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Monday, December 31, 2012

The Year That Was

This was the year of the cancelled fight in Jewish boxing. After an impressive win in January and signing with Lou DiBella, Ran Nakash came in overweight in June and was ousted from a South African cruiserweight tournament before throwing a single punch as a result. Yuri Foreman was poised to make his comeback to the ring in November, but his fight was cancelled because of damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy.

Isaac Chilemba was scheduled to fight on HBO against Zsolt Erdei in September. Erdei injured himself in training and Chilemba's fight against late sub Rayco Saunders was not televised. Dmitriy Salita's proposed scrap with Ismael El Massoudi never came to be. Barry Groenteman and Danny Netzer also experienced fights being nixed.

Cletus Seldin and Mike Brooks both stayed undefeated and Danny Ahrens won his first two pro fights. But Boyd Melson, Zachary Wohlman, and Netzer all suffered their lone career defeat in 2012. Melson and Wohlman not only suffered a loss, but both had a fight resulting in a frustrating draw.

Melson's loss was a close decision against an undefeated prospect who Boyd knocked down twice. His draw came in a fight Melson deserved to win by a wide margin. Wohlman was stopped in his loss against a journeyman. He came in overweight partly because of a hiccup in maintaining his sobriety, according to an interview on KLEAN Radio. His draw was the result of an accidental headbutt and a quirk in the California rules in a fight he was controlling.

Next year looks promising for fans of Jewish boxers. Foreman, Chilemba, Salita, Melson, Seldin, Brooks, and Groenteman have all either signed or been rumored to fight within the first two months of 2013. Foreman is on the comeback trail, Chilemba is close to achieving a title fight and a spot on HBO, and Salita has been consistently stepping up on his way to another title shot. Melson, Seldin, Brooks, Ahrens, and Wohlman are all prospects to watch in the new year. And super flyweight champion Carolina Duer hopes to build off of her four 2012 wins.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Look Back: Alphonse Halimi

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

Alphonse Halimi, a native of Algeria, was one of the few Jewish boxers to win a world championship in the Post-World War II era. A boxer-puncher, Halimi captured the bantamweight championship twice.

Alphonse Halimi was born on February 18, 1932 in Constantine, Algeria. He was the youngest of 18 children in an Orthodox family. Though his father was a postal inspector, the Halimis lived in poverty. Alphonse and his brothers and sisters slept on the hard floor and rarely ate. Algeria was a French colony during Halimi's formative years. At the age of ten, Alphonse ran away from home and ended up in Algiers, the capital of Algeria. He remained homeless until a well-to-do woman adopted him.

During World War II, Algeria was ruled by Vichy France, a Nazi-sympathizing government. Concentration camps for Algerian Jews were maintained, Jewish businesses were given to gentiles, and Jewish kids were expelled from school. Alphonse spent much of this time getting into street fights with other boys.

After the war, Alphonse was an apprentice for a tailor and sewed his first boxing trunks, complete with a Star of David. Halimi was a successful amateur boxer during the early 1950s. In 1954, Algerians rose up in an attempt to oust France from control of the colony. This would lead to a war that lasted eight years, nearly the entire length of Halimi's professional career as a boxer. Not until 1962 did Algerians win independence. As a result, Alphonse never fought professionally in the country of his birth.

He turned pro in 1955 in Paris, France. Halimi won his first 19 fights; the first six came by way of knockout. In 1956, Halimi defeated Billy Peacock, a former North American bantamweight beltholder. At this point, there was talk of Halimi fighting Robert Cohen, also an Algerian Jew and the bantamweight world champion. But Cohen lost to Mario D'Agata, a deaf-mute from Italy. Halimi would have to wait a year to get his shot at the new champion.

On April 1, 1957, an undefeated Halimi won the world championship from D'Agata by decision. At one point, the fight was interrupted for fifteen minutes when part of the light fixture in Paris's Palais des Sports caught fire in the third round. Falling debris nailed both participants with D'Agata getting the worse of it. From that point on, Halimi dominated the fight. On June 4, Halimi suffered his first career defeat when he was stopped due to cuts in the 9th round in a non-title bout. It came at the fists of the nondescript Jimmy Carson. Alphonse bounced back to thrash Chic Brogan in two rounds. On the second knockdown of the round, Halimi threw a leaping left-right combination that separated Brogan from his senses.

On November 6, Halimi traveled to Los Angeles, California for his first fight in the United States. There he took a split decision victory to defend the world championship from the formidable Raton Macias. The referee, Mushy Callahan, questionably gave the fight to Macias; Halimi controlled it throughout. He won six more bouts until running into Joe Becerra. Becerra beat Alphonse twice, once in 1959 to pry the title from the Algerian Jew's hands and again in 1960 to keep it. The first fight was close until the Mexican unleashed a barrage of punches to stop Halimi in the 8th round. Halimi was winning the second contest and had even knocked Bacerra down before being stopped early in the 9th.

Alphonse, whose nickname was "Little Terror," had a mean punch, but was also an intelligent mover in the ring. He stood a mere 5'3" and donned a flat nose and exaggerated sideburns that cascaded from his curly and casual coiffure. His prominent forehead distracted from his distended ears. Alphonse had a circular and yet distinct jawline. His left hook was his best punch, but he had power in either glove.

Bacerra didn't keep the belt long after his second fight with Halimi. He retired later that year and the belt was won by Freddie Gilroy. Halimi defeated Gilroy to regain his belt on October 25, 1960. He won three more fights before losing the crown to Jimmy Caldwell on May 30, 1961. Halimi lost the return bout as well. Both were by decision.

On June 26, 1962, Halimi participated in the first ever boxing match in the state of Israel. The bout took place in Tel Aviv against Pierre Rollo and was for the European bantamweight title. Halimi won on points, but lost a rematch in Italy by decision four months later.

Halimi retired from the ring in 1964 as a two-time world champion with a record of 42-8-1 with 21 knockouts. In retirement, Halimi doubled as a fight promoter and a swimming instructor. He died in Paris on November 12, 2006 at the age of 74.

Bibliography
Blady, Ken. The Jewish Boxers Hall of Fame. 1988.
Horvitz, Peter S. The Big Book of Jewish Sports Heroes. 2006.
"Former bantamweight champion dies in Paris, France." The Sweet Science. 2006.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Salita to Face Camacho on February 9

Welterweight Dmitriy Salita is scheduled to face Hector Camacho Jr. on February 9 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. This will mark Salita's second fight in the new arena. On October 20, he decisioned Brandon Hoskins.

Since Salita (35-1-1, 18 KOs) ended a 16 month layoff in August, he has consistently stepped up the caliber of competition. In August he knocked out journeyman Roberto Valenzuela. Camacho (54-5-1, 29 KOs)  is better than Valenzuela or Hoskins.

Camacho, is coming off of a KO loss in July to Luis Grajeda, will be fighting in the midst of grief. His father was killed in his native Puerto Rico on November 24. Hector Camacho Sr. was a fantastic boxer in his era.

Salita and Camacho are of equal height and possess the same reach. The 30-year old Salita is four years younger than Camacho, who is a southpaw. Salita's lone loss took place in 2009 to the WBA junior welterweight champion Amir Khan. he has won five straight since that defeat. Camacho's five losses have been against men who were solid, but not exactly world beaters.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Carolina Duer vs. Marcela Eliana Acuna

December 21, 2012
Club Universitario
Buenos Aires, Argentina



Duer: black trunks, black top
Acuna: silver trunks, white top

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Duer Wins Twelfth Straight

WBO super bantamweight titleholder Carolina Duer won a hotly contested unanimous decision over former world champion Marcela Eliana Acuna in a non-title affair at Club Universitario in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the hometown of both women.

Acuna entered the ring sporting an ensemble that either suggested she was crazy enough to do anything to win or hinted at her lack of honest friends. Her customary bangs were eerily reminiscent of Tanya Harding's. She wore blue shoes and silver trunks pulled up so high, Duer would have to aim for the head or risk a warning for a low blow. Acuna hid a purple sports bra behind a white top. Her overall appearance collaborated to produce the menacing message of "I just don't give a damn!"

Duer, on the other hand, wore gold shoes and a flowing black skirt. Her cute hair was wrapped tighter than ever, a byproduct of multiple mishaps in previous bouts. Carolina is a combination of two distinct professions. She's a model and a boxer. Her style in the ring mimics that dichotomy. She's the rare combination of a boxer and a brawler. At times, she moves and jabs; and when she does, her skirt gently ripples in the wind as if it was a photo shoot. She also rushes at her opponent bull-like, stumbling as she flails punches wildly. The intention of these charges is to land with either an overhand right or a sneaky left hook. As a result, Duer misses a lot of punches, but she tends to land more than her opponent. The fight against Acuna was no different.

Acuna controlled the center of the ring throughout the entire battle. But, contrary to her aggressive wardrobe, she passively waited to counter Duer's charges with varying degrees of success. Duer was far too active at the outset of the fight for Acuna to have won any of the first three rounds. In the fourth, Acuna landed a solid jab as Duer stormed towards her. It was a tactic Acuna should have used with more frequency. At the end of the sixth round, Acuna landed a hard right that shook Duer momentarily before she produced a glowing smile on her lips.

The model's ferociousness helped carry her through the final rounds. Duer's constant movement in the ninth round frustrated Acuna. Duer won the tenth thanks to a left hook that was thrown a little lower than a normal version of the punch.

