Snips 'n' Snipes

About The Author

eric portraitEric Armit, who is a Director of the CBC and its former Chairman, is renowned worldwide as an authority on boxers records and also as a satirical and cynical observer.

Eric Armit writes in his capacity as a boxing journalist and not as a director of the CBC. His views and comments are his own and have not been the subject of prior discussion or consideration by his fellow directors, nor form official CBC policy.

3 October 2012

Well Juan Manuel Marquez is making sure he is fit for fight IV. He began light training by chopping wood, hitting a tyre with a sledge hammer and running 13kms. I guess when he gets in his stride he will be working his way through a forrest of sequoias, breaking up armoured tanks and swimming the Atlantic. Watch out Manny. Bob Arum has already picked the winner. He has talked about Pacquiao’s next fight being on 20th April next year.

The Russians have their own version of Prizefighter but it is not for sissies or wimps. It is called “Last Man Standing”  The bouts will be twelve minutes, or to put it another way, it is a one round fight with the round lasting twelve minutes. It will be in a ring only 4mtrs x 4 mtrs. The first edition will be in Moscow on October 15. It is not a single division, all over in one night competition, but covers a number of divisions. It will not just be Russians alone but a mixture of nationalities. They breed them tough out there.

Good to see that they intend to build a statue in honour of Teofilio Stevenson in Cuba. Teo died, reportedly of a heart attack, on June 11. He was one of, if not the, greatest amateur fighters of all time. Teo was Olympic gold medalist at the 1972, 1976 (knocking out John Tate in one round) and 1980 Games. He was favoured to win the gold medal at the 1984 and 1988 Games, but Cuban boycotted both events. He was World Amateur champion in 1974, 1978 and 1986; he competed in the 1982 World Championships, but lost to Francesco Damiani 5-0 in the quarter-finals. A result which ended an eleven year unbeaten run for Stevenson. He was also Pan American Games champion in 1975 and 1979. He first competed in the Pan American Games in 1971 when he lost to Duane Bobick 5-0 in the semi-finals. He gained his revenge by stopping Bobick in three rounds in the 1972 Olympics. He turned down a $1 million offer to turn pro and was the sporting idol of his country.

You have to wonder whether Don King is growing senile or is still his clever self. He easily won the bidding for the WBC Final eliminator between his fighter Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola. There were four bids submitted. King won with a bid of $1,100,000, next highest was Arreola’s promotion team Goosen Tudor with a bid of $550,000, third was Golden Boy with $512,000 and last was Top Marquee with $132,000. When someone bids twice as high as the next highest bidder he has either made a colossal mistake, or he has a cunning plan, such as hoping Vitali Klitschko retires and King will then have a share of the heavyweight title. No matter what, this is not a “huge” fight. It was probably worth somewhere around the bids made by the No 1 and No 2 bidders and King will not be able to reduce his costs much as he will have to pay Arreola the percentage he is due as he does not own Arreola. As for Top Marquee they probably though they were bidding for the catering.

Still on the subject of bids. The value of the Lamont Peterson defence of his IBF light welter title defence against was put that into perspective. Peterson’s team won the bidding with a bid of $50,000. Amir Khan probably wouldn’t even spar for that much. However, with the announcement that Peterson will challenge Tim Bradley in Miami on December 15, it seems more likely that Peterson will vacate his title as a Bradley fight will be a higher profile and much more lucrative deal. Poor old Tim. Pacquiao gets a huge fight in Marquez IV and he does not appear to be on Mayweather’s list. He would probably have done better financially by losing a close decision to Pacquiao. Reportedly 13,000 tickets have already been sold for Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV and Tim just has to stand there with his nose pressed to the shop window wishing. If you hurry you may just get one of the highest priced $1,200 seats Tim.

Don’t expect Mayweather to fight again this year as he is not yet back in the gym. Seems he has other things on his mind as he and rapper Ray J spent $50,000 on exotic dancers at a club. He could have got the Peterson vs. Judah fight for that much. Peterson vs. Judah or Exotic dancers-no brainer. I bet he would not be worried if the girls were taking performance enhancing drugs.

Mike Tyson is determined to continue his film career. He will next appear in Scary Movie 5 which is due out in April next year. He is working alongside Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan. Those three should have plenty to talk about such as “what mind blower were you on?” Having said that it is a relief to see Tyson getting his life together and being in a happier place.

