Boxing Updates Nov 17th - 20th

St. Pierre Stops Hughes!!!
By Brady Crytzer
In a truly historic moment in the short history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, French Canadian Georges “Rush” St. Pierre scored a second round knockout to dethrone long time welterweight champion Matt Hughes Saturday in Sacramento, CA.



In other action, Tim Sylvia retained his Heavyweight Championship with a ho-hum decision win over Jeff Monson, and Brandon Vera set himself up for a shot at Sylvia with an impressive stoppage of former champion Frank Mir.

Pacquiao inks with Top Rank!
Renounces deal with Golden Boy; Arum advises Morales to retire
By Albert Howell
Photos: Chris Cozzone

At last night's post fight press conference, promoter Bob Arum announced the signing of Manny Pacquiao to a long-term deal. "Top Rank is pleased to announce that Top Rank and MP Promotions have signed a contract to promote Manny Pacquiao's fights for the next four years." Arum addressed the issue of Pacquiao's previous signing a multi-fight deal with Golden Boy Promotions while under contract with Top Rank. "Manny was under contract not to sign with any other promoter. His lawyers advised him after he signed with Golden Boy. And, he has since renounced the Golden Boy signing and given back the money." Pacquiao reportedly was given $500,000 when he inked with Golden Boy, and Golden Boy has refused to accept the money back. Arum expects litigation from the Golden Boy camp but says that Golden Boy can not stop Pacquiao's anticipated March fight in Macau. "After this next fight in March we can make a Barrera fight," stated Arum.

Chauke wins dull fight!
By Ron Jackson
Oscar Chauke produced an unspectacular but disciplined performance to retain his South African junior featherweight title with a 12 round unanimous points decision over the inexperienced Takatso Hlahane at the Park Station in Johannesburg on Saturday night.

Italian results!
By Enrico "Erik" Crociati
During the weekend, Italian boxing fans witnessed the unlucky title shot of former Olympian Giacobbe Fragomeni, who was stopped in nine rounds by European cruiser king David Haye in London, England. Still, that was not the only action featuring an Italian fighter, as two always-active promoters staged different cards on Italian soil.

On November 17 Rosanna Conti Cavini promoted a show in Grosseto, headlined by two domestic title contests. At lightweight, national title holder Giovanni Niro (12-0-1) retained his belt via a split draw over ten rounds against fellow unbeaten Emiliano Marsili (11-0-1). In the chief support, Italian 122 lbs champion Fausto Bartolozzi (8-3-1) outscored Davide Chianella (12-3-2) over ten.

On November 18 Mario Loreni staged a pro/am show in Turin, with two unbeaten prizefighters on top. At welter, Alessio Palma (5-0) dropped Hungarian spoiler Karoly Domokos (9-19-3) in round four en route to a decision win over six, while supermiddleweight Roberto Cocco (2-0) stopped Bela Kiss (1-4-2) of Hungary in the fourth stanza of a scheduled six rounder.

Pacquiao destroys Morales!
By Mike Sloan, Victor Perea, Albert Howell at ringside
Photo: Chris Cozzone

A near-record crowd of 18,276 saw super featherweight superstar Manny Pacquaio (43-3-2, 33 KOs) annihilate Erik Morales (48-5, 24 KOs) on Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Arena in Las Vegas. After a slow first round, Pacquiao dropped Morales with a left hand in round two. Erik got up and fought back hard. Pacquiao knocked down Morales again hard in round three and again Erik got up and bravely traded. Pacman was too much, however, flooring Morales again. This time Morales just sat on the canvas and shook his head no. Pacquiao wins by KO at 2:57 of round three.

Ricardo Torres (30-1, 27 KOs) outworked previously unbeaten Mike Arnaoutis (17-1-1, 9 KOs) over twelve rounds to claim the vacant WBO world super lightweight title formerly held by Miguel Cotto. Arnaoutis dropped Torres hard in round seven, but didn't finish him off when he had the chance. Torres never looked like the fearsome puncher that faced Cotto, but was busy enough to win 116-111 and 114-113 on two cards. Arnaoutis prevailed 114-113 on the other card.

Despite two knockdowns, Brian Viloria (19-1, 12 KOs) was unable to avenge his shock loss to Omar Nino (24-2-1, 10 KOs) earlier this year. "The Hawaiian Punch" was credited with a knockdown in the fifth when Nino's glove touched the ground and in the ninth when he floored Nino hard, but he also gave away many rounds with inactivity. Nino retained his WBC mini-flyweight title with a majority draw. Scores were 115-112 and 113-113, 113-113.

Super bantamweight Fernando Beltran, Jr. (28-2-1, 17 KOs) was awarded a DQ victory over Edel Ruiz (27-16-5, 16 KOs) when Ruiz was tossed for excessive low blows.

Unbeaten Olympian super welterweight Vanes Martirosyan (11-0, 6 KOs) battered Edgar Reyes (10-6, 3 KOs) for four rounds before Reyes was kept on his stool after the fourth.

Bernabe Concepcion (20-1-1, 10 KOs) won a ten round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Joksan Hernandez (11-1, 6 KOs) in a WBC Youth super bantamweight title fight.