After the fight, the two women embraced as if they had been long lost friends reunited at an airport gate. They hugged tightly after the decision was announced as well. Duer won with the curious scores of 97.5-93.5, 98-94.5, and 96.5-96. Duer improves to 14-3 with five KOs and Acuna falls to 37-6 with 17 KOs.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Carolina Duer vs. Maria Jose Nunez

November 11, 2011
Club Atletico Lanus
Buenos Aires, Argentina
WBO super flyweight championship



Duer: white trunks
Nunez: red trunks

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Carolina Duer vs. Fleis Djendji

July 15, 2011
Salon Tattersall
Buenos Aires, Argentina
WBO super flyweight championship



Duer: black trunks, blue top
Djendji: black trunks, white trim

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Carolina Duer vs. Loredana Piazza

December 17, 2010
Casino Victoria
Entre Rios, Argentina
WBO super flyweight championship



Duer: black trunks, white top
Piazza: gray and black trunks, black top

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Carolina Duer vs. Silvia Fernanda Zacarias

July 16, 2010
Estadio F.A.B.
Buenos Aires, Argentina

part 1

part 2


Duer: yellow trunks, black top
Zacarias: yellow and green trunks, blue top

Friday, December 7, 2012

Carolina Duer vs. Anahí Yolanda Salles

May 14, 2010
Estadio F.A.B.
Buenos Aires, Argentina


Duer: yellow trunks, black trim
Salles: black trunks, yellow trim

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cletus Seldin vs. Tyler Pogline

January 28, 2012
Paramount Theatre
Huntington, New York


Seldin: purple trunks
Pogline: blue trunks

Monday, December 3, 2012

Danny Ahrens vs. Rick Boulter

November 26, 2012
Royal Lancaster Hotel
London, England

part 1



part 2


Ahrens: black and white trunks
Boulter: gray and red trunks

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Review of Golden Boy

Bartlett Sher directs a revival of Clifford Odets's Golden Boy at the Belasco Theatre in New York, New York. Seth Numrich plays the conflicted Joe Bonaparte, a young man torn between pursuing a career as a musician or one as a boxer. The advisers in his life each have plans for the young man, who is tortured by a fleeting love affair.

With few exceptions, the cast is strong. Numrich encapsulates the intelligent Italian-American lead. But, of course, this is a boxing blog, not a theater review site. As a boxer, Numrick is an excellent actor and should keep his day job. His hand speed makes George Foreman look like Manny Pacquiao. But he looks the part of boxer and offers a poignant sensitivity to the travails of a man in the trade. One miss takes place after Bonaparte's second fight with the Baltimore Chocolate Drop. Numrick's back is heavily covered in splotches of blood, a rare occurrence in real pugilism.

Tony Shalhoub is wonderful as Bonaparte's father, affecting a convincing Italian accent and the concerned disposition of a fighter's parent. Yvonne Strahovski plays Lorna Moon, the love interest, and is equally persuasive in the role. Anthony Crivello is menacing as the gangster Eddie Fuseli. Danny Burstein treats the role of Bonaparte's trainer, Tokio, with a realistic fatherly disconnect that many trainers display towards their charges. Danny Mastrogiorgio (Tom Moody) looks and sounds like a boxing manager, but his cadence and elocution was out of step with the rest of the cast.

Jews are sprinkled into the play. Bonaparte gets his first chance to fight when a boxer named Kaplan injures his hand. Ned Eisenberg plays Bonaparte's promoter, Roxy Gottlieb, who is Bob Arum meets a Don Knotts character. Michael Aronov is an over-the-top whiny Siggy, Bonaparte's Jewish brother-in-law. Jonathan Hadary is the Bonapartes' neighbor, Mr. Carp, and conveys a man with a dry ironic wit.

The set design is expertly done. It takes one back to the dim, hard life of the first part of the twentieth century in New York. During the foggy street scenes, the traffic lights don't change, which would drive a motorist insane. But beyond nitpicking, the design adds to the sense of doom that plagues Joe Bonaparte's struggle to understand himself.

The play is in previews and will open on December 6. For more information, click here.

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Look Back: Herbie Kronowitz

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.

Herbie Kronowitz died earlier this month at the age of 89. Kronowitz was a fearsome middleweight contender during one of the golden ages of professional boxing.

Ted Kronowitz was born in 1923 in New York. He grew up in Brooklyn and would get into street fights as a kid. World champion middleweight Ben Jeby lived nearby and helped Ted develop an interest in boxing. Kronowitz assumed his big brother Herb's name when he applied for an amateur boxing license because Ted wasn't old enough to do so. Kronowitz turned pro at the age of 17.

Kronowitz won his first ten fights as a lightweight and didn't lose until his 26th bout. His mother did not approve of his boxing career, but his father was proud of him. Herbie loved the adulation success produced. He fought at Madison Square Garden numerous times. St. Nicholas Arena, Broadway Arena, and Ebbets Field were other frequent haunts for the pugilist.

Kronowitz was tall for his weight, which slowly progressed upward through the years, at 5'10". He could box, but he was most known for his toughness. Herbie would fight anyone at any time, even if an opponent had a difficult style. Herbie was most amped when an opponent had an anti-Semitic word for him. But some observers felt Kronowitz was poorly managed. He never obtained fights with some of the bigger named fighters of his day.

In 1942, Kronowitz left the sport to join the Coast Guard and restarted his boxing career in 1946 as a middleweight. He fought Pete Mead four times from 1946-1948. All four bouts were wars. Mead fell three times, but was awarded the victory in three of the bouts. Herbie also fought Artie Levine, a renown middleweight, at the Garden. It was Kronowitz's first time headlining.

That bout took place on March 7, 1947. Levine was given the decision by three scores of 6-3-1. Kronowitz took on Harold Green on June 19, 1947. He battered the tough Green for ten rounds and won a unanimous decision. Kronowitz was given the title of middleweight champion of Brooklyn as a result of the victory.

The winner of Kronowitz-Green was supposed to fight Jake LaMotta. But that fight never materialized. Herbie believed he had the right style to beat LaMotta. LaMotta was short and stocky as was Green. Green had a better punch, but LaMotta was tougher, according to Kronowitz. Tony Zale, Marcel Cerdan, and Rocky Graziano were other potential opponents who ducked Herbie.

Kronowitz's record was 55-23-5. He contended that most of those losses were dubious. Herbie admitted that he maybe legitimately lost four of those fights. He lost his last six fights and retired from the ring in 1950. In retirement, Kronowitz was a referee in New York for nearly thirty years. He died on November 9, 2012.

As one fan wrote after Herbie's death, "His record also speaks to the politics that have always beset boxing- if you did not have the right connections, even with the talent you had a much harder road to travel. He clearly had the talent to be a world champion if he had those connections. He was a mensch all of his days, and I don't think you can do any better than that."



Bibliography
Bodner, Allen. When Boxing was a Jewish Sport. 1997.
Silver, Mike. "Herbie Kronowitz 1923-2012." Boxing.com. 2012.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Foreman Set to Return in 2013

According to Ryan Bivins of Bad Left Hook, former WBA junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman is looking to comeback in January of 2013. He has discussed a January 19 card at Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut for his first fight back. It could possibly be televised on NBC Sports in the United States.

Originally, Foreman was going to make an understated return at the Paramount Theatre in Long Island, New York. But the card was cancelled due to damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy.

Foreman announced on Twitter that he is back with his old trainer Joe Grier. Grier was by Foreman's side when Yuri tore his ACL in his title defense against Miguel Cotto. Foreman last fought in March of 2011, a six round stoppage at the hands of Pawel Wolak.

In that fight, Yuri did not have the requisite hunger. On Wednesday, he explained to listeners of ATG Radio that immediately after the fight with Cotto, "I lost any motivation." He trained for the Wolak fight out of habit, not out of love. "I wasn't there mentally," he said.

But Foreman's drive is back. "I feel great physically and mentally... There is no doubt what I want to do." He is planning to take a series of six and eight rounders before entering a big fight.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dmitriy Salita's Future Plans

On Saturday night in Manchester, England, Vyacheslav Senchenko landed a debilitating left hook to Ricky Hatton's liver in the ninth round. The former junior welterweight champion crashed to the canvas. He tried to rise, but the pain was too excruciating, and he was counted out. Senchenko's upset has possibly opened doors for welterweight contender Dmitriy Salita.

Here's how: WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KOs) had hoped to get a rematch with Hatton, assuming the latter would defeat Senchenko. But since that didn't happen, Malignaggi's plans are out the window. He likely won't fight Hatton's conqueror. Malignanggi thoroughly trounced Senchenko in April to win the belt. That could pave the way for Salita to earn his second title shot.

Salita (35-1-1, 18 KOs) told The Jewish Boxing Blog, "I am looking to fight [Gabriel] Bracero and then Malignaggi. That is the plan." The fight against Bracero (20-1, 3 KOs) would possibly take place in February. Bracero, a light-punching skilled boxer from Brooklyn, has a date scheduled for December 19 at Roseland Ballroom.

Bracero was badly beaten during a decision loss to DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley in January. He's won two fights since and is looking to regain momentum for his career. Nicknamed "Tito," the native of Puerto Rico is a New York favorite and a clash with Salita would be quite intriguing.

Beltholder Paulie Malignaggi is looking to fight in April and Salita hopes a win over the credible Bracero will earn him that date. If Plan A falls through, there are other options. Senchenko (33-1, 22 KOs) is one. Salita said, "We were talking about fighting each other several times but it did not work out. I would be interested in that as well."

Two men who have called out Dmitriy likely won't be in the picture. Francisco "El Gato" Figueroa (20-5-1, 13 KOs) had some unkind things to say to an unnamed reporter at BoxingScene.com earlier this month. Phil D. Jay reports that undefeated Canadian welterweight Phil Lo Greco (25-0, 14 KOs) also had some disrespectful comments aimed at Salita. Dmitriy correctly asserts, "Both fights will not do much for my career."

Salita explains, "My ultimate goal is a fight with Paulie for the WBA title. I feel I did my part in deserving a second title shot. I guarantee that I will take full advantage of it and take care of business inside the ring."

In the meantime, Salita Promotions is putting on an amateur card called Brooklyn Brawl which will be held at the Fight Factory Gym in Brooklyn, New York on December 2.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ahrens Wins Again

Danny "Kid" Ahrens won his second professional fight last night at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London, England. Ahrens defeated Rick Boulter on points. Referee Richard Williams granted Ahrens the decision by the score of 40-36.

Ahrens sauntered to the ring underneath a white hood to the sound of Guns 'N Roses's Welcome to the Jungle. Once the bout started, Ahrens captured the center of the ring. He eschewed the jab in favor of bobbing and weaving his way inside. Boulter, a southpaw from Lincoln, England, kept his right hand low and futilely attempted to block Ahrens's straight rights with his shoulder.

Boulter landed one big shot in the first round. It was absorbed by Ahrens's face, which showed no consternation as a result of the blow. At the end of the round, Danny nailed Boulter with two left hooks. Boulter went hurling into the corner and Ahrens showed an instinctive aggression by jumping on his wounded opponent. But the bell sounded and Boutler was saved.

Rick Boulter is no world beater. He has only one win compared to now thirty losses and three draws. But he knows how to survive. On the rare occasion he decided to attack, his punches landed on Danny's gloves. His nose bled from the second round onward. As a result, Boulter held relentlessly in the third and fourth rounds. The excessive holding served to stifle Ahrens's attack.

