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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Year That Was

Maybe this post should have been written three months ago, but since the blog was started about a year ago, perhaps this is as good a time as any for a year in review.

On June 5, Yuri Foreman, the WBA junior middleweight champ, faced Miguel Cotto in the first fight in the new Yankee Stadium. Foreman fought well, the first Jewish boxer defending a world title in three decades (according to the oft-pedaled line), but Cotto was ahead on the scorecards after six rounds. In the seventh, Foreman, who relies on constant lateral movement, tore his ACL and his meniscus. Yet, he gallantly fought on in a stunning display of determination.

In the eighth, Foreman's corner threw in the towel, but referee Arthur Mercante refused to stop the bout. The contest wasn't stopped until Cotto threw a debilitating body shot in the ninth, in the process earning Foreman's title. Foreman has since recovered from the injuries and is back in training. There has been speculation that he could fight Pawel Wolak in March and/or Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in June.

On April 24, Mariano Plotinsky attempted to become the second Jewish world champion within a five month span when he took on WBO light heavyweight champion Jürgen Brähmer in Germany. Showing grit and courage, Plotinsky was ultimately overmatched, succumbing to Brähmer's pressure in the fifth. Since the fight, Plotinsky has effectively retired from the ring and now continues to train fighters.

Alexander Frenkel won twice this past year, including an honorable mention for knockout of the year against Enzo Maccarinelli in the seventh round of their September 18th bout. The Maccarinelli fight earned Frenkel the EBU European cruiserweight title. He is next scheduled to enter the ring in February.

Dmitriy Salita got back on the winning track this year. He defeated two journeymen with winning records. Salita, who has become his own promoter, hopes to fight in Israel in 2011. He has talked about battling Mike Anchondo or Ricky Hatton, among others.

Ran Nakash fought and won four times this year, including three knockouts. He's looking to face veteran cruiserweight Bobby Gunn in 2011.

And finally, Max Heyman came back after a two and a half year absence from the ring. He went 2-1 in 2010, including avenging a split decision loss against Mike Alderete.

Friday, December 24, 2010

An All-Encompassing Update

Oz Goldenburg lost a lopsided decision in a four round bout against Ideh Ockuko last month. For the bout, which took place at Coram's Field in London, England, Goldenburg weighed in at 134 pounds while his opponent tipped the scales at 143 pounds. The fight was part of a charity event for the Habad Children Aid Society and, according to promoter Robert Waterman, Goldenburg "would have been well within his rights to pull out (due to the weight difference), but he didn't want to let a community charity down." Goldenburg is now 2-1; Ockuko is now also 2-1.

Junior middleweight Boyd Melson is scheduled to fight next on April 2, 2011 at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, New York. Melson's only professional fight took place at the same venue, a precarious victory that saw him knocked down in the first round and come back to win the four round fight on points.

Hagar Finer (22-7-3, 6 KOs) is expected to be back in action on January 22, 2011 at Palais des sports Marcel-Cerdan in Levallois-Perret, France. She will be defending her WIBF bantamweight title against Nadege Szikora (10-1, 4 KOs).

The Klinefelter sisters are scheduled to return to the ring in their familiar stomping grounds of Johnson City, Iowa on February 5, 2011. Emily Klinefelter (9-0, 3 KOs) is penciled in to take on Christina Ruiz (5-3-1, 3 KOs). Katy Klinefelter (7-0, 4 KOs) is also scheduled to fight that night, but does not yet have an opponent.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Look Back: Joe Choynski

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.

"Chrysanthemum" Joe Choynski is often called the greatest heavyweight never to win a world title. Allen Bodner considers him to be the best Jewish heavyweight of all time and the ninth best Jewish fighter ever. In the outlaw days of boxing, he fought the likes of Jack Johnson, Jim Corbett (who was from the same neighborhood), Bob Fitzsimmons, James J. Jeffries, and Marvin Hart. Many of those fights were stopped prematurely by the police. But despite facing so many men who at one time held the world championship, Choynski never even fought for the belt himself.

Joe Choynski was born on November 8, 1868 in San Francisco, California. He grew up in a middle class household, working in a candy factory before he went into boxing. His father, who was an immigrant from Poland, graduated from Yale and his mother was a writer. Choynski (pronounced coy- EN-skee) began boxing at the age of 16 and turned pro in 1888.