Cadeuix retains Cdn. title!
By Dave Spencer -- Fightnews Canada at ringside
It wasn't as easy as the first one, but David Cadieux won a unanimous 12 round decision over local rival Patrice L'Heureux retaining his Canadian heavyweight championship. Scorecards read 119-109, 118-110 and 116-112 in Trois Rivieres saturday night. L'Heureux did his best to hold, grab and hammer away at the body at keeping the earmuffs up in hopes of catching the faster and more skilled Cadieux. Cadieux though was able to pick his spots, knocking the big man across the ring as the 11th round ended and dominating as the fight progressed. cadieux moves to 14-1 in his first defense of the Canadian crown while drops his second in a row and falls to 20-3-1.

Jean Pascal came within a second or so of scoring a 2nd round TKO victory but instead was forced to go the distance in handing Jermaine Mackey (11- 8KO) his first professional defeat and capturing the NABO super-middleweight title. Pascal had his man down twice in the second round and with the three knockdown rule in effect, Mackey touched down just after the bell sounded, just being able to stave off defeat. Pascal would try to end things for the next ten rounds but would have to settle for a 120-106 decision on all three scorecards. Pascal moves to 15-0, 12KO.

Chagaev defeats Ruiz!
By Karl Freitag / Photos: Andre Boge

With WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev looking on, unbeaten heavyweight Ruslan Chagaev (21-0-1, 17 KOs) won a hard-fought twelve round split decision over former heavyweight champion John Ruiz (41-7-1, 28 KOs) on Saturday night at the Burg-Wächter Castello in Düsseldorf, Germany, to earn the right to challenge the seven-foot WBA champion next year. It was a gritty in the trenches fight early on as both fighters tried to work inside. Ruiz got off to a good start and there were few clinches. Southpaw Chagaev connected with a big straight left in round three and continued to amp up the pressure as the fight progressed. The rounds were very competitive with Chagaev's power shots landing the cleaner, harder shots. Both fighters were getting busted up as the brutal fight continued with surprisingly few clinches. Ruiz got the better of round nine, pushing Chagaev back for most the round. Chagaev was clearly slowing down as Ruiz also outworked him in round ten. Both fighters had their moments in the eleventh, with Ruiz punctuating the round with a very good uppercut. Chagaev somehow found the energy to vastly increase his punch output and take round twelve. In the end, scores were 117-111, 116-112 for Chagaev, 115-114 for Ruiz. Fightnews scored it 115-113 for Chagaev, who called it "a very hard fight."

On his way to a world title shot, WBO Intercontinental heavyweight champion Alexander "Sascha" Dimitrenko (24-0, 14 KOs) won a lopsided twelve round decision over Billy Zumbrun (20-8-1, 11 KOs). It looked like Sascha might have a short night when he dropped Zumbrun in round one with a series of head and body shots, but Zumbrun was game and continued to fight aggressively. Zumbrun didn't seem to have the firepower to hurt Dimitrenko, but he tried his best to rough up the 6'7 Universum fighter, who was content to sharpshoot from long range. Although Dimitrenko connected with hard shots for the balance of the bout, the iron-jawed Zumbrun, spurred on by trainer Jesse Reid, bravely completed the full twelve. Scores were 120-105, 119-107, 120-106.

Kimura keeps Japanese belt!
By Joe Koizumi
WBC#10/WBA#15 ranked Japanese southpaw Norio Kimura (29-5-2, 14 KOs), 140, barely kept his national belt as he floored game and durable Koji Iida (11-5-1, 3 KOs), 139.75, twice in the second to almost bring home bacon then, but suffered lacerations over the left and right eyebrows in the fifth and sixth and struggled to cope with Iida’s furious retaliation, winning a unanimous decision (96-93, 97-94 and 97-92) over ten frames on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan. Kimura, making his eighth defense, had a really tough time responding to Iida’s avenging attack in the second half, although he lopsidedly battered him in the first half. The second session saw Kimura drop him with solid combinations and almost finish him quickly as usual. But Iida’s recuperation and retaliation was amazing enough to impress the audience. Kimura could win the verdict only thanks to his accumulation on points in earlier rounds, but it was truly his toughest defense ever. Kimura is gunning for a shot at Junior Witter’s WBC superlight belt in England, but had better take a rest after his exhaustion in this extravaganza.

Undercard: WBA#14 bantam Manabu Fukushima (30-3-3, 19 KOs), 126, came off the canvas in the fourth and pounded out a unanimous nod (97-93, 96-94 and 95-94) over Daniel Mansing (9-13, 1 KO), 126, over ten. Unbeaten Shigetaka Ikehara (12-0-1, 9 KOs), 108, decked Thailander Detchsak Sithsaithong (4-4, 1 KO), 108, three times and finished him at 2:22 of the second in a scheduled eight. Japanese #3 ranked 130-pounder Takashi Miura (11-0-1, 9 KOs), 134.75, scored a shutout decision over Denlangoo Thor. Thiapkhun (4-5, 2 KOs), 135.75, over eight. Promoter: Yokohama Hikari Promotions.

Boxing betting not a sin!
By Karl Freitag
There is nothing immoral about betting on big boxing matches like tonight's Manny Pacquiao-Erik Morales clash says prominent Catholic Bishop Deogracias Iniguez Jr., of the Caloocan diocese in the Philippines. Bishop Iniguez told the Philippine Star "Gambling can be a legitimate form of entertainment so there's nothing wrong with betting on this fight." The prelate also said it's not a sin if Filipino fight fans bet on Morales.