Ahrens, who is 5'8" and weighed 156 for the fight, was the aggressor throughout. He periodically switched to southpaw, a stance that was less effective than when he was orthodox. The "Kid" often stood squarely in front of his taller opponent, who weighed in at 156.75 pounds for this contest, but did not need to worry about presenting a bigger target as Boulter exhibited very little offense.

There's no shame in the fact that Ahrens didn't stop a fighter with a 1-30-3 record as Boutler has only been stopped thrice in his career. This was his 15th fight on 2012. Danny Ahrens advances to 2-0.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cletus Seldin vs. Carl McNickles

October 13, 2012
NYCB Theatre
Westbury, New York



Seldin: purple trunks
McNickles: black trunks

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Max Heyman vs. Robin Krasniqi

November 16, 2012
Maritim Hotel
Magdeburg, Germany



Heyman: black trunks
Kransiqi: black trunks, red trim

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Krasniqi Stops Heyman

Max Heyman lost by way of third round TKO in his fight yesterday against Robin Krasniqi at the Maritim Hotel in Magdeburg, Germany. Heyman was knocked to the canvas twice before the referee waved off the contest.

Heyman, wearing black trunks with red fire on the left leg, was competitive early. He jabbed out of his high guard, which produced little success. "Mad" Max found his best punch however when he added the right to the body. Meanwhile, Krasniqi tested his right hand early, gauging the appropriate range.

Heyman landed a nice counter right, but Krasniqi appeared unfazed. The younger man realized at that point that he could walk down Heyman. Late in the first, Krasniqi landed a big right uppercut, which is his money punch. He added a massive overhand right that sent Heyman staggering into the corner.

Heyman was at his worst when hiding in the corner. Moments before the bell rang, he fell, flooded by a series of Krasniqi shots. The Germany-based fighter continued his right hand-heavy dominance in the second and third rounds.  Heyman's nose bled as a result of repeated right uppercuts. But he fought gamely. Still, Krasniqi's hand speed and Heyman's inability to produce enough power forced the American to constantly retreat. For Heyman to have a chance, he needed to be coming forward.

Towards the end of the third, Krasniqi overwhelmed a stunned Heyman once again. Max folded to the floor. He beat the count, but the fight was waved off with 16 seconds remaining in the round. Heyman protested.

Krasniqi, who is line to challenge the WBO beltholder Nathan Cleverly, rises to 39-2 with 15 KOs. The classy Heyman slides to 25-12-4 with 14 KOs.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Brooks Stays Undefeated

Mike "Lefty" Brooks remained undefeated after winning by majority decision last night against Bryan Acaba. This fight took place at Plattduetsche Restaurant in Long Island, New York and was originally scheduled for November 1, but Hurricane Sandy forced the postponement of the card.

This was the 135-pound Long Island native's toughest test to date and Acaba, who weighed in at 133 for the contest, was able to shake him up on occasion. But Lefty's stunning right hook, sprinkled across Acaba's face throughout the rounds, won him the fight.

In the first round, the wheels in Mike's mind were apparent. First, he flung out the jab. He noticed Acaba's eyes followed its trajectory. So, Brooks used it as a decoy and fired a straight left into Acaba's mouth. He tried the combination again, but Acaba was wise to the straight left, so Brooks added a delayed right hook on the back end that caused Acaba consternation. Acaba never adjusted to Brooks's flinging right hook.

Brooks, wearing camouflage trunks, stalked for the first five rounds and Acaba moved. Acaba's punches were slow, but he showed himself to be a competent boxer. In the middle of the third round, Acaba shot off a ferocious combination as if he had been shocked out of a deep slumber. The blizzard likely won him the round.

Lefty is an excellent body puncher, but while he threw more than Acaba, he threw fewer than he should have. It allowed Acaba to maintain his strength in the final round. Acaba needed his strength because he had been blasted around in the fourth and fifth periods. But he showed grit in the sixth and his right continuously forced Brooks backwards. Mike moved for the first time in the fight and Acaba became the aggressor. Exhibiting courage, and after eating Acaba's gloves all round, Brooks punctuated the bout with another winging right hook that stopped his opponent in his tracks.

The two inked warriors tattooed each other all fight long giving the fans a rousing affair. Much of the sparse crowd backed Lefty, but the Acaba supporters took over in the final round. Brooks had fought outdoors at the Plattduetsche in August in sweltering conditions; this contest took place comfortably indoors.

The judges scored the bout 58-56 twice and 57-57. Some Acaba fans interestingly believe Brooks benefited from a hometown decision. Brooks advances to 9-0 with two KOs and Acaba falls to 3-2 with two KOs.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Foreman Fight Canceled

Yuri Foreman's comeback fight, scheduled for Saturday, has been cancelled. The entire Star Boxing card at Paramount Theatre in Long Island, New York was shelved due to damaged inflicted by Hurricane Sandy late last month. The show was nixed last Friday, according to Foreman.

This would have marked Foreman's first fight since a loss against Pawel Wolak in March of 2011. Foreman is 28-2 with 8 KOs.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Heyman-Krasniqi Preview

Max Heyman faces light heavyweight contender Robin Krasniqi at Maritim Hotel in Magdeburg, Germany on Friday. Heyman will fight in Europe for the first time in his career and is the clear underdog in this contest. He is essentially a veteran opponent brought in by Krasniqi's handlers to allow their man to look impressive. But Heyman intends to write his own narrative.

Krasniqi (38-2, 14 KOs), a 25-year old ethnic-Albanian born in Kosovo, has not lost since a 2006 defeat in his third professional bout to a winless fighter. He now resides in Munich, Germany and has fought all 40 of his contests in his adoptive home country. A win would likely land him a fight with WBO light heavyweight titlist Nathan Cleverly, according to Scott Gilfoid of BoxingNews24.com (Incidentally, Jewish light heavyweight contender Isaac Chilemba has publicly challenged Cleverly, but the beltholder hasn't yet shown interest in accepting).

Krasniqi is an athletic mover with fast hands. His primary weapon is his right hand, particularly the uppercut. In his last fight in August, he floored the undefeated Serdar Sahin with that right uppercut twice, winning by fourth round TKO. In his previous fight, Krasniqi unloaded a series of overhand rights against Hakim Zoulikha in the twelfth, before the referee became tired of watching the beating and waved off the contest.

A cocky kid with quick hands, Krasniqi often keeps his guard low. That leaves him susceptible to an overhand right if he pulls straight back or a counter right if he sits in the pocket and admires his last punch too long. Those two options will be the best hopes for Heyman (25-11-4, 14 KOs). Both Sahim and Zoulikha, who are not the most skilled fighters, were able to tag Krasniqi repeatedly with overhand rights. Heyman, a 33-year old New Mexico-native, will need to improve upon his recent defensive performances in order to land those big rights against his younger, slightly taller opponent. The hand injuries that have recently plagued Heyman are another potential aspect of this fight.

"Mad" Max has fought the better competition in his career, but not recently. In his last fight, Heyman decisioned journeyman Chris Thomas on September 22, his only fight in the past two years. Of this next bout, Heyman said, "Robin Krasniqi is a young, strong boxer. I was well informed about him. This is a tough fight and I have to do my best."

The matchup is scheduled for twelve rounds and is for a minor belt.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lessons from the Loss: Wohlman on Last Night

His voice sounded firm and resolute. This loss would not define his career. He knew where he had failed and what he could do to make sure that never happens again.

Zachary "Kid Yamaka" Wohlman (4-1-1, one KO) suffered the first defeat of his career last night against Alonso Loeza, a fourth round stoppage. Despite his superior technique, he lost a battle of "will vs. skill" as he puts it.

There were explanations, but no excuses. "I want to take 100% responsibility for the loss." Wohlman told The Jewish Boxing Blog, "I know this sounds bizarre, but I learned more than ever in my heart this is really what I want. And that being said, I need to live and breathe boxing all the time."

When he woke up in the morning, no longer an undefeated fighter, he was "on fire." Any true competitor knows the feeling. He shunned the press, refusing to read other's opinions of the bout for the time being. He didn't need to be told where it all went wrong.

"I went from 166 lbs. to 148 lbs. in two weeks," purging five pounds of sweat on Friday in the process. He noted that in the excitement of potentially fighting at the Staples Center on the undercard of the Mares-Moreno title clash on Showtime, "I rushed into a fight I wasn't prepared for."

Knowing he was out of shape, Wohlman uncharacteristically attempted to oust Loeza from the fight early. But Wohlman is at heart a boxer and Loeza as a boxer is all heart. Loeza survived the early barrage.

"I completely ran out of gas," Zac admits. Falling in the third round after a series of clubbing rights, he experienced an epiphany. "Last night, I dropped from exhaustion and found my way back up from nothing else but instinct. I'm going to get in to phenomenal shape, utilize my skill, and know that those instincts are who I am as a fighter."

Wohlman looks to return to the ring in a few months after he works his way into better condition. He assures his fans who have given him so much support, "I'll be back in the ring, ready and prepared, as soon as possible."

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Wohlman Suffers First Career Defeat

Zachary "Kid Yamaka" Wohlman's undefeated record went by the wayside after being stopped in the fourth round against journeyman Alonso Loeza at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California tonight. The loss is a significant setback for the popular Californian's career.

Stamina issues were the major reason for the loss. Wohlman told The Jewish Boxing Blog in October that he had been running, but the aftermath of the nasty cut on his forehead, which he sustained in his last fight in September, possibly played a role in Wohlman's lack of endurance. It not only limited certain training activities, but it likely informed Wohlman's strategy for this fight, causing him to engage more rather than box in order to get rid of a lesser opponent before an accidental headbutt could occur.

The first round started well enough. Wohlman was able to box effectively and land several uppercuts, earning him a point on the cards. But Loeza is not a man who relents. In the second, the match turned into a bit of a brawl, which favored the less-skilled Loeza.

In the third, Wohlman was unable to avoid Loeza's clubbing rights. In his previous five fights, Zac's chin had never been questioned. The decorated amateur fell towards the end of that round, but, to his credit, managed to stand up, albeit on shaky legs. Loeza, who continues throws punches whether he or his opponent is hurt, opened the fourth round with a flurry. Wohlman had not recovered fully from the knockdown and didn't have an answer. Referee Tom Taylor waved off the fight, which wiped away Wohlman's undefeated mark, seventeen seconds into the round.