Early in his career, he faced a young Jim Corbett. Their first bout in 1889 was stopped by the police in the fourth round. Corbett KOed Choynski in the 27th round of their second match, which took place a month later. That bout was one of the most brutal in the history of the sport according to ringside observers. It took place on a barge outside of San Francisco in oppressive heat. In 1891, he fought in an exhibition against John L. Sullivan. An 1894 fight with Bob Fitzsimmons was stopped by police in the fifth round. In 1897, Choynski battled James J. Jeffries. Though he gave up five inches and fifty pounds, and was knocked down in the fifth round, Choynski salvaged a draw when the bout was called to a halt after the twentieth round.

Standing only 5'10", Choynski never weighed over 172 pounds for a fight. Yet, he was considered a devastating puncher. Jack Johnson contended, "Choynski could paralyze you even if he didn't catch you flush." In retrospect, his greatest victory was over a young Johnson on February 25, 1901 in Galveston, Texas. Choynski knocked out the future legend in the third round. Much later, Johnson claimed that Choynski was the hardest hitter of the previous fifty years, stating, "I think his left hook was much more effective than Dempsey's or Louis's." Both Choynski and Johnson were arrested after the fight and spent 28 days locked up in prison before making bail.

Choynski retired from the ring in 1904. According to Boxrec.com, "The California Terror" finished with a record of 55-15-5 including 36 KOs (1-3-1 in newspaper decisions), although records from that era are notoriously sketchy. He was elected to the Ring Hall of Fame in 1960 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1998. Choyinski died on January 24, 1943 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Blady, Ken. The Jewish Boxers Hall of Fame. 1988.
Bodner, Allen. When Boxing Was A Jewish Sport. 1997.
Century, Douglas. Barney Ross. 2006.
Riess, Stephen A. Sports and the American Jew. 1998.
Somrack, Daniel F. Boxing in San Francisco. 2005.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kedem to Return

Eilon Kedem is scheduled to box on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at the Masonic Temple in Brooklyn, New York. Kedem had been scheduled to fight last Thursday at the Roseland Ballroom on the Salita-Wayka undercard, but did not appear in the ring.

This would be the first fight for Kedem (11-4-4, 7 KOs) since losing a majority decision to Elton Dharry this past April. No opponent has been mentioned as of yet.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Salita-Wayka Post-Fight Interviews

An interview with a focused Dmitriy Salita

An interview with a gracious James Wayka

Friday, December 17, 2010

Salita Scores a Knockout

Dmitriy Salita defeated James Wayka by TKO in the third Thursday night in the Roseland Ballroom in New York, New York. The fight was televised on The Jewish Channel. Salita claimed the New York Welterweight title with the victory.

Salita walked to the ring with Matisyahu, who serenaded the fighter with his song King Without a Crown. Wayka, a late replacement for Mike Anchondo who withdrew due to illness, was made to pace the ring as he waited for Salita to enter.

The first round was slow as both combatants took three minutes to feel each other out. The action sped up in the next stanza. After an early headbutt, Salita unintentionally hit Wayka low. That seemed to be the turning point in the bout. Salita knocked Wayka down soon after and once Wayka rose, he was rocked by an overhand right. Just before the round ended, Salita put Wayka down again.

At that point it was clear that Salita threw the straighter punches and possessed the quicker hands. In the third round, Salita continued his effective body punching and overhand rights. After Wayka was felled a fourth and final time, referee David Fields stopped the contest at 1:53 of round three.

Salita advances his record to 32-1-1 and earned his 17th knockout. According to Boxrec.com, Wayka's record tumbled to 16-10-1 with 8 KOs, although his record was introduced as 18-8-1 with 8 KOs at the fight.

Eilon Kedem and Boyd Melson were originally scheduled to fight in separate bouts, but neither made an appearance in the ring.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Salita Weighs In

Dmitriy Salita and James Wayka weighed in for their fight tonight which will take place at the Roseland Ballroom in New York, New York. Salita weighed in at 147 pounds; Wayka weighed in at 145.25 pounds. The fight is now scheduled for ten rounds.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Anchondo Withdraws

Dmitriy Salita (31-1-1, 16 KOs) was scheduled to face former world champion Mike Anchondo (30-3, 19 KOs) for the vacant IBA welterweight title this Thursday. But Anchondo pulled out of the fight citing illness. Instead, Salita's new scheduled opponent is James Wayka.