Meehan KOs Nel!
By Ray Wheatley -- World of Boxing
Former world heavyweight challenger Kali Meehan (32-3) 231 lbs returned to ring action with a third round knockout over South African Anton Nel (15-11-3) 263lbs at the Magic Millions Complex, Bundall, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia on Friday. Meehan, 6'5, scored with jarring straight left hands to keep his shorter opponent off balance. A left jab opened a cut over the eye of Nel in round one. A right hand bomb had Nel down in round three and he was counted out by referee Allan Moore at 2:51.

Soliman Squeaks by Ornelas!
by Whitfield Haydon
Sam Soliman earned a hard-fought ten-round majority nod over Enrique Ornelas Friday night at Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, California. The middleweight bout saw an extremely tough fight, with Ornelas dominating early, only to have Soliman pour it on in the middle and late rounds. The top-ten ranked Soliman moves to 33-8 with 13 KOs, while Ornelas goes to 25-3 with 15 KOs. The first three rounds saw Ornelas countered beautifully, catching the Australian Soliman with left hooks after Soliman would miss with right hands. Intent on fighting from the outside, Soliman began to realize that he had better start staying in the pocket and trading with Ornelas, and he did that well in the fourth round until a right hand from Ornelas knocked Soliman off-balance as a legal knockdown was scored. Lo and behold, Ornelas found himself in good shape after the fourth, up three points, however you could feel Soliman was coming on and the tide was beginning to turn.

Radisson Rocking in Indiana!
by Jacob Chavez
One In a Million Boxing in association with 8 Count Productions put on the spectacular and highly anticipated fight card billed “Night of Champions” where a cross-town battle for the IN.B.A Women’s Super Lightweight Title between Mary McGee (7-0-0-1, 4KOs) of Gary, Indiana and Chicagoan Rita Figueroa (9-0-0-1, 3KOs) had the ballroom of the Radisson Hotel in Merrillville, Indiana, so packed with eager fight fans, they had to crowd up against the walls in order to get a glimpse of the action.  In the co-main event Jimmy “The Fightin' School Teacher” Holmes faced tough Canadian Brooke “Schoolboy” Wellby for the IN.B.A Middleweight Championship in an 8 rounder. The main event featured two undefeated fighters facing each other and the significance of the fight could really be felt as veteran Ring Announcer Joe York introduced them with his classic “It’s Time to Get Nasty!”  But just like a good movie with no conclusion until the sequel, we won’t find out who the true winner is until they meet again, as a clash of heads caused the fight to be ruled a no contest after three rounds of action.

Maldonado wins IBA feather belt!
by Albert Howell & Victor Perea; photos by Chris Cozzone
Weathering a fifth-round knockdown and the cleaner, sharper punches of now-former champ, Jose Gonzalez, of East LA, Daniel Maldonado of Henderson, Kentucky, captured the IBA featherweight last night by split decision at the Orleans Hotel & Casino on a Crown Boxing card . . .

Judge for Yourself:
Brawls like Morales-Pacquiao III
by Tom Schreck
Judges know that when they get assigned to a super fight that they are also likely to face super scrutiny. Even fights that at the time seem pretty straightforward and easy to score for the judges receive a lot of attention from the media. It is not uncommon to leave an arena feeling great about the job you’ve done—even receiving approval from the crowd in attendance – only to watch the taped broadcast and read in the papers about how you blew it again . .

David Haye retains EBU title!
Fragomeni surrenders in round 9.
Last night in a full packed York Hall, Bethnal Green near London, England the reigning EBU cruiserweight champion David Haye, now 18-1 17 KOs, inflicted the first defeat to Italian Giacobbe Fragomeni, now 21-1 9 KOs, to retain his title and to earn the right to challenge the winner of O'Neil Bell against Jean Marc Mormeck for the WBC title. The bout was also sanctionned as a final WBC eliminator.
Haye started fast and got in a early lead after 5 rounds but then Fragomeni came back in the fight and cut Haye in the 7th round. It was a brutal bout and it became very bloodied as the corner could not stop the bleeding. Haye caught the brave challenger in the 9th round and followed up with a hard two handed attack and Fragomeni sank to the bottom rope where he got the mandatory eight count. Chief cornerman Patrizio Oliva waved at the referee to pull out their pupil.
The scores at the end of the fight were all in favor of the defending champion with 79-73 (Dolpierre), 78-75 (Aleksic) and a close 77-76 (Lethosaari). Fightnews scored it 78-74.

McGee-Figueroa no contest!
By Jacob Chavez at ringside
A cross-town battle between unbeaten female super lightweights Mary McGee (7-0) of Gary, Indiana and Chicagoan Rita Figueroa (9-0) ended with a clash of heads in the fourth round resulting in a no contest on Friday night at the Radisson Hotel in Merrillville IN. In the co-main event, unbeaten middleweight Jimmy "The Fightin' School Teacher" Holmes (14-0-2, 7 KOs) had all he could handle in Brooke "Schoolboy" Welby (33-11-4, 16 KOs). After eight rounds, the bout was ruled a draw as one judge saw it for Holmes 77-75 and two saw it even 76-76. Also, welterweight Ruben Galvan (27-10-2, 10 KOs) had little trouble dismantling journeyman Brian Paul (4-16-0, 3 KOs) after three rounds of action.

Wonjongkam extends record!
By Damrong Simakajornboon / Photo: Wut Muangmean

WBC flyweight champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (63-2, 31 KOs) retained his WBC crown for the sixteenth time as he won a unanimous decision over mandatory challenger Monelisi Mhikiza Myekeni (21-3, 8 KOs) on Friday at Suranaree Stadium in Nakornrachasima Province, Thailand. With the win, Wonjongkam broke his own record for successful world flyweight title defenses.