Loeza is now 3-7-1 with three KOs. While that is far from stellar, Loeza is legitimately better than his record suggests. Last year, he gave undefeated prospect Terron Grant a competitive fight. Wohlman, who falls to 4-1-1 with one KO, must return to the drawing board. Loeza has an incredible heart and motor, but does not have the talent or technique that Kid Yamaka possesses. It's a fight Wohlman needed to win.

This loss marks a new low in Wohlman's professional career. But the affable and skilled boxer will be back if he's able to learn from this stoppage. Kid Yamaka represents a time when one loss did not define a career, but this result will certainly challenge his hunger and his desire to succeed in the sport.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Wohlman to Face Loeza

Zachary Wohlman is scheduled to face Alonso Loeza at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, November 10. The welterweight contest is penciled in for four rounds and will take place on the undercard of Showtime's Abner Mares-Anselmo Moreno fight.

Wohlman (4-0-1, one KO) is coming off of a frustrating technical draw against Jesus Vallejo on September 20. That bout ended after an accidental headbutt formed a cut on Wohlman's forehead. This is a big moment for the man nicknamed Kid Yamaka as it's the first time he'll be fighting on the undercard of a major boxing event.

Zac, who has been more willing to stand and trade as his career progresses, likely has the right opponent for success. Loeza (2-7-1, two KOs) though is better than his dreadful record. The man has a mountain of courage and a dearth of skill. Loeza is a 21-year old from Gilroy, California and is of Mexican heritage. He's 5'8" and has a reach of 74". Most of his fights have taken place below the welterweight limit.

When hit, Loeza has the unfortunate habit of seeing his head dramatically snapped back and bleeding profusely from the nose. But he rarely goes down despite being stopped four times. He is an all action brawler, who treats holding and running as a person with lactose intolerance would dairy. Due to Loeza's style, Wohlman probably won't have to worry about an accidental headbutt this time around. Loeza constantly throws punches even after being shaken up and provides openings for his opponent to score when he lets his hands go, which is frequent.

But Loeza gave undefeated prospect Terron Grant a good scrap last year. Wohlman and Loeza have a shared opponent. With a nose gushing blood, Loeza drew with Ricardo Malfavon (though Malfavon probably deserved the decision) last year. Later in 2011, Wohlman severely outboxed Malfavon on route to scoring a knockdown and a comfortable unanimous decision.

Monday, November 5, 2012

History of Jewish Boxing

With Jewish boxing entering a bit of a renaissance, it is always instructive to take a look back at the history of Jews in the sport. Of course, The Jewish Boxing Blog has provided an ongoing series featuring past Jewish boxers.

Trainer Adam "Big" Fish, proprietor of Big Fish Boxing Club has written a wonderfully informative overview on the history of Jews in the sweet science. The article effectively links the present to the past and is a great place to start for anyone interested in the subject.

Holden Kepecs of Pugilist Pictures is coming out with a documentary on Jews in boxing, which focuses on the first portion of the twentieth century. Here is a trailer for the intriguing film.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Dmitriy Salita Videos

Dmitriy Salita's press conference following his unanimous decision victory over Brandon Hoskins on October 20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Salita discusses facing Paulie Malignaggi or Gabriel "Tito" Bracero. A potential matchup with Malignaggi has been talked about for years. A fight with Bracero is very interesting. It could take place in January at the Barclays Center.




Salita talks to Elie Seckbach after the Hoskins fight. Salita remarks, "I want some big fights. I want something meaningful." He also discusses how Shabbat interfered with his preparation for the fight.




Salita remembers the late Emanuel Steward. Salita tells Seckbach over the phone about what it was like to have the legendary Steward train him.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Moved Brooks Fight

Mike "Lefty" Brooks was scheduled to fight today at Plattduetsche Restaurant in Long Island, New York against Bryan Acaba. That card was postponed due to the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy earlier this week. The card has been rescheduled to November 15. If all goes well, Brooks is also scheduled to fight on December 13.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Look Back: Isaac Bitton

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.

Bitton "The Jew" was a 19th century bare-knuckle boxer and is most remembered for his bout with George Maddox.

Isaac Haim Bitton was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands on June 29, 1779. His parents were Abraham and Rachel. His father had been born in Italy and Isaac had ancestry from Algeria. The family moved to England in 1789, but Rachel was left behind. She never managed to make it to London due to the events of the day. Isaac, whose father died in 1801, was known as a fencer before taking up boxing at the age of 22.

Isaac fought Paddington Tom Jones on July 31, 1801 at Wimbledon Commons in London, England. Isaac had money in his drawers during the fight and, at one point, realized he couldn't find the stashed cash. So, he called an illegal timeout which ended only when the loot was found. But, unlike Chris Webber in the 1993 NCAA basketball championship, Isaac received no penalty for his bizarre behavior.

Nicknamed Bitton The Jew, Isaac was a stout man with a paunch for a belly and a punishing punch. He used Daniel Mendoza's new style of "boxing" his opponent, including raising his hands to block punches. Bitton's dark curly hair descended into sideburns that twisted into a "J" around his upper lip.

Isaac took on Maddox on December 13, 1802. Both men received twenty guineas for the bout which took place at Wimbledon Commons. Bitton knocked Maddox down repeatedly in the first three rounds. Maddox exhibited an uncommon toughness in coming back to deliver his own punishment. Though Maddox's face looked like raw meat by the end of the match, the battle was deemed a draw.

On July 16, 1804, Isaac took on Bill Wood at Wilsden Green. Bitton fell in three of the first four rounds. But by the end of the fifth, Bitton had gained control of the contest and was considered the favorite. By the 17th round, Wood was suffering from exhaustion, but the fight continued. It wasn't until the 36th round that Wood finally gave up and Bitton was declared the winner.

Isaac retired from the ring that year. He taught fencing and boxing thereafter. Isaac was the lone remaining child when his mother died in 1812 in Amsterdam. In 1818, he got married and fathered enough children to form a minyan. He died in 1839. British actress June Brown is a descendant.

Bibliography
Blady, Ken. The Jewish Boxers Hall of Fame. 1988.
Egan, Pierce. Boxiana; Or Sketches of Ancient and Modern Pugilism. 1829.
Ford, John. Prizefighting: The Age of Regency Boximania. 1972.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Heyman to Fight Krasniqi in Germany

According to NewMexicoBoxing.com, "Mad" Max Heyman will face Robin Krasniqi on November 16 in Magdenburg, Germany. The fight will be for a marginal belt and take place at light heavyweight.

Heyman (25-11-4, 14 KOs) is coming off of unanimous decision victory over Chris Thomas in September. He's won his last two fights. But he's only fought once in the past 22 months and four times in five and half years. Those four fights have all been in Heyman's home state of New Mexico. Only one of his career matches has taken place somewhere other than the western portion of the United States.

Krasniqi, at 25, is eight years younger than Heyman. The Germany-based Serbian is 38-2 with 14 KOs. But he is on an incredible 37-fight win streak. Few of those bouts have been against an opponent as experienced as Heyman. Krasniqi fought in August, a win over previously-undefeated Serdar Sahin.

One of the big questions heading into the bout involves Heyman's oft-injured hands. In the Thomas fight, Heyman complained of a damaged right hand. He had hurt his left in a 2010 bout against Mike Alderete.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Foreman Scheduled to Return

Yuri Foreman is scheduled to return to the ring on November 17 at the Paramount Theatre in Long Island, New York. The former WBA junior middleweight champion has not fought since March of 2011.

In his last fight, Foreman lost to Pawel Wolak in a flat performance. That fight came after he snapped his ACL while losing his title belt to Miguel Cotto in 2010. At 28-2 with 8 KOs, those two losses are the only Foreman has experienced as a professional boxer. Following the Wolak fight, the first Israeli world champion in the history of the sport took some time off.

Foreman, who is now 32 years old, will likely face soft competition in his first fight back in twenty months. That has been a rare occurrence of late for Foreman; he has fought world class competition in his four previous clashes. And before that, Foreman faced quality fighters. No opponent has been named as of yet for Yuri's scheduled six round affair next month.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Carolina Duer vs. Marisa Johanna Portillo

October 26, 2012
Tecnópolis
Buenos Aires, Argentina
WBO super flyweight championship



Duer: purple trunks
Portillo: white trunks

Friday, October 26, 2012

Duer Decisions Portillo to Defend Title

Carolina Raquel Duer retained the WBO super flyweight title against Marisa Johnna Portillo by unanimous decision at Tecnópolis in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Duer was more aggressive and used combinations, especially to the body, to capture the victory.

Duer's hair was wrapped tightly to prevent it from whipping into her face as happened last fight. Portillo initiated the bout with an overhand right. Duer spent the first minute measuring her Argentine challenger. By the second round, Duer had found her groove, delivering punishing body combinations. The champion also controlled the third round.

Nicknamed "La Turca," Duer began her combinations with rounded left hooks before shifting to the overhand right. She adapted that combo later in the fight, throwing curved left uppercuts, reminiscent of a bolo punch, and following them up with the right.

But Portillo was a game opponent. After failing to match Duer's activity early, Portillo pushed forward in the fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds. In those three rounds, the challenger was at her most competitive, but Duer still landed frequently.

In the sixth, Portillo pushed Duer back to the ropes. Duer slid away and continued to back up. Portillo billy goated Duer in the nose. Referee Rudolfo Stella stripped a point away from Portillo for the act. The result was a more passive Portillo. Duer dominated the seventh round with overhand rights. By the ninth round, Duer utilized her customary running combos.

The ring card girls informed the crowd of the upcoming rounds by tip-toeing a high wire in the night's sky. Portillo did not show the same commitment to risk as the ring card girls until the final round. In that tenth, Portillo went for broke. Being the true fighter she is, Duer, comfortably ahead at that point, matched Portillo's intensity throughout the two-minute period, absorbing punishment in the process.

All three of the judges scored the contest 97-92 in favor of the defending champion. Duer, who is an outspoken activist against domestic violence, weighed 114.75 pounds for the bout. She is now 13-3 with 5 KOs after defending the title for the sixth time. Portillo, who weighed 115 pounds, is now 12-6-2 with 2 KOs.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wohlman Discusses Cletus Seldin, More

Zachary "Kid Yamaka" Wohlman attended the first ever boxing event at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York yesterday. Sporting the remnants of the nasty cut on his forehead from his last bout with Jesus Vallejo, he said his next fight will either be on November 10 or 17.

Wohlman is looking to sign with either Top Rank or Golden Boy, the two preeminent promotional companies in boxing, in the near future. Wohlman appreciates Top Rank's fighter development and Golden Boy's clout in his home state of California.