Talk is that there will not be a Sergio Martinez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, return fight. It appears that Chavez is walking around at about 190lbs and will never be able to get back down to middle again. With weight loss you can only go to the well so many times before it catches up on you.

Former WBO super middle champion Robert Stieglitz could be in serious trouble. He has had a long-time feud going with the family of his former wife. On one occasion Stieglitz reportedly broke a security camera with an air gun Due to the escalating feud the Police have made more than ten visits to the property. Now Stieglitz’s father-in-law is in hospital with three fractures in his skull and other injuries, allegedly inflicted by Stieglitz using a lump of wood. Stieglitz alleges that he was defending himself after his father-in-law attacked him with an iron bar. Whatever the truth there are likely to be some serious charges floating about.

Odlanier Solis’s next fight will be against Norwegian Leif Larsen on October 12. On paper this looks an interesting fight as Larsen is 16-0 with 13 wins by KO/TKO. However, it does not stand up to scrutiny. The only name on his record is Danny Williams who he stopped in two rounds in December. Of his 16 victims only four have won more than they have lost and the EBU do not rate him in the top twenty. If you asked them to rate Larsen on the basis of his record they would send for the folks in the white coats. However, he is good copy. He twice competed at the World Junior Championships-as a shot putter. He then took up American football and played for the Buffalo Bills in the NFL for two years. He has a punchers chance against Solis, but not much of one.

Title fights coming up: Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam defends his WBO middle title against Peter Quillin in New York on October 20. Richard Abril and Sharif Bogere contest the secondary WBA lightweight title on November 3. Chris John defends his real WBA featherweight title against Thai Chonlatarn in Singapore on November 9.

One title fight that may not come off is Celestino Caballero’s defence of his secondary WBA featherweight title against Jamaican Nicolas Walters. The WBA put up a date for purse offers for this mandated fight, but then postponed them. When the purser offers were eventually opened the winning bid came from Canelo Promotions and Walters group Premium Boxing Promotions. Walters has signed the contracts and now it is up to Caballero top sign before the twenty day deadline. There are signs that he will not go through with the match, in which case the WBA will strip him (should say should, this is the WBA after all) and let Walters face another rated contender for the vacant title. Such delays are nothing new to Walters’s manager Jacques Deschamps, but he does not give in easily. Way back in the early 1990’s Jacques managed another Jamaican, former Commonwealth champion Richard Clarke. Jacques fought his way through delays, political pressure and many other tactics to get Clarke his shot at the WBC flyweight title and to get it in Jamaica. He won, but Clarke lost. Hopefully the result will be win-win this time.

One title fight not going ahead is Orlando Salido’s defence of his featherweight title against Mikey Garcia on November 10. The Mexican shut his hand in a car door and the injury has resulted in the fight being put back to January.

The WBC are up to their tricks again. At the weekend their No 1 strawweight Denver Cuello (Singwancha) overcame a shoulder injury to win his eleventh fight in a row. Cuello was No 2 for almost a          year. However, in May, he halted the then No 1 contender Ganigan Lopez in two rounds for the WNBC Silver title with the fight recognized as  a final eliminator. The title is now vacant. As No 1 you would naturally expect Cuello to get a shot at winning the vacant title. Wrong! This is a sanctioning body we are talking about. Instead the WBC have “asked” Cuello to step aside said that No 4 strawweight Javier Martinez will meet Chinese fighter Xiong Zhao Zhong for the title. This despite Zhong being No 6 at light flyweight, and from the available evidence, has never fought at the strawweight limit! It gets better (by that I mean worse) in April Zhong lost an eight round decision to an unrated Japanese fighter with a 12-5-2 record. Before the fight Zhong was No 11, after losing to a guy, not even in the top 40 he is dropped down, but only to N0 11 (don’t even bother asking about the Japanese fighter, his reward for winning was zilch ). Ah but, in June Zhong beat the No 11WBC strawweight for the vacant WBC Silver title. Yes,at light flyweight. Let’s not forget Javier Martinez. He is No 4 because he won the WBC Silver title in April. Sounds ok until you realise that this great victory was scored over Ulises Lara who had lost four fights in a row at the time. It might be that you believe that with Cuello getting injured at the weekend it was necessary to leave him out. Until you realise that the Martinez vs. Zhong fight was mandated before the weekend. This is just about the Chinese market and nothing else. Too long a story. The short version is that Cuello got screwed.