Ruben Martinez passes away
European boxing mourns its President
Ruben Martinez Vasquez, the long reigning European Boxing Union President and WBC Vice President, suddenly passed away yesterday afternoon at the age of 68. Recently he underwent a 10-hour operation and seemed recovering well when yesterday he succombed to a heart attack. Martinez was known as a highly respected and strong leader with many international contacts in the whole world. It was under his leadership that the EBU extended to the actual size including the former East block countries into the organisation. The funeral is scheduled to take place today at 5pm. Fightnews sends his condolences to his beloved family and dear friends.

Mijarez retains WBC title!
Cristian Mijarez (29-3-2, 11 KOs) defended his WBC interim super flyweight title with a very impressive 12 round unanimous decision over Colombian challenger Reynaldo Lopez (28-4-2, 19 KOs) on Friday night at the Auditorio Municipal in Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico. There were no knockdowns in the bout. Lopez was deducted one point by referee Marty Sammon due to an accidental head butt that opened a gash on Mijarez' left eyebrow. Scores were 117-110, 116-111, 118-109. Once again, the scoring was announced after the fourth and eighth rounds, with another positive reaction from the crowd and the fighters.

Meza-Clay stops Neal!
Monty Meza-Clay (21-1, 15 KOs) retained his West Virginia super featherweight title by an eighth round knockout over Fred Neal (17-4-3) Friday night in the Grande Ballrooom at Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort in Chester, WV. After Meza-Clay knocked Neal to the canvas in the eighth, Neal was unable to continue, allowing Meza Clay to retain his title. In other action, lightweight Verquan Kimbrough (16-1-1) defeated Bernard Harris by unanimous eight round decision. (Photo: Chuck Saus)

Soliman defeats Ornelas!
By Whit Haydon at ringside
#3 WBC, #4 IBF, #6 WBA middleweight Sam Soliman (33-8, 13 KOs) set up a possible rematch with Anthony Mundine with a ten round majority decision over Enrique Ornelas (25-3, 15 KOs) on Friday night at the Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, California. Ornelas did well early, but was badly cut over the left eye by an unintentional headbutt in round four. Ornelas was credited with a flash knockdown of Soliman late in the round. Soliman had a big round in the sixth and poured it on for the rest of the fight. Scores were a surpisingly close 95-94, 95-94 and 95-95.

Someone's "O" had to go when unbeaten heavyweights Travis Walker and Jason Estrada collided in a scheduled eight-rounder. The power-punching Walker (22-0-1, 17 KOs), the 2003 US Golden Gloves champion, used a late rally to end the unbeaten run of the 2004 Olympian Estrada (7-1, 1 KO). Walker won by majority decision 76-76, 78-74, 77-75. Estrada was 3-0 against Walker in the amateurs.

Olympic Bronze medalist Andre Dirrell (9-0, 6 KOs) meant business, dropping James Sundin (6-5, 3 KOs) in round two with a hard body shot, then finishing Sundin with another punishing body blow moments later. Time was 2:33.

Super middleweight Anthony Dirrell improved to 11-0, 10 KOs by stopping James North (8-14-2, 3 KOs) at 1:18 of round four. North was 'walking on stilts' when the end came.

Heavyweight Malcolm Tann (21-2, 12 KOs) scored a fourth round TKO against Joe Stofle (10-8-2, 9 KOs). Time was :23.

Middleweight Francisco Santana (5-0, 4 KOs) outpointed Daniel Stanisavljevic (7-10-2, 3 KOs) over four. Scores were 40-36, 40-36, 39-37.

Narh terminates Palyani!
By Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
Lightweight Sugar Ray Narh (20-1, 17 KOs) scored an impressive eighth round stoppage of WBO #10-ranked Ramazan Palyani (14-1-1, 8 KOs) at the New Alhambra in South Philadelphia. Narh dropped the previously unbeaten Palyani with the right hand and his overpowering follow up barrage made Palyani turn away. The bout was stopped at 2:05. Narh wins the Pennsylvania State lightweight title.

Rodriguez batters Morelo!
Jr. welterweight Juan Carlos "Camello" Rodriguez (54-20-2, 39 KOs) scored an impressive fifth round knockout over William Morelo (23-6, 17 KOs) to claim the vacant WBC Latin title on Friday night at the 4th & B Hall in San Diego, California. Rodriguez was in command from the opening bell, landing his jab at will and pummeling Morelo with beatiful combinations. The end came when Rodriguez floored Morelo with an uppercut at 1:59 of round five. With the win, Rodriguez claimed the vacant WBC Latino belt.

Bonsante, Vanda victorious!
By Ramon Hough at ringside
Contender: Season One star Anthony Bonsante (27-8-3, 16 KOs) won the state 160lb title with an eighth round TKO of Troy Lowry (27-7) on Friday night at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Bonsante knocked down Lowry late in round eight and Lowry's corner decided their man had enough after the bell.

Local jr middleweight hero Matt "The Predator" Vanda (35-2, 21 KOs) pounded out a one-sided unanimous decision over Dillon Carew (20-16-3). Scores were 100-89, 99-90, 99-90.