Unfortunately for East Coast fans of Wohlman, he has no plans fighting outside of the Los Angeles area any time soon. However, he did express interest in battling New York's Cletus "Hebrew Hammer" Seldin. Both are undefeated Jewish welterweights. Wohlman has respect for Seldin, noting, "He can crack."

Zac also said he needs to build up his record more before that matchup can be considered as Seldin is currently further along in his career than is Wohlman. But that contest would be intriguing. It would feature a clash of styles as Seldin is a puncher and Wohlman is a boxer.

Currently, Seldin is 9-0 with 7 KOs and Wohlman is 4-0-1 with 1 KO. If both remain undefeated after reaching double digit fights, it would make sense for ESPN's Friday Night Fights or Showtime's ShoBox to televise the all-Jewish affair as it would be quite marketable.

Additionally, Wohlman said he met fellow Jewish welterweight Dmitriy Salita in the week before the fights. "Kid Yamaka" noted that Salita approached him and told him, "Congrats on your success." Wohlman came away from the meeting singing Salita's praises, remarking, "Gotta say, what a humble guy."

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Salita Wins, Melson Draws

Dmitriy Salita took virtually every round against Brandon Hoskins in winning a unanimous decision at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Salita varied his attack throughout the fight, but Hoskins managed to tag him more than expected.

Salita told Jerry Glick before the fight, "I have to look impressive, and I have to look great to put myself into title contention." Though winning just about every round, Salita's hometown crowd sat passively as the fight progressed, indicating that he did not impress to quite the degree he had hoped.

Hoskins was often willing to trade, but Dmitriy tended to punctuate the exchanges with scoring blows as he did at the end of the first. He countered well throughout and utilized his left hook effectively. Hoskins landed his share of overhand rights during the first four rounds, but it simply wasn't enough. In the fifth, Hoskins added the left hook to his arsenal, but Salita finished the round with a flurry of chopping rights. Dmitriy dominated the sixth round.

The scores were 60-54, 59-55 twice. Salita weighed 150 pounds and Hoskins, a resident of Hannibal, Missouri, weighed 147.25 pounds. Salita came to the arena not long before his fight began as he waited until Shabbat had ended to make the trip. Dmitriy advances to 35-1-1 with 18 KOs and Hoskins falls to 16-3-1, with 8 KOs

Earlier in the evening, Boyd Melson battled to a draw against Jason Thompson in the first ever fight at Barclays Center. Both men were sent to the canvas although it appeared Melson controlled much of the fight.

The cavernous arena was sparsely populated when the fight began just after 5pm. But those in attendance were boisterous for Boyd. Melson entered the ring to Alicia Keys's "Girl on Fire." In the first, both men bounced on their toes. Melson, nicknamed the "Rainmaker," hit Thompson with a big left and a right hook before finding himself too square and touching the canvas after a big Thompson right.

Thompson spent most of the rest of the fight attempting to replicate that riveting right, resulting in a reluctance to throw. Melson's lead lefts and short right hooks contributed to Thompson's inactive hands. Boyd's short right hooks were most impressive. A quick combo knocked Thompson off his feet in the third. He looked hurt and showed courage in continuing.

The fourth period was closer as Thompson finally began to jab. But Melson controlled range. In the fifth, he boxed and bullied his way to the round. Thompson landed his rights in the sixth, but Melson was still right there with him.

It seemed as if Melson won every round after the first, and he was winning that one before the knockdown came. But all three judges scored the contest 56-56. Boyd told The Jewish Boxing Blog that he is, "Highly frustrated with the decision." He has reason to be.

He explained, "I believe you can find a round at best to give him outside the first. [I am] really frustrated as well because I won the first had I never went down." Despite the unexpected result, Melson was gracious to his opponent. He continued, "Outside of that he fought extremely hard and showed some heart getting up like he did to fight back after I knocked him down."

After the dubious draw, Melson, who weighed 155 pounds, is now 10-1-1 with 4 KOs while Thompson, who was 151 pounds, moves to 5-6-2 with 4 KOs.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Opponents Named For Salita and Melson

Dmitriy Salita is now scheduled to fight 25-year old Missouri-native Brandon Hoskins at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, New York this Saturday. Hoskins is 16-2-1 with 8 KOs. He has lost his two fights in 2012, both to quality undefeated opponents, Keith Thurman and Phil Lo Greco. Hoskins has yet to garner a win against an opponent of note.

Salita (34-1-1, 18 KOs) was scheduled to face Hector Munoz. Hoskins is less experienced than Munoz, but has a similar record of losing when he steps up in competition. Salita believes, "I'm only one or two fights away from a world title fight in my beautiful home borough of Brooklyn." A win over Hoskins, a fight taken on short notice, likely won't clinch that world title challenge, but it would be a step in the right direction.

The Salita-Hoskins bout is marked down for eight rounds at welterweight.

Boyd Melson is also slated to fight on the same card at the Barclay's Center. Jason Thompson (5-6-1, 4 KOs) has been announced as Melson's opponent. Thompson has lost his last three fights, all to undefeated prospects, including Jonathan Gonzalez and Sadam Ali. Thompson, a 31-year old New Yorker, has fought around the welterweight limit throughout his seven year pro career. He hasn't fought since 2010.

Melson (10-1-, 4 KOs), who turns 31 years old today, has won his last two fights since a controversial loss to Delen Parsley in March. Melson has spent his entire career around the junior middleweight limit. The strong southpaw will donate his purse to Justadollarplease.org as always.

The Melson-Thompson contest is scheduled for six rounds in the junior middleweight division.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Groenteman Wins Dutch Junior Welterweight Title

Barry Groenteman captured the vacant Dutch junior welterweight title today by drawing with Belgian Tarik Madni at Theater Carré in Amsterdam, Netherlands. This is far and away Groenteman's biggest result of his career. By drawing with the Belgian fighter, Groenteman was awarded the Dutch belt. The bout was part of the Ben Bril Memorial boxing event.

Ben Bril was a Dutch Jew who boxed in the 1928 Olympics. His country was banned in 1932 and he boycotted the 1936 Berlin Games because of the Nazis. Bril spent time in Bergen-Belsen during the Holocaust. Bril later became a professional boxing referee and lived to the age of 91.

That Groenteman's performance came at the memorial for a fellow Dutch Jewish boxer makes it all the more sweet. He weighed in at 138.25 pounds for the bout and Madni was 139. Barry's record is now 7-5-2 with 2 KOs. Madni is 17-4-1.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Seldin's Fifth Straight Knockout

Welterweight Cletus Seldin stopped Carl McNickles in the second round tonight at the NYCB Theatre in Westbury, New York. The win marks Seldin's fifth consecutive knockout.

As usual, Seldin came out firing from the beginning of the fight. After the initial storm, Seldin settled down and landed a nifty lead right with thirty seconds remaining in the opening round. Just before the bell, Seldin clocked McNickles with an overhand right, a harbinger of things to come.

In the second, Seldin wobbled McNickles with a strong combo. The "Hebrew Hammer" then nailed McNickles with an overhand right, his usual knockout blow. McNickles fell like a tree, but gamely managed to beat the count. The fight did not last much longer before referee Tony Chiarantan halted it. Seldin landed off the knockdown with a leaping left hook. Three rights later, his courageous veteran opponent collapsed for a second and final time.

Both men weighed in at 143 pounds for the contest. Seldin, wearing his customary purple trunks, has been under 145 in each of his last four fights, but this was the lightest he's been in his career. Seldin's record improves to 9-0 with 7 KOs while McNickles plummets to 8-4 with 6 KOs.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Brooks Has Two Fights Scheduled

Undefeated lightweight Mike "Lefty" Brooks has two fights upcoming before the close of 2012. On November 1, Brooks is expected to fight Bryan Acaba at Plattduetsche Restaurant in Long Island, New York. On December 13, Brooks is slated to fight Edward Valdez in New York. A venue for the latter fight has not been selected as of yet.

Brooks (8-0, 2 KOs) has fought twice this year. Lefty has the ability to box or stalk his opponent. He is especially adept at working over his opponent's body. In his last fight, he defeated Joey Arroyo by unanimous decision in an eight round affair at Plattduetsche. That bout was fought outdoors in sweltering humidity, but Brooks had no problems fighting eight rounds for the first time in his career.

Bryan Acaba (3-1, 2 KOs) is a 25 year old Brooklyn resident originally from Puerto Rico. He has two wins over Jamell Tyson, a fighter Brooks has also defeated. In his last fight on August 31, Acaba was knocked out in the first round against Tyrone Luckey. The win made Luckey 5-2-1 against nondescript opposition. The fight with Acaba, Lefty's fourth at Plattduetsche, is marked down for six rounds.

Edward Valdez (11-8-2, 8 KOs) is a 33 year old native of the Dominican Republic. Valdez has won six fights in a row and eight of his previous nine clashes. However, only one of those wins came against a fighter with a winning record. In his eight losses, his opponents had a combined two losses at the time they fought Valdez. Valdez is in tough again against Brooks. That match is penciled in for eight rounds.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mike Brooks vs. Joey Arroyo

August 11, 2012
Plattduetsche Restaurant
Long Island, New York



Brooks: camouflage trunks
Arroyo: red trunks, white trim

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Duer's Next Defense

Carolina Raquel Duer is posed to make her sixth defense of the WBO super flyweight title. This time, she will face Marisa Johanna Portillo at Tecnópolis in Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 26. This will mark Duer's fifth straight fight in her hometown of Buenos Aires.

Duer (12-3, 5 KOs), nicknamed La Turca and La Colorada, has ten consecutive wins and five knockouts in a row. Her last fight was a fifth round KO of Carina Corlescu (video) on July 6. Duer is ten years older than Portillo, who is also from Argentina.

Portillo (12-5-2, two KOs) lost her lone attempt at a world title in October of 2011 by unanimous decision. She was dominated by Ana Maria Torres in her attempted to pry away the WBC's version of the super flyweight belt. Portillo, nicknamed La Nena and La Piba, has a couple of wins against nondescript co-nationalists since that loss.

The bout between Duer and Portillo is scheduled for ten two-minute rounds.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ahrens Wins Debut

Daniel Aharonov, fighting under the name of Danny 'Kid' Ahrens, won his professional debut last Friday. Ahrens defeated Kevin McCauley on points in a four-rounder at the Camden Centre in London, England.