However the biggest exposure of a just plain bad sanctioning body action was the WBA making the 39-year-old Hasim Rahman their No 1 heavyweight. Since losing to Wladimir Klitschko in 2008 Rahman had beaten Clinton Boldridge, Shannon Miller, Damon Reed, Marcus McGee and Galen Brown. Some of those are so bad that Deontay wilder has fought them. In April 2010 Rahman was not even in the top 15, but somehow he climbs to No 1 by fighting guys who would not be in the top 100. A king sized mistake.

On the EBU front Romanian Silvio Olteanu will defend his flyweight title against experienced former champion Andrea Sarritzu in Sardinia on October 20. Sauerland will promote the defence by Alex Alekseev of his cruiserweight title against their fighter Mateusz Masternak. Sauerland bid Euro 80,000 which I believe was the only bid.

I understand the “show must go on” approach when a title fight falls through due to one of the contestants pulling out. However, sometimes I wonder if it would be safer to cancel. Not a commercial stance I realise. However, take the case of the Ghanaian middleweight title fight at the weekend. Veteran Ayitey Powers did not appear at the weigh-in. Panic measures required so Eric Kwardey is drafted in to fight unbeaten Sena Agbeko. The new champion is Agbeko who halted Kwardey in three rounds. Agbeko is now 12-0 with eleven wins by KO/TKO. Kwardey is 1-8-1. A potentially dangerous mismatch, but the show must go on.

I missed the result, but it cheered me. Last month British-based Ugandan light heavyweight Joey Vegas went out to Trinidad and Tobago and kayoed local favourite Kirt Sinette in four rounds to win the WBC International title. Joey has been matched tough with fights against Nat Cleverly, Danny McIntosh, Edison Miranda and Dmytro Kucher. Now he has taken to the road and in April in Cairo he won the African title by stopping unbeaten Hany Atiyo in eleven rounds. Two good wins in the other guy’s backyard. Good ones Joey.

Some upcoming fights: Jermain Taylor continues his comeback with a fight against Raul Munoz on October 12 in St Charles. No real test as Munoz lost his last two fights inside the distance and has not had a fight for more than a year. Puerto Rican prospect Jose Pedraza is also on the card. Kiev on 27 October sees Elite Boxing team members Dymtro Kucher (18-0 and Victor Postl (19- 0) face Steve Herelius (21-2-1) and DeMarcus Corley respectively. Herelius last fought in February 2011 when he lost to Cuban Yoan Pablo Hernandez for the interim WBA cruiserweight title.

A couple of competitive French title fights will see Jimmy Colas defending his light middle title against Frederic Serre in Enghien on November 29. The one the French boxing fraternity is savouring is Romain Jacob defending his super featherweight title against Karim Chakim in Calais on November 16, Third defence for 16-0 Jacob, the son of former European bantam and WBC super bantamweight champion Thierry. You have to be very old to remember when there was not a Jacob fighting out of Calais. Former French and European Union champion Chakim has won his last 14 fights.

Still on France. There are all kinds of accusations flying about over the demise of the Paris United Team. They had enjoyed success winning the initial competition, but had done less well this year. Money problems surfaced. Former WBA flyweight champion Brahim Asloum’s BA Organisation had the franchise. However, one of the fighters, Nordine Oubaali went to court over unpaid monies due, and the court reportedly declared BA Organisation bankrupt. Asloum is alleging that French Boxing Federation failed to meet their promised backing. A mess,

You need stamina for some fight cards. They had a show in Minsk last moth which had 142 rounds of boxing scheduled. Six 10 round fights, five 8 round fights, seven 6 round fights. Luckily some finished early. I can imagine a few wives standing at the door saying “Been at the boxing until this time. Pull the other one it’s got bells on it”.

Scoring watch. How can you explain in any sensible way that in the Pat Majewski fight at the weekend one of the judges had it 100-90 for the Pole and another had it 95-95. Vic Darchinyan beat Luis Orland Del Valle by 99-91 on two cards and one had the young Puerto Rican just a whisker away from a draw at 96-94. There is no sense in outcomes like that.