35-year-old Hugo Pineda (38-3-1, 28 KOs), who challenged Felix Trinidad for the IBF welterweight title in 1999, showed he can still bring it at light heavy when he leveled favored Zach Walters (15-2, 11 KOs) at 2:24 of round five. Pineda, has only fought four times since the Trinidad bout.

Featherweight Allen Litzau (11-2, 6 KOs) won a lopsided six-round unanimous decision over badly faded former world title challenger Juan Polo Perez (46-44-4), who has now lost 21 of his last 22 bouts. Litzau is the brother of unbeaten featherweight contender Jason Litzau.

Drakulich to ref Grand Finale!
Referee Vic Drakulich will be the third man in the ring when Manny Pacquiao and Erik Morales go at it on Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Drakulich has previously refereed in two Morales fights (Jesus Chavez and Carlos 'Famoso' Hernandez). He has never previously refereed a Pacquiao fight. If the bout goes to a decision, the verdict will be rendered by Glenn Trowbridge, Duane Ford and Guido Cavalieri.

De Jesus hammers Rodriguez!
Unbeaten lightweight Alex "Pollo" De Jesus (12-0, 8 KOs) scored an easy three round stoppage of late sub Jefferson Rodriguez (21-9, 18 KOs) Friday night at the Coliseo Mario "Quijote" Morales in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. De Jesus, a 2004 former Olympian, had Rodriguez on the deck once in round two and twice in round three. Rodriguez corner called it off after round three. A lot of regional hardware was up for grabs in this one, including the WBC CABOFE, WBO Latino and WBA FECARIBE belts.

Earlier, unbeaten super featherweight Roman "Rocky" Martinez (14-0-1, 9 KOs) scored a tenth round TKO of Baudel Cardenas (14-8-1, 6 KOs). Martinez dropped Cardenas in rounds nine and ten before the bout was halted at :41. The bout was a scheduled twelve-rounder for the WBC USNBC belt.

Unbeaten featherweight prospect Marcos Jimenez (7-0, 5 KOs) looked good in knocking out Abel Berrelleza (10-4, 3 KOs) at 2:59 of round two.

Buzz: Purses, purse bids & more!
By Karl Freitag
Pacquiao is guaranteed $3 million and Morales is guaranteed $2.75 million. Both also have an upside from pay-per-view sales.

Two purse bids are planned for November 27 at WBO Headquarters in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Promoters will bid on the first title defense by Shannon Briggs against Sultan Ibragimov (minimum bid one million) and the jr bantamweight title clash between Fernando Montiel and Z Gorres.

WBO featherweight Scott Harrison is still waiting on the results of his phyical exam ordered by the BBBC after his release from five weeks in a Spanish jail on assault charges. If he is cleared by the BBBC by next week at the earliest, his planned December 9 defense with Nicky Cook is still not officially sanctioned by the WBO.

It looks like troubled former world champion Graciano Rocchigianni could be headed back to prison. A German Court has ruled that he must finish a previous sentence due to probation violations.

The Oscar De La Hoya Foundation will hold its annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway Saturday in East Los Angeles. WBO super bantamweight world champion Daniel Ponce De Leon and Olympians Vicente Escobedo and Abner Mares will pass out Thanksgiving Turkey dinners and all the fixins’.

On the same day, ESPN fight analyst Teddy Atlas will be distributing turkeys with all the trimmings to Staten Island, New York's less fortunate families.

Trailers for Sylvester Stallone's new "Rocky" movie are now online. The co-star is Antonio Tarver.

Fightnews features writer Christian Giudice has spent several years documenting the life of Panamanian great Roberto "Hands of Stone" Duran. His journey has culminated in a 335-page biography on the fighter's life. The book is available in the UK this week, and will make its US debut in two weeks.

Stewart wins in Dover!
By Rick Scharmberg at ringside
Michael “No Joke” Stewart, of New Castle, DE took a lopsided eight round decision over Mexico’s Roberto “El Viejo” Valenzuela in the welterweight main event last night at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, DE. “I took off some rust, I worked on my jab, and I did everything my trainer Leon [Tabbs] told me to do,” said Stewart, after posting winning scores of 80-72, 79-73, and 77-75. With the victory, Stewart improves to 40-5-2, with 23 KOs, while Valenzuela drops to 38-27-2, with 34 KOs. There were no knockdowns. In the co-feature, Richard Stewart took a brutal eight round decision over Ronald Boddie in a rematch of light heavyweights. Stewart’s steady body attack enabled him to take the decision by three identical 79-73 scores. Stewart climbs to 11-2-1, with 6 KOs, while Boddie falls to 15-35-4, with 7 KO’s.

Haye TKOs Fragomeni!
European cruiserweight champion David Haye (18-1, 17 KOs) scored a ninth round KO over Giacobbe Fragomeni (29-1, 9 KOs) in a very good action WBC 200lb elimination bout on Friday night at London's famous York Hall. Haye overcame a bad cut over his left eye to drop the previously unbeaten Fragomeni with a barrage of punches in the ninth, prompting Fragomeni's corner to pull their man out of the fight. Time was 1:29. With the win, Haye defended his EBU title as well as becoming the mandatory challenger for WBC champion O'Neil Bell

Abraham eyeing April return!
Promoter Wilfried Sauerland estimates that IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham will probably be able to return to the ring around April 2007. "He must first rest and let his broken jaw heal," stated Sauerland. "I currently have some fight offers from the USA, however we will only discuss these when it is certain he is ready." Abraham suffered a broken jaw in two places during "The Battle of Wetzlar" in September, when he won a controverial unanimous decision over Edison Miranda, who remains his mandatory challenger.