A noted amateur, Ahrens is a 5'9" light middleweight from Israel. He weighed 152 pounds for this fight while McCauley was 158. Referee Robert Williams scored the fight 40-37. Ahrens is now 1-0; McCauley falls to 10-42-3 with zero KOs.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Salita to Face Munoz in Brooklyn

Welterweight Dmitriy Salita is scheduled to face Hector Munoz on October 20 at the newly-opened Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, New York. The bout is part of a stacked card, the first to take place at the new arena. Salita-Munoz could be televised on Showtime Extreme.

Dmitriy Salita (34-1-1, 18 KOs) is 5'9" and 30 years old. He's fought once since April of 2011. That was a knockout victory over Roberto Valenzuela in August, his fourth consecutive triumph over a journeyman with a winning record. Salita hopes to obtain a title shot in the near future, particularly against WBA beltholder Paulie Malignaggi, who is facing Pablo Cesar Cano on the same card. Other names previously talked about for this fight with Salita were Edgar Santana (26-4, 17 KOs) and Vivian Harris (29-9-2, 19 KOs).

Hector Munoz (20-8-1, 13 KOs)- an Albuquerque, New Mexico resident- is four years older and an inch shorter than Salita. Munoz has won two fights out of ten since a 2008 win against the same Roberto Valenzuela. Munoz has been knocked out five times in his career. However, six of his eight losses were against quality prospects or contenders who were undefeated at the time. These include Antonin Decarie, Mike Jones, Shawn Porter, Ravshan Hudaynazarov, Yoshihiro Kamegai, and Brad Solomon.

A fight with the likes of Munoz is not exactly one that will propel Salita into a position for a mandatory title shot. But it is a step up from his recent competition and a win would put him closer to his goal. The Salita-Munoz contest is marked for eight rounds or fewer.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wohlman's Cut Healing Quickly

Zachary Wohlman incurred a nasty gash across his forehead in his last fight on September 20. Wohlman describes how the cut occurred against Jesus Vallejo that night. Zac needed 32 stitches.

But Wohlman told The Jewish Boxing Blog, "My cut is healing unbelievably quick. I start training again Friday."  He said that he's looking at November 10 at the Staples Center for his return and that he's "very excited" about that possibility. In the meantime, Wohlman will be working with the Paulie Malignaggi camp in preparation for the latter's fight with Pablo Cesar Cano on October 20.

Wohlman, nicknamed "Kid Yamaka," is a popular prospect from the Los Angeles area who sports a record of 4-0-1 with one KO. The draw came in the aforementioned Vallejo bout and was of the technical variety.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Seldin to Fight on October 13

Welterweight Cletus Seldin is scheduled to be back in the ring on October 13 at the NYCB Theatre in Westbury, New York. Veteran Carl McNickles is slated to be Seldin's opponent.

Seldin (8-0, 6 KOs), a 26 year old, has five consecutive knockouts, all coming in the third round or earlier. He is coming off of a first round stoppage of Jonathan Garcia in July. That fight lasted two minutes and 18 seconds.

Of his aggressive style, the man nicknamed the "Hebrew Hammer" told The Jewish Boxing Blog, "Even though my style looks like I'm just a bull, there is a science behind it... I can also just box too, but I just like to fight hard." Seldin noted that his strategy for each fight is detailed, "A lot of preparation goes into a fight, so much that my coach even told me what punches are going to win the fight the last two bouts."

McNickles (8-3, 6 KOs), a 28 year old from Chicago, has fought as heavy as junior middleweight and as small as lightweight. McNickles has two majority decision victories since a December 2009 loss to Gabriel Bracero.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Chilemba's Post-Fight Interview

Coming off of his unanimous decision victory over Rayco Saunders on Saturday night, Isaac Chilemba (20-1-1, 9 KOs) spoke with Victor Salazar of Tha Boxing Voice. Chilemba noted that Saunders was "tough." Since Saunders used a high guard, Chilemba explained, "I knew that every time I jabbed him, he was going to cover up- he's going to cover his whole body- so the only punch I could get in proper was the uppercut. And it worked well."

Chilemba, nicknamed the "Golden Boy," was originally scheduled to face the undefeated Zsolt Erdei. Isaac expressed interest in that fight and in facing the best at light heavyweight, including Chad Dawson, Jean Pascal, Nathan Cleverly, Tavoris Cloud, or Bernard Hopkins. Chilemba declared, "All I want is to be the best in my division."

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Chilemba Cruises to Victory over Saunders

Light heavyweight Isaac Chilemba controlled the action Saturday night at the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut during his fight with journeyman Rayco Saunders. Chilemba won every round of the bout earning a unanimous decision victory thanks to three scores of 80-72.

Chilemba was originally scheduled to face two-time champion Zsolt Erdei on HBO, but Erdei backed out due to a cracked rib. That left Chilemba without an opponent until about a week out from fight night. With the win, Chilemba, who weighed 177 pounds, improves to 20-1-1 with 9 KOs. Saunders, who was 175, tumbles to 22-17-2 with 9 KOs.

In a just world, Chilemba's wide win over Saunders coupled with the misfortune of Erdei's injury would land Isaac another date on HBO in the near future against a top light heavyweight. That's exactly what he desires.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Wohlman Speaks on His Last Fight

Zachary "Kid Yamaka" Wohlman's last fight was stopped after the third round because of a head clash and cut that opened up on his forehead. A technical draw was ruled. Wohlman described to The Jewish Boxing Blog how the clash with his opponent, Jesus Vallejo, occurred, "I slipped inside his right hand, [and] since he was lunging forward, his head smacked right against mine." Wohlman needed 32 stitches.

The result has been hard for Wohlman to take. He reveals, "I'm pretty heartbroken about it. It's like being upset over getting rear ended. The fact is I'm completely powerless." It's especially frustrating because, as Wohlman says, "I was dismantling this opponent and using my skills. I had every round on the cards, he was bleeding from his nose, mouth etc."

But Zachary is astute enough to see the silver-lining. He notes, "Paulie [Malignaggi] explained to me when I was getting stitched up, that sometimes it's better to just get a wild guy out of there if he's hurt because the longer it goes on, the more chance there is for something crazy to happen (like a headbutt). So next time I see it's time for my opponent to go, I'm going to sit down [on my punches] and finish the job."

Though this is an aggravating bump in the road, it's evident that Wohlman, a thinking man's boxer, possesses a rare combination of confidence and humility. He knows the strength of his abilities in the ring. But he's willing to learn from those around him. That skill will coming in handy because he's surrounded by some of the best minds in boxing, including Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wohlman on His Sparring Partners

Elie Seckbach interviewed Zachary Wohlman last week. Wohlman discussed sparring with the likes of Amir Khan and Paulie Malignaggi. He also talked about what it means to be a Jewish boxer. "It's cool...but at the end of the day, they've got two hands and two feet and they're going to punch you, it's all the same."


Wohlman, nicknamed "Kid Yamaka," is 4-0-1 and is coming off of a technical draw against Jesus Vallejao last Thursday due to a headbutt that stopped the fight before the start of the fourth round.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Melson Earns Tenth Win, Heyman Wins Too

Boyd Melson defeated Yolexcy Leiva by unanimous decision Saturday night at the Resorts World Casino in Queens, New York. Melson weighed in at 154.5 pounds and Leiva was 153. After knocking down Leiva with a right hook in the first, the southpaw Melson boxed his way to victory.

Melson controlled the bout throughout, winning with scores of 59-54 (twice) and 58-55. After the fight, Melson remarked, “I didn’t have such a battle against weight for this fight so I wasn’t fatigued.” Melson advances to 10-1 with four KOs and Leiva falls to 5-5 with four KOs. As always, Boyd  has donated his purse to Justadollarplease.org.

Max Heyman was also in action Saturday night. He faced Chris "Cold Steel" Thomas at Indian School in Santa Fe, New Mexico and won a unanimous decision. Heyman was 185.25 pounds while Thomas weighed in at 188.5 pounds fort the contest which featured three knockdowns. Heyman sent Thomas to the canvass twice while Heyman went down once. All three judges scored the bout 58-53 in favor of Heyman.

In the second round, Heyman, sporting a bald head, landed a left hook to the body that hurt Thomas badly. Thomas went down writhing in pain, but managed to beat the count. Thomas's knockdown came when he stepped on Heyman's foot in the third while connecting with a punch. Otherwise, Heyman, who works as a paramedic for the fire department in Albuquerque, controlled the action.

Heyman complained of an injured right hand after the bout. He broke his left hand in first fight with Mike Alderete in 2010. Last year, he was preparing to battle Gayrat Ahmedov when he broke the same hand.

With the win, "Mad" Max improves his record to 25-11-4 with 14 KOs. Thomas is now 17-17-2 with 14 KOs. Thomas has now won only one of his previous 15 bouts dating back to 2004. Heyman had been away from the ring for nearly 23 months and this marked only his fourth fight since 2007.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Chilemba to Fight Rayco Saunders

Light heavyweight Isaac "Golden Boy" Chilemba is scheduled to fight Rayco "War" Saunders on September 29 at the Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut. Chilemba was originally scheduled to fight undefeated two-time champion Zsolt Erdei, but Erdei pulled out of the bout complaining of broken ribs.

Chilemba's clash with Erdei was supposed to be televised on HBO. When Erdei dropped out earlier this month, Chilemba was taken off of the televised portion of the card. For the next two weeks, Chilemba was left without an opponent as promoters scrambled to find a suitable replacement. Things looked bleak, because, frankly, Chilemba is too good. No qualified opponent was willing to fight the dangerous Malawi-native without a full training camp.

At that point, Chilemba told The Jewish Boxing Blog, "[I] hope it works out or I have had a costly 5 week vacation." Some vacation; Chilemba definitely wasn't relaxing on a beach. He trained day in and day out for those five weeks at the Hit Factory in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Thankfully, an opponent was found. Rayco Saunders (22-16-2, 9 KOs) likely won't pose much of a problem for Chilemba (19-1-1, 9 KOs). Saunders is a capable journeyman who has feasted on mediocre competition and consistently lost when he steps up.

But Saunders is tough. In his 16 losses, he has only been stopped once and that was back in 2003. In the past two years, he's gone the distance with prospect Ismayl Sillakh and world title challenger Edison Miranda. Saunders outpointed veteran Daniel Judah last year.