Wayka, from Wisconsin, is 16-9-1 with eight knockouts in his nine year career. He has been stopped eight times. He last fought in October of 2009, a first round KO loss to Jesse Lubash. Wayka began his career 11-0, but has gone 5-9-1 since and is winless in his last three bouts. All of his professional losses have come against fighters with a winning record.

The fight is scheduled for 8 rounds in New York's Roseland Ballroom this Thursday.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Salita and Anchondo Looking to Rebound

Both Dmitriy Salita and Mike Anchondo have been maligned by the boxing public of late. Salita was knocked out in 76 seconds by Amir Khan a year ago. Anchondo was knocked out by Freddie Hernandez in the fourth round this past September.

On December 16, in the Roseland Ballroom in New York, New York, they fight for the vacant IBA welterweight championship. That this fight is for a world championship is one of those cruel jokes that modern boxing tends to play on its followers. Boxing people realize that the winner of the bout cannot claim to be the best in the division. In fact, a win will assuredly not land either in the top ten.

But it remains a potentially intriguing contest between two veterans looking to redirect their careers.

Salita (31-1-1, 16 KOs) was knocked down three times, the first coming ten seconds after the opening bell, against Khan, the WBA junior welterweight champ. He has since won a unanimous decision over journeyman Franklin Gonzalez in September. Against Anchondo, he will have a significant height and reach advantage. Salita, who is trained by Nirmal Lorick, has worked out with Emmanuel Steward for the bout. Steward said of Salita, "I think he can be very good, can make a good comeback, and become champion. He's a very special talent." The fight is in Salita's hometown.

Salita has to be considered the favorite in the fight, but Anchondo, who is trained by Justin Fortune, is confident. He told Thomas Gerbasi, "[Salita's] gonna come in and do the old school style and try to pepper me with as many punches as he can, and that's fine. I'm fast too and we're working on that. You'll just see."

At one point, Anchondo (30-3, 19 KOs) who is a former junior lightweight champion, had a seemingly bright future in boxing. While everyone acknowledges that he is one of the nicest guys in boxing, not many foresee much of a future in the sport for the California resident anymore. At 5'5" he is a tiny welterweight. At 147 pounds, he has not retained the power and speed that he possessed at 130 pounds. He looked overmatched against Hernandez three months ago, a loss that increasingly looks worse. Hernandez was recently victimized by a first round knockout against Andre Berto, the WBC champ and a top five welterweight.

It is easy to dismiss this bout because of the bogusness of the belt. But, in reality, with a win either man would be able to put a recognizable name on the resume and take another step closer towards returning to boxing relevance.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Frenkel to Fight in February

Alexander Frenkel- along with his frightening left hook- is scheduled to defend his European cruiserweight belt on February 26, 2011 at Stechert Arena in Bayern, Germany. Frenkel is coming off an impressive victory over Enzo Maccarinelli this past September.

In the seventh round, Frenkel ducked a Maccarinelli punch and poetically rose to unleash a wondrous left hook. The fight ended soon after. Frenkel earned Maccarinelli's EBU belt in the victory.

Frenkel had hoped to stay busy after the win, and fight in November, but that turned out not to be the case. Frenkel does not yet have an opponent.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Saperstein is Still Undefeated

Laura Saperstein advanced to 10-0-1 with two knockouts thanks to a six round decision over Milena Koleva last night in the Doncaster Dome in Doncaster, England. It was the third win in four fights this year for the London-based featherweight who is 39 years old. It was the first time in her career that she has beaten a fighter with a winning record. Koleva, from Bulgaria, fell to 3-1.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kedem Has a Scheduled Opponent

Eilon Kedem will take on Jhovany Collado (2-6-2, one KO) at the Roseland Ballroom in New York, New York on December 16. The bout is scheduled for four rounds at super bantamweight.

Kedem (11-4-4, 7 KOs) has fought twice this year. He defeated Pedro Salcedo (3-3, 2 KOs) by unanimous decision in their six round bout this past March. The next month, he lost a majority decision in a four round fight to Elton Dharry (6-5-1, one KO). That loss also took place at the same location as his upcoming match. Kedem is 1-2 in his last three fights and is in need of a win to redirect his career.

He has the right scheduled opponent. Collado, who won the first two fights of his career, hasn't fought in over five years. The 31 year old hasn't won in ten years. Besides be significantly more active of late, Kedem also has the advantage of being five years younger and three inches taller.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nakash Poised to Face Gunn