Meanwhile, a story in a German newspaper which reported that Abraham has a €3.3 million three-fight offer from Hamburg promoter Ahmet Öner waiting when his contract lapses in December, has been dismissed as a publicity stunt. Sauerland Event General Manager Chris Meyer stated, "Our contract with Arthur extends beyond December 31, 2006 and continues for many years. Anyway, Mr. Öner should address offers of this type to Sauerland Event (Abraham's manager/promoter). Such an offer has not been received so far."

Pacquiao, Morales at the scales
weights by Albert Howell
At the Cox Pavilion at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas for tomorrow night's "Grand Finale":
Manny Pacquiao 129 vs. Erik Morales 129
Ricardo Torres 139 vs. Mike Arnaoutis 138
Brian Viloria 108 vs. Omar Nino 107
Juan Salgado 128 vs. Marcos Licona 125
Joksan Hernandez 121 vs. Bernabe Concepcion 121
Edel Ruiz 123.5 vs. Fernando Beltran, Jr. 123.5
Edgar Reyes 153.5 vs. Vanes Matirosyan 153
Oscar Blanquet 118.5 vs. Ernel Fontanilla 119

Morales, Pacquiao make weight!
By Victor Perea / Photo: Chris Cozzone

Both Erik Morales and Manny Pacquiao weighed in at 129 during today's "Grand Finale" weigh-in in Las Vegas. Morales was contractually obligated to pay Pacquiao $500,000 for every pound he comes in over the 130lb limit, however a long training process that included weeks with a group of professional conditioning coaches at Velocity Sports Performance in Los Angeles before his regular training camp in the Otomi Mountains of Mexico, brought Erik to Las Vegas on weight and seemingly in tremendous condition. Pacquiao, meanwhile, looked extremely ripped as usual.

Vitali to make comeback?
According to several German Newspapers Vitali Klitschko plans to make his comeback in the boxing ring. He is searching for an apartment in Hamburg near the Universum Gym to begin his training with his old trainer Fritz Sdunek. A physiotherapist from Braunschweig will take a look at Vitali during the training to heal his problems with his back and knee completely. Sdunek reportedly stated he believes Vitali only needs one fight to be ready for a world title challenge. There are also rumors that RTL (Television), which signed with Wladimir Klitschko to a $12.8 million deal to televise his next four fights, stands behind the comeback plans of Vitali.

Gonzalez Gets Past Kopitko!
by Robert Hough & David Robinett; photos by Armando Roldan
The fighter everyone came to see Thursday night at HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, was 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Andre Ward, but the two fighters who stole the show in the latest installment of Fight Night at the Tank were light heavyweights Julio Gonzalez and Vitali Kopitko in the scheduled ten-round main event. Even though it lasted only three rounds, Gonzalez and Kopitko thrilled the crowd before referee Dan Stell waved the bout over in favor of Gonzalez at 2:53 of round three.

Ruiz 238, Chagaev 229.3
Photos: Marianne Müller

John Ruiz 238 vs. Ruslan Chagaev 229.3
(WBA heavyweight eliminator)

Alexander Dimitrenko 249 vs. Billy Zumbrun 240
(WBO Intercontinental heavyweight title)

Alesia Graf 114.8 vs. Heather Percival 114.6
(GBU female jr bantamweight world title)
Natascha Ragosina 168 vs. Scroller Carrington 163.1
(WIBF female super middleweight world title)
Fernely Feliz 222.6 vs. Daniil Peretyatko 222.6
Dimitri Sartison 168 vs. Jevgenijs Andrejevs 172.4
Maurice Weber 146.8 vs. Frank Harroche Horta 151

Venue: Burg Wächter-Castello, Düsseldorf, Germany
Promoter: Universum Box-Promotion

Brudov–Pineda for WBA Interim!
Fight will create an unprecedented three reigning WBA cruiserweight world champions
Russian cruiserweight Valery Brudov (WBA #4) will make another attempt to capture one of the major boxing titles, however in its interim form, on December 2 at Palais Omnisport, Bercy, Paris, France, when he faces Panamanian kayo artist Luis Andres Pineda (WBA #2, WBC #7) for the WBA cruiserweight title. The show will be promoted by AMI Productions, lead by Michel Acaries. The WBA interim bout will make the situation at 200 lbs even more complicated as the organization as it has already a "super champion" in WBA/WBC titlist O’Neil Bell, a "regular champion" in Virgil Hill, and a mandatory challenger in Firat Arslan.

DiBella inks McGirt, Jr.!
by David Greene
"Within a year, everyone in the New York area and frankly, throughout this country, is going to know that this guy is one of the best young middleweights in the world," promoter Lou DiBella proclaimed in his announcement to the press that DiBella Entertainment has signed prospect James McGirt, Jr. (12-0, 7 KOs)

Q&A Manny Pacquiao!
by Ramon Hough
The Philippines is becoming known as a hotbed for boxing talent. Much of that reputation must be credited to Manny Pacquiao's rise to superstardom (two world titles in different weight classes).  But the Philippines have been producing world champions for a long time. Fighters like Pancho Villa from the early 1920s, Flash Elorde from the 1960s, or more recent champions like Luisito Espinosa or Gerry Penalosa all made their marks in the sport. While those fighters accomplished so much, none of them reached Pacquiao's current level of superstardom.  Back in the Philippines, Pacquiao is an endorsement machine, he's starred in movies, he's had a movie made about his life and he's only 27. He is also scheduled to release a music CD in the near future. Pacquiao has brought so much pride to the Philippines that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has talked about him in her State of the Union Addresses. Not only that, large numbers of Filipino politicians, including Arroyo's husband, take the approximately 14-hour flight just to see him fight here in the U.S.