Chilemba, rated ninth in the world at light heavyweight according to The Ring, is coming off of an impressive decision victory over Miranda back in February.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Accidental Headbutt Stops Wohlman's Fight

Zachary Wohlman fought Jesus Vallejo last night hoping to maintain his perfect record. With the crowd at the Florentine Gardens in Hollywood, California on his side, Wohlman looked poised to capture victory once again.

But a nasty clash of heads opened a gash on Wohlman's forehead. The doctor advised referee Raul Caiz Sr. to stop the fight. The California State Athletic Commission has some rather interesting rules regarding accidental headbutts, which came into play on this night. In most places in the United States, an accidental headbutt before four rounds are completed results in a No Decision. In California, if the fourth round starts, the judges decide the winner, scoring the partial round. Since this fight never reached the start of the fourth, it's considered a technical draw.

So, this headbutt and resulting technical draw needlessly sullies Wohlman's record a bit. It is now 4-0-1 with one KO. Vallejo is 3-7-1 with three KOs. Wolman was 148.6 pounds for this fight and Vallejo was 148.4.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Kid Yamaka's Opponent for the 20th

Zachary "Kid Yamaka" Wohlman will be back in the ring next Thursday, September 20 at the Florentine Gardens in Hollywood, California.  Montana-resident Jesus Vallejo is the scheduled opponent for the four-round welterweight clash.

Wohlman (4-0, one KO) is accustomed to facing opponents on short notice. When asked about the challenge of not being able to prepare specifically for a particular opponent, Zac told The Jewish Boxing Blog, "Almost all of the sparring I get in the gym is with ex or current world champions. Freddie [Roach] and Eric [Brown] don't make it easy on me... I know that I've been training with the best, and I'm fundamentally sound."

Wohlman realizes that, at this stage of his career, he's the favorite heading into each match. But he's not over-confident. Since the guys he faces have nothing to lose, Wohlman notes, "They can be very dangerous. So as always [I] stay focused and stay sharp."

Vallejo, 29, has shown he can be dangerous. He won his first three fights by knockout. But he's lost his last seven and was stopped in five of them. Four of those knockout losses were in California or Nevada to quality prospects, a category in which Wohlman belongs.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Look Back: Mark Weinman

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.

Mark Weinman represents that effort better than anyone. A prospect who saw his career derailed over two decades ago, Weinman triumphantly returned to the ring at the age of 50 last week.

Weinman was born on August 5, 1962 and raised in Queens, New York. There, he developed a love for boxing along with his younger brother, David. Mark found success in the amateurs. He won the Spanish Golden Gloves and was a three-time Police Athletic League champion. In 1983, Weinman came up short against Dennis Milton in the New York Golden Gloves 156-pound final.

On November 21, 1985, Weinman, a junior middleweight, made his professional debut. It resulted in a second round stoppage victory over Ted Dancey in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Weinman, nicknamed the "Hebrew Hammer," saw his next four bouts also end inside the distance. All were victories.

On July 10, 1986, Weinman easily outpointed Eric Holland despite giving up six and a half pounds to his opponent. Holland was winless at the time, but would later win a minor world title at middleweight. In his next bout, Weinman cruised to a unanimous decision victory over another winless fighter.

The Hammer then returned to his power-punching ways. Charles Bullock (5-1 at the time) was stopped 1:23 into the fifth round by Weinman in January of 1987. Weinman improved to 8-0. His next two matches resulted in 5th round TKOs as well. Undefeated Dennis Dickerson was one of the victims. L.C. Robinson was knocked down twice in first round of his August 20, 1987 bout with Weinman before the fight was stopped. Bernie "Schoolboy" Friedkin, a popular Jewish fighter from years before, was a judge.

With his amateur pedigree and 11-0 record (nine KOs), Weinman looked the part of a future champion. Mark featured a devastating left hook to the body, his signature punch. He took a step up to fight undefeated Warren Williams in Las Vegas, Nevada. It marked the first time Weinman was to fight outside of New York or New Jersey. For the first time in his career, Mark lost. He was stopped in the seventh. The careers of both fighters then hit a downward spiral.

Weinman tried to get right back into the ring, but was stopped again two months later. He took time away from the sport until returning at middleweight against Kelvin Prather on September 20, 1991. He was stopped again.

Weinman then retired and became a trainer. One of his charges was heavyweight Richie Melito (27-1, 25 KOs), who he guided from the Parrot Gym in Queens, New York. He has continued to shape young men since.

But a year ago, Weinman had a revelation. It seemed he had more desire than some of his boxers. So, he planned a comeback. Mark claimed, "I feel fresh; I had only 14 pro fights, so I'm not shopworn. I can still punch like a mule. I have been training for this comeback since the summer of 2011 and have boxed over 500 rounds. My left hook is back and their are no weight problems anymore. My stamina feels great."

Last Friday, Weinman entered the ring as a combatant for the first time in 21 years. Lights beamed off his now-hairless head. He faced 36-year old veteran journeyman Elvi "El Burrito" Martinez. A mere 39 seconds into the second round, referee Frank Gentile waved off the fight. Weinman had gained some redemption with his first victory in 25 years.

After the bout, Mark explained, "I didn't like the way my career ended. I started out 11-0 as a pro with nine knockouts, but things didn't go well after that. I wanted to try it again." He is now 12-3 with 10 KOs.

Bibliography
Baker, Al. "There is a contender..." New York Daily News. March 5, 1995.
Folstad, Rick. "Return to ring a victorious one." Tamps Bay Online. September 8, 2012.
Nussbaum, James Ford. "50-year old makes boxing comeback after 21-year absence tomorrow." GP MEDIA-Galileo Productions, LLC blog. September 9, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Review of The Good Son: The Life of Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini

The Good Son: The Life of Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini
By: Mark Kriegel
Free Press, 2012
Available: September 18, 2012.

Mark Kriegel's The Good Son is a well-researched chronicle of the career of Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini in the wider context of the contemporary boxing world, life in Youngstown, Ohio, and Mancini's family history. The book is more thought-provoking than it is riveting. Though Mancini became America's sweetheart by receiving punches to the face- a phenomenon few readers will have experienced- Kriegel does an effective job of making Mancini relatable. And since tragedies dot the pages, feeling Mancini's pain makes it a difficult book to get through in one sitting.

But that doesn't make it any less worth the effort. Initially, Ray Mancini's lone mission in life was to win the championship that had escaped the grasp of his dad, an engaging man who came so close until he won a Purple Heart for the injury in World War II that ended his boxing career. The relationship between father and son is one of mutual affection and redemption. Ray's character is portrayed with more depth in the tragic aftermath of his encounter with Duk Koo Kim. From that point on, Ray was a man clamoring to regain the unbridled adulation he received before that fateful fight.

Kriegel's accounts of the in-the-ring action are vivid and enjoyable. His descriptions of Mancini's battles with Alexis Arguello, Kim, and Livingstone Bramble aren't mired in unnecessary detail. Instead, Kriegel hits the necessary notes in order to give a clear picture of the events while pushing the story forward.

Jews in boxing play a peripheral role in this tale. Ray's father Lenny was trained by the legendary Ray Arcel. Bernie "Schoolboy" Friedkin was a stablemate. Lenny's team of Frankie Jacobs and Arcel hoped he would be another Jackie "Kid" Berg, who had been guided by the two sages.

As for Ray, Kenny "Bang Bang" Bogner was perennially mentioned as a prospective opponent. After the Kim fight, Mancini saw Bogner defeat Gonzalo Montellano. In the beginning of that bout, Mancini winced whenever Bogner landed, but by the end Ray was excited to take on Bogner as a foe.

Mancini was scheduled to face Bang Bang in South Africa in 1983 with Frank Sinatra prepared to give a concert as part of the show. Mancini had to back out because of a bizarre shoulder injury endured in sparring. They were slated to fight in 1984 as well. But Mancini sustained a cut in training and backed out of another fight with Bogner. A member of Mancini's team said, "The cut wasn't bad enough to stop that fight... We made it look a little worse than it was. Ray was going to get beat."

The Good Son is recommended reading for all boxing fans, students of Youngstown, and anyone who enjoys a good father-son story.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Erdei Pulls Out, Chilemba off HBO

Isaac Chilemba threw his heart and soul into training for what looked like his big break. He was to fight Zsolt Erdei, a former two-time world champion, on HBO, the preeminent network for boxing in the United States.

Last week, Erdei complained of a broken rib and the fight was called off. Chilemba's disappointment was palpable. He took to Twitter and acknowledged that the development "sucks." He continued, "[I] think my opponent is just scared."

Chilemba (19-1-1, 9 KOs) told the Jewish Boxing Blog that he is still scheduled to fight on September 29 at the Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut, but that he will no longer be on the HBO telecast. It is a truly unfortunately development for the "Golden Boy."

Chilemba has earned fans through a combination of proficient skills and uncanny determination. He has shown a rare willingness to fight the best, but in this harsh business of boxing, he'll have to wait for his next big opportunity. Isaac said that he'll have more details about his next fight shortly.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Netzer, Groenteman, and Brooks Update

It appears that Danny "Silent" Netzer's fight on September 8 against Brandon Cook is off. Cook will face 27 fight veteran Ferenc Zold instead. Netzer, a middleweight, is 3-1 with one knockout. Danny last fought on May 24, a unanimous decision win over Jose Luis Doviasa.

Barry Groenteman has a new opponent for his October 15 date at the Theater Carré in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Groenteman (7-5-1, two KOs) has been gunning for a rematch against Andrea Carbonello, a man he lost to in a disputed split decision back in March. But Carbonello has backed out of the proposed rematch.

The new opponent is Tarik Madni (16-4, zero KOs). Madni has a fight scheduled for September 15 against a a 1-14-1 fighter. Despite Madni's solid record, the 36-year old Belgian junior welterweight only has two wins against winning opponents. The bout with Barry is currently scheduled for ten rounds; Groenteman has never fought more than six.

Mike "Lefty" Brooks (8-0, 2 KOs) is planning on fighting on November 1 at the same location as his previous two bouts, the Plattduetsche Restaurant in New York. The lightweight body-punching extraordinaire has won two bouts since May after undergoing a seven month layoff. No opponent has been announced, yet. This contest is marked down for six rounds. Brooks went eight in his last fight.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Wohlman Returns September 20

Zachary "Kid Yamaka" Wohlman will be back in action on September 20. The 4-0 (one KO) welterweight will fight at the Florentine Gardens in Hollywood, California. All of his professional fights have occurred in the Los Angeles area.

