport at age 14 and dreamed of becoming a world champion.

It was then that Perez adopted the moniker of "Young." Perez stood only 5'1" and weighed between 110 and 118 pounds during his career. Young began his professional career before his 17th birthday. In the beginning, he fought in Tunisia and Algeria. Within a year, he had moved to Paris, France in order to further his boxing career.

In Paris, Victor sold shoes and trained. He lost his first attempt at the French flyweight title in 1930 when he claimed Kid Oliva fouled him in the fourth round, but the referee ruled it a TKO. A year later, Perez had another shot at it. He had gone 16-0-2 since the disputed loss to Oliva. In 1931, he won a 15 round decision over Valentine Angelman to take the French crown.

After two more wins, Perez earned his shot at the world flyweight championship against Frankie Genaro. Perez cruised, taking a two-round KO victory and the championship. After winning the title, Perez's training habits became lax. He spent most of his time partying and cavorting with his girlfriend, the beautiful French actor, Mireille Balin.

Perez lost twice within the next year, but neither bout was for his title. His fight against Jackie Brown on October 31, 1932, however, was. Brown beat Young by way of 13th round TKO. Perez would not win another title during his career.

The rest of Victor's boxing career saw mixed success. He had two shots at the bantamweight title, but both 1934 bouts resulted in losses to Panama Al Brown. Perez's third to last pro fight took place in 1938 in Berlin. He proudly wore a Star of David on his trunks as the Nazi crowd booed him. Perez called it a career that year after his seventh consecutive loss. According to BoxRec, Perez finished with a record of 91-28-15 including 27 KO victories.

But the Victor Perez story does not end there. He became caught in Paris when the Nazis invaded France and was soon arrested. From the Drancy transit camp, he was sent to Auschwitz in 1943. He performed slave labor in Auschwitz-Monowitz. When a Nazi prison guard realized who he was, Perez was forced to fight in brutal boxing matches for the Nazis' enjoyment. Perez showed uncanny success in these matches.

Inside the camp, Victor was a hero. He smuggled food to starving prisoners as often as he could. Noah Klieger, who was in the camp with Victor, attests to his courage. At one point, Perez attempted to escape from Auschwitz, but was caught and tortured. In 1945, with the Soviets in hot pursuit of the Nazis, the concentration camp prisoners were forced to endure the "Death March."

Most prisoners died during these Death Marches, because they were fatally hungry, forced to walk ungodly distances, and were already near death due to their time in the concentration camps. When the group reached Gleiwitz, near the Czech border, on February 4, 1945, Perez crept into the kitchen and found some bread for his starving people. A Nazi officer spotted him and shot him dead.

Perez knew the risks that came with his heroic actions. But Victor would simply shrug them off and respond, "Human beings were created in order to help others. We live in order to help."

Katz, Yossi. A Voice Called: Stories of Jewish Heroism. 2010.

*Note* The two articles above may contain some inaccuracies.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Boyd Melson's Thanksgiving Letter

Below is a letter penned by undefeated junior middleweight Boyd Melson.

With my 30th Thanksgiving on G-d’s Green Earth finally here, I have more to be thankful for than ever before.

The Clinical Stem Cell trial I’ve supported throughout my career is headed in the right direction and could help millions of Americans suffering from Spinal Cord Injuries. I owe a special thanks to Dr. Wise Young, the Muhammad Ali of spinal cord procedures, and Dr. Patricia Morton, an elite neuroscientist who has been the backbone of justadollarplease.org since day one.

Through the tireless efforts of both doctors, donations from thousands of gracious people and the money I’ve contributed, I’m extremely thankful that this groundbreaking clinical trial is slated to begin in 2012. The trial will provide a glimmer of hope for those who thought they may never walk again.

To be able to enhance my boxing ability under the guidance of a former world champion is something that most fighters will never have the opportunity to do. I owe a special thanks to Joey Gamache, the mastermind behind me, as well as Bernie Lenahan, my assistant trainer. My strength and conditioning coach Steve Feinberg is not only a dear friend to me, but also the man responsible for getting me in tip top shape. He’s done a fantastic job and I’m grateful to have him on my team.

Earlier this year, my publicist and I created Team Fight to Walk. Together, we were looking to get fighters to help support the case both through charitable contributions and added publicity about the cause. I’m overwhelmingly thankful to say that this project has been a huge success and I owe it all to the fighters that joined out of the goodness of their hearts.

Most of all, I’m thankful for the great fans that buy tickets to my fights and the media members who’ve given me the opportunity to tell my story. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to make the necessary progress both in my career and educating the boxing world about the pending trial.

Thanks to everybody who has supported my career, the trial and other members of Team Fight to Walk. Have a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving.

Truly yours,

Boyd Melson

Melson, 6-0 (3 KO’s), returns to action Saturday, December 17 at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall as part of the Carl Froch-Andre Ward undercard. Tickets are available on teamfighttowalk.com and following the bout, Melson will make a contribution to Justadollarplease.org.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hatton Won't Fight El Massoudi

BoxRec is reporting that Matthew Hatton will not fight interim beltholder Ismael El Massoudi. That should open the door for Dmitriy Salita to face El Massoudi, with a tentative location and date being New York's Madison Square Garden in January.