Q&A Brian Viloria!
by Ramon Hough
Brian "The Hawaiian Punch" Viloria has many interests outside of the ring.His manager, Gary Gittlesohn, has called him a renaissance man. Aside from boxing, Viloria is taking film classes at UCLA, he break dances and plays a number of musical instruments.But right now, Viloria's main interest is to regain the world title he lost to Mexico's Omar Nino just three months ago. In what was considered a major upset, the 25-year-old Viloria lost his 108-pound WBC Light Flyweight title to Nino (24-2-1, 10 KOs) via a unanimous decision. Luckily for Viloria (19-1, 12 KOs), he's getting a quick shot at redemption on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao/Erik Morales fight card on Saturday, November 18, at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.Viloria, a Filipino-American, spoke to FightNews about his upcoming fight and the ups and downs of his young boxing career.

Shot of the Day!
Photos: Marianne Müller

"The Quietman" John Ruiz (41-6-1, 28 KOs) and "The White Tyson" Ruslan Chagaev (21-0-1, 17 KOs) during a press event earlier this week. They collide in a WBA heavyweight eliminator on the big Universum Champions Night card Saturday at the Burg Wächter-Castello in Düsseldorf. The winner will challenge seven-foot WBA champion Nikolai Valuev early next year.

Friday Night Scale Watch!
Ray Narh 134.75 vs Ramazan Palyani 135
(Vacant Pennsylvania state lightweight title)
Both men must weigh-in again at 9am Friday at a 145-pound limit, the rest of the 8-fight card also weighs in Friday morning.

Venue: New Alhambra, Philadelphia, PA
Promoter: Peltz Boxing

Juan Carlos Rodriguez 139 vs. William Morelo 140
Vacant WBC Latin Jr. Welterweight Title
Sergio Espinoza 112 vs. Marco Antonio Sanchez 109
Irving Garcia 131 vs. Alejandro Arteaga 131
Lenny Hall 120 vs. Carly Batey 119
Christopher Martin 120 vs. Brice Yoeneke 121

Venue: 4th & B Hall San Diego, California
Promoter: All Star Boxing/Felix "Tuto" Zabala, Jr.
TV: Telemundo Main Event Live @ 11:30 PM ET

Anthony Bonsante 157.5 vs. Troy Lowry 159.5
Matt Vanda 160 vs. Dillon Carew TBD
Zack Walters 172 vs. Hugo Pineda 174
Andy Kolle 159 vs. Leo Edwards TBD
Allen Litzau 129 vs. Juan Polo Perez TBD
Wilton Hilario 127.5 vs. Elvis Martinez 126.5
Phillip Williams 177.5 vs. Jake Hecht TBD
John Schmidt 165 vs. Ray Walker 165

Wonjongkam outpoints Myekeni!
By Damrong Simakajornboon
WBC flyweight champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam successfully retained his crown for the sixteenth time as he outpointed WBC mandatory challenger Monelisi Mhikiza Myekeni on Friday at Suranaree Stadium in Nakornrachasima Province, Thailand. Wongjongkam rapidly dropped Myekeni in the opening round, then he mostly controlled the show and finally won a unanimous decision.

Mbityi to fight for WBC Int'l title!
By Ron Jackson
Professional boxing returns to the Graceland Hotel Casino and Country Club in Secunda on Friday, November 24 when Zolile Mbityi meets Evans Mpamba for the vacant WBC International super-flyweight title. It will be a contest between the veteran Mbityi (28 wins, 12 losses, 3 draws) and the youthful Mabamba 12-0 (6), who fights out of the Nic Durandt gymnasium in Johannesburg. In September this year the 36-year-old Mbityi caused a major upset when he defeated the long-reigning SA champion Simon Ramoni at the Nasrec Indoor Arena in Johannesburg, to win the SA junior bantamweight title. The two main supporting bouts on the card will see a slated six rounder in the lightweight division between Patrick Malinga and Evans Mamaleka and in another scheduled six rounder at junior lightweight Jasper Seroka meets Patrick Masango.

Hedgecock promises lesson!
By Ray Wheatley -- World of Boxing
Dave Hedgecock who trains WBA #3 Sam Soliman is confident of victory when his charge meets Mexican tough guy Enrique Ornelas Saturday. Hedgecock said, "Sammy has done everything right in training while we have been here in America. He will take Enrique Ornelas to school and win well. We are not underestimating Ornelas but Sammy is in the best shape of his life. After we defeat Ornelas we could be meeting Anthony Mundine for the vacant WBA super middleweight crown. We are confident Sammy will defeat Mundine." Sam Soliman lost a disputed twelve round decision to Mundine in 2001.

Soliman 160.5, Ornelas 160.5
Photo: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME

Boxers (left-to-right) Travis Walker, Sam Soliman, Enrique Ornelas and Jason Estrada pose after Thursday's "ShoBox: The New Generation" weigh-in at Soboba Casino at San Jacinto, Calif. Talented middleweights Soliman and Ornelas, who collide in Friday's "ShoBox" main event on SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast), each tipped the scales at 160 1/2 pounds. Undefeated heavyweights Walker and Estrada weighed 235 and 257, respectively, for their bout in the "ShoBox" co-feature. The boxers wound up weighing in an alley outside the casino after the scales didn't work properly inside.