Wohlman is a slick athletic boxer who works behind his jab. But he has shown a propensity to mix it up as well. He's trained by Freddie Roach and Eric Brown at the famous Wild Card Gym. Wohlman grew up often in trouble with the law and credits boxing with changing his life. He's a personable man who has fought in front of boisterous supporters throughout the first four fights of his career. He wears his hair slicked back and his heart on his sleeve, or perhaps more accurately, on his torso in the form of numerous tattoos.

Here is a profile of the throwback fighter in LA Weekly.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Melson to Fight in September and October

Junior middleweight Boyd Melson earned a unanimous decision victory over Khalik Memminger on August 2  in his first fight back since losing a disputed decision to Delen Parsley in March. But Melson wasn't happy with his performance. The man known as the "Rainmaker" acknowledged, "The fight against Memminger was my worst performance as a pro and I was more upset about it than most of the fans. Regardless, I can’t ever look like that again and expect to win."

He has a chance to redeem himself on September 22 at World Casino in Queens, New York. His opponent is scheduled to be Yolexcy Leiva (5-4, 4 KOs). Leiva, a 33 year old Cuban-born combatant, is 1-3 in his previous four fights. However, three of those four were against undefeated prospects, including the win. Leiva has been active lately and is the naturally bigger man, fighting the majority of his bouts at middleweight and above.

Melson (9-1, 4 KOs) is a strong southpaw who often fights in spurts and has shown the ability to box effectively when he has a bout in hand. He is known for his busy schedule both in and out of the ring. This is his eleventh fight since his career began in November of 2010. He also travels the world searching for a cure to spinal cord injuries and works a 9-5 job at Johnson & Johnson.

This bout is scheduled for six rounds. In addition, should Melson come away unscathed, he is penciled in to take part in the first boxing card at the new Barclay's Center Arena in Brooklyn, New York on October 20. Dmitriy Salita is also scheduled to be on that card in a separate bout.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Netzer Up Against Tough Opponent

Canadian-Israeli middleweight Danny Netzer is scheduled to face Brandon Cook on September 8 at the Hershey Cntre in Mississauga, Canada. This bout is scheduled for six rounds.

Netzer (3-1, one KO) is coming off of a bounce-back victory against a winless fighter in May. In April, Netzer lost a majority decision against a tough boxer named Phil Rose. Cook is 6-0 with three KOs. He stopped 21-fight veteran Zoltan Surman in May.

Netzer is no stranger to being the underdog. In his first two career bouts, the man nicknamed "Silent" gave up a good bit of weight to his more experienced opponents, but won both contests.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Look Back: Charley White

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.

Charley White is regarded as having one of the best left hooks in the history of the sport. He fought ten legendary champions over the course of his career. Three times he came within a whisker of winning a world championship. But his slow wit may have cost him each time. Nevertheless, The Ring's Nat Fleischer once ranked him as the tenth best lightweight of all time. In 2003, the same publication ranked him as the 100th best puncher ever.

Charles Anchowitz was born on March 25, 1891 in Liverpool, England. His parents were from Russia and the family moved to the Maxwell Street ghetto in Chicago, Illinois when Anchowitz was seven years old. He contracted tuberculosis from the dirty air of the ghetto when he was 13. His parents sent him to William O'Connell's gym to increase his strength. It happened to be the same gym that world champion Harry Harris learned his craft. Anchowitz had two brothers who also trained there.

Though skinny and sickly, Charles was so adept at boxing he turned professional at the age of 15. He used the surname White in the ring to honor former featherweight champion and Chicago-native Tommy White. The younger White won his first 21 bouts according to BoxRec. He had started out his career as a boxer, but realized he had knockout power after an incident that took place outside of the ring. A truck driver splashed mud on his new pants, so White yelled at him. The big fellow stopped the truck and came after White. One punch laid out the truck driver senseless.

White fought the great featherweight champion Abe Attell twice in successive years beginning in 1909. Neither was for the title. Attell outboxed Charley soundly in both affairs. Afterwards, the 5'6" White fluctuated between lightweight and welterweight for the rest of career. Over the next few years, White fought several future champions, losing to Jimmy Duffy, Jack Britton, and splitting two bouts with Johnny Dundee.

Charley didn't mind eating a punch or three if it meant he could give one back. Often times, the one he gave back was more powerful than anything he received. While his toughness can't be questioned, his intellectual quickness can be.

On May 26, 1914, White took on Willie Ritchie, the lightweight champ. White battered the champion, nearly knocking him out in the first with a left hook, a right, and another left hook. But White inexplicably took his foot off the gas. Charley continued pounding Ritchie and won a ten-round decision. However, this was the era of newspaper decisions, meaning that the title could only changed hands if the fight was stopped inside the distance. White got the win, but Ritchie kept the belt.

A year later, White took on a new lightweight champ, Freddie Welsh, and lost a ten round newspaper decision. Afterwards, he lost a newspaper decision to Leach Cross and drew with Ted Kid Lewis. Charley went undefeated in his next nine bouts. That led to a return match against Welsh on September 4, 1916.

Winston Churchill once said, "All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes." Apparently, Charley White wasn't a fan of Churchill. Welsh was pounding White through five rounds when a left hook came crashing down on the champion's face. As was the case against Ritchie, the belt was practically wrapped around White's waist. But, perhaps hypnotized by his own punch, the Chicagoan didn't follow up on his advantage. Welsh survived and eventually recovered, until the 12th. Welsh was hurt again, but just at that moment, a portion of the stands at Ramona A.C. Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado fell down. Welsh held on for the 20 round newspaper decision.

White seemed to follow the wisdom of Mohandas K. Gandhi who once said, "Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes." Against, The Great Benny Leonard, Charley was again seconds from cementing his legacy with a championship. During their July 5, 1920 contest, White knocked Leonard out of the ring in the fifth round. Benny's brother illegally helped the Ghetto Wizard backthrough the ropes.

Of course, Leonard was a master at surviving near-disasters such as the one against White. White again wasn't able to capitalize on his advantage. In fact, by the ninth, Leonard was the one in charge. He knocked Charley down five times in that round  before the fight was stopped. Though the wisdom of Gandhi eventually defeated Churchill and the British Empire, Charley White never won his championship.

White fought Johnny Dundee three more times going 1-1-1. He defeated Ritchie Mitchell. Then, after 17 years in the game, White retired. He had amassed a sizable fortune. Unfortunately, he lost his money to the Great Depression and tried to make a comeback to the ring in 1930. White was knocked out in the second round of his first fight on the comeback trail. According to BoxRec, his final record was 87-16-5 with 58 KOs (and 34-19-9 in newspaper decisions).

White soon moved to Hollywood and trained movie stars. But this story does not have a happy ending. His wife Elizabeth had him committed to a psychiatric ward after the former fighter chased her with a knife. He was suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Three years later, White died on July 12, 1959.

Bibliography
Blady, Ken. The Jewish Boxers Hall of Fame. 1988.
Sterritt, Mike. The Great Underrated Boxers. 2011.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cletus Seldin vs. Jonathan Garcia

July 28, 2012
Paramount Theatre
Huntington, New York



Seldin: purple trunks, white trim
Garcia: turquoise trunks

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mike Brooks vs. Calvin Pritchard II

May 17, 2012
Plattduetsche Restaurant
Long Island, New York



Brooks: red and black trunks
Pritchard: purple trunks, black trim

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Brooks Stays Undefeated

Mike "Lefty" Brooks advanced his record to 8-0 with two knockouts yesterday thanks to a unanimous decision victory over Joey Arroyo (3-3-1) at Plattduetsche Restaurant in Long Island, New York. Brooks used one-twos and landed the occasional solid body shot in order to carry the fight.

The taller Arroyo boxed; Brooks stalked and banged. Both fighters paced themselves because of the extreme humidity, which soaked the outdoor air. But Brooks was the more active puncher and the more aggressive pugilist. This was the first time Brooks has fought as many as eight rounds, a challenge he handled with ease despite the arduous weather conditions.

The scores were 80-72, 79-73, 78-74. Despite the scores, it was a competitive fight. Brooks managed to pull out the vast majority of the rounds, however slight, giving him a wide decision.

In capturing the win, Brooks earned something called the IBA youth lightweight title. A reader less versed in modern boxing parlance might wonder what that belt signifies. In today's boxing, belts with vendible labels have multiplied as if the sanctioning bodies were run by rabbits. They're a dime a dozen.

But don't blame the boxer. Who among us would turn down an Employee of the Month award or a promotion even if it was begotten by dysfunctional office politics? A belt is a mark of achievement. When a boxer's entourage proudly holds up a series of trinkets during the pre-fight introductions, it can be a source of intimidation to psych out a less decorated opponent. This aside about the prevalence of dubious titles in boxing is not to diminish Brooks's victory or Arroyo's valiant challenge in the least.

Today, there are four major sanctioning bodies. The IBA isn't one of them. They each have a world champion in the various weight divisions. Recently, they've added other terms such as champion emeritus, super champion, champion in recess, and interim champion. Then there are silver belts, diamond belts, Latino belts, North American belts, intercontinental belts, and youth belts.

It's a winning formula for a certain few in boxing. The sanctioning bodies and promoters conspire to dupe the public through the proliferation of phony titles. Whenever a fighter seeks to win a belt, he must pay a sanctioning fee. Imagine if, before the NBA Finals, LeBron James had to pay for the right to win the Larry O'Brien trophy.

So, the sanctioning bodies make money. The promoter gets to market the fight as a "title" contest, which should pull in a few more less-informed customers. The sanctioning organizations and the promoters make out like bandits. The fans and the integrity of the sport suffer.

In June, two capable fighters Gabriel Rosado and Sechew Powell fought a crossroads contest to see which might be challenging a top ten boxer in their weight class in the near future. NBC Sports announcer Kenny Rice repeatedly referred to the bout as for the junior middleweight championship. It was actually for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental light middleweight title. A few boxing writers in the know snickered, but the deception probably helped ratings.

So, how will things change? When Floyd Mayweather challenged WBA welterweight champion Shane Mosley in 2010, it wasn't for Mosley's belt. Mayweather didn't pay the sanctioning fee. But, because of his star status, Mayweather knew that he didn't need the WBA, the WBA needed him. Very few boxers are in the same position as Mayweather. Ultimately, it shouldn't come down to the boxer. Surely, it's the responsibility of the sanctioning bodies and promoters to curtail this madness. But we can't be satisfied with putting the fox in charge of the hen house. It must be the responsibility of the media to either ignore or explain the importance (or lack there of) of each so-called title.