More on the controversy can be found here. A victory over El Massoudi (36-3, 14 KOs) would mark the biggest of Salita's career. El Massoudi won the belt when his opponent, Souleymane M'baye, suffered a knee injury in the final minute of their bout this past summer. Salita (33-1-1, 17 KOs) is looking to work his way back to the world scene after a disappointing loss to Amir Khan in 2009.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Seldin Earns Another KO

As usual, welterweight Cletus Seldin gave his all in earning a TKO last night against Rashad Bogar in Long Island, New York. After a sluggish first round, Seldin utilized his customary attacking style to overwhelm Bogar. Seldin focused his attack on the body and, despite a closing left eye, managed to stop Bogar.

Before the third round, Bogar and his corner argued that Seldin had an illegal foreign substance on his gloves. They implored officials to smell Seldin's gloves. Officials did, but did not find anything fishy. After the stoppage, Bogar and his corner maintained that Seldin had cheated, contrary to reality.

By stopping Bogar at 1:35 of the third round, Seldin advanced to 5-0, earning his third KO. Bogar falls to 3-3-1 with two KOs. This was Seldin's fifth fight since July.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Yuri Foreman Update

Yuri Foreman currently spends his time in Yeshiva school. He also mentioned that he boxes three times a week just in case he wants to come back. Foreman is currently taking some time off following last March's defeat to Pawel Wolak in order to see if he has the required passion for the sport.

Foreman also wishes much success to two New York Jewish fighters, Boyd Melson and Cletus Seldin, in their young careers.

Michael Woods of ESPN New York has ranked Foreman as the ninth best pound-for-pound fighter in the city, despite the layoff and two consecutive losses.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Melson Will Now Fight on December 17

Boyd Melson (6-0, three KOs) was slated to fight on Thursday, but the bout was cancelled. Melson is now scheduled to enter the ring on the Andre Ward-Carl Froch undercard in Atlantic City, New Jersey. That event will take place on December 17.

Melson responded to the situation by saying, "I’m disappointed that I won’t be fighting because I am in great shape." Nicknamed "The Rainmaker," Melson donates all of his purses for stem cell research relating to spinal cord injuries.

Links to support Melson's cause can be found here: Teamfighttowalk.com and Justadollarplease.org

Monday, November 14, 2011

Duer Defends Title

Carolina Raquel Duer, from Buenos Aires, Argentina, defended her WBO super flyweight belt this past Friday night. In her hometown, she defeated Maria Jose Nunez by way of third round TKO. Duer advances her record to 10-3 with her third career knockout.

This fight marked Duer's third successful title defense since winning the vacant belt about a year ago. The 33 year old, nicknamed "The Turk," once beat a man trying to steal her purse so badly that he wound up in the hospital.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

More on the Salita/Hatton Controversy

Dmitiry Salita signed a contract with Ismael El Massoudi's promoter, but Matthew Hatton has signed a contract to fight El Massoudi as well. Both Salita and Hatton are looking to compete for El Massoudi's interim belt in what they perceive to be a winnable fight.

Mitch Abramson of BoxingScene.com reports that the Salita fight was tentatively scheduled for January at Madison Square Garden. If Hatton gets the fight, March is the target, likely in Europe.

The sanctioning body that gives out the interim belt is meeting in the near future in the hopes of finding a solution to the dilemma.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Yuri Foreman Sparring in Gleason's Gym

Yuri Foreman, former world title beltholder, has been spotted sparring in New York recently.

Junior welterweight Ashley Theophane writes, "Former world champion, Yuri Foreman, was sparring this week in Gleason’s gym. I remained behind to watch him go through some rounds. He is a talented fighter who is studying to be a rabbi. I sparred with Yuri a few years ago and it was an enjoyable experience. I’m sure we’ll spar again in the future."

After suffering two consecutive losses, Foreman has spent some time out of the ring in order to recapture the fire that allowed him to begin his career with 28 straight wins. He last fought in March.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Seldin to Make Hometown Debut

Cletus Seldin (4-0, two KOs) is scheduled to fight in his hometown of Long Island, New York on November 19. The event will take place at the Paramount.

Seldin, nicknamed the Hebrew Hammer, last fought on October 22. The welterweight earned a TKO in the second round over Jose Segura Torres in MSG's WaMu Theater that night.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Is Salita a Top P4P Candidate in NY?

Michael Woods has started a pound-for-pound list, including only New York fighters, for ESPN New York that he expects to update monthly. Woods recently unveiled 15-20 of his list, which accounts for both male and female boxers.

Dmitriy Salita (33-1-1, 17 KOs) was rated as the 20th best boxer in New York according to the list. Salita's ranking likely took a hit because of the dearth of talented opposition he has faced. That is an issue Salita is looking to correct by potentially fighting the skilled French-Moroccan Ismael El Massoudi (36-3, 14 KOs). But the fight has come under a contract dispute.

With improved opposition, Salita should climb up this list as he is more skilled than a number of the fighters slated above him.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Melson to Fight on November 17

Boyd Melson is scheduled to fight at Schuetzen Park in North Bergen, New Jersey on November 17. The junior middleweight, nicknamed "Rainmaker," is 6-0 with three career knockouts. This will be his sixth fight of 2011. Melson donates his purse from each fight to stem cell research for spinal cord injuries.