Gonzalez crushes Kopitko!
By David Robinett and Robert Hough at ringside
Former WBO light heavyweight champion Julio Gonzalez (41-3, 25 KOs) dropped Vitali Kopitko (24-9, 9 KOs) four times en route to a third round TKO on Thursday night at the HP Pavillion in San Jose, California. Gonzalez, rated #2 IBF and #4 WBO, knocked down Kopitko twice in round one and twice in round three, all with bodyshots. When another body shot doubled-over Kopitko, the bout was stopped at 2:53 of round three.

2004 US Olympic Gold Medalist Andre Ward (10-0, 5 KOs) won via a six-round unanimous decision over Derrick Findley (6-2, 5 KOs) in the middleweight co-feature. All three judges scored it 60-54. While Ward was clearly the better fighter, Findley was game and it was a fairly competitive fight. Neither fighter had the other in trouble, but Ward was landing the higher volume of punches.

Super welterweight Antonio Johnson (6-0, 3 KOs) won by TKO :20 into round three when his bout with Sean Holley (8-21-2, 2 KOs) was halted by the referee.

Jr. welterweight Carlos Musquez (2-0-1, 2 KOs) defeated Mike Peralta (1-1, 0 KOs) by 2nd round TKO.

Super welterweight Karim Mayfield (2-0, 2 KOs) TKO'd Salvador Lopez (0-2-2) at 2:29 of round three.

A bout between welterweights Arturo Quintero (15-4, 9 KOs) and David Hernandez (4-4-2, 2 KOs) fell through.

Velazquez tops Pacquiao on DQ!
By Victor Perea at ringside / Photo: Chris Cozzone
Jr lightweight Hector Velazquez (46-11-2, 32 KOs) won by eleventh round disqualification over Bobby Pacquiao (27-12-3, 12 KOs) on Thursday night at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Pacquiao dropped Velazquez in round three with an uppercut, but Valezquez came back to rock Pacquiao and Pacquiao was then deducted a point for a low blow at the end of the round. Pacquiao was again penalized a point for a low blow in round five and received a warning from Bayless in round ten before being DQ'd after straying low again in the eleventh. Pacquiao was leading on two cards entering the eleventh. Velazquez is now 1-1 versus the Pacquiao family, having lost via TKO to Manny last year. After the fight, in an almost comical interview, Pacquiao repeatedly denied throwing the final low blow, even after viewing the video replay evidence.

Earlier, welterweight Jose Luis Cruz (34-2-2, 28 KOs) pounded out an entertaining and very hard-fought unanimous decision over late sub Archak "Shark Attack" Ter-Meliksetian (16-5, 13 KOs). Cruz was aggressive throughout, but Ter-Meliksetian, who took the fight on just a few days' notice, came on strong as the bout progressed and gave Cruz all he could handle. Scores were 78-74, 78-74, 77-75.

McCall added to Dec 9 card!
Will face Diaz at Hard Rock LIVE Arena
With weeks of intense training in the bank and a fight scheduled on the highly publicized “Superfighter” card in Australia, former World Heavyweight Champion, Oliver McCall was understandably upset when that card was postponed earlier this week. Enter Seminole Warriors Boxing, which stepped up for ‘The Atomic Bull’ and offered him a fight against world-class Cuban banger Yanqui Diaz on their “Night of Heavyweights” card on Saturday, December 9th at the Hard Rock Live Arena in Hollywood, Florida. “When one door closes, another opens, and I’m happy that Warriors was able to find a fight for me on this card,” said McCall. “I’m going to show my appreciation by putting on the fight of the night with Yanqui Diaz and then ending it with a spectacular knockout.” In addition to this explosive bout, “Night of Heavyweights”  three-time World Champion, Heavyweight Michael Moorer returns to the squared circle and young gun Isreali Heavyweight, Roman Greenberg will be in action, putting his unbeaten record on the line.

Weights from San Jacinto!
Enrique Ornelas 160.5 vs Sam Soliman 160.5
Travis Walker 235 vs Jason Estrada 257
Andre Dirrell 166.5 vs James Sundin 169
Anthony Dirrell 166 vs James North 167
Malcolm Tann 241 vs Joe Stofle 264
Francisco Santana 151.5 vs Daniel Stanisavljevic 151.5

Peter-Toney on January 6!
By Flattop
Don King and SHOWTIME will come out strong at the first bell of the year on Saturday, January 6th with a championship doubleheader featuring #1 contender Sam Peter battling #2 WBC challenger James Toney in a heavyweight WBC title eliminator rematch plus WBA super welterweight champion Jose Rivera against world champion-in-recess and mandatory challenger Travis Simms. Also tentatively scheduled is IBF super welter champ Cory Spinks against mandatory challenger Rodney Jones. The winner of Peter vs. Toney becomes the mandatory for WBC champion Oleg Maskaev, although it has been reported by FightNews writer Matt Richardson that Maskaev is in serious negotiations for a title unification with IBF champ Wladimir Klitschko in April. Maskaev would most likely ask for an exception against the Peter-Toney mandatory if given the opportunity to unify. The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida is the possible venue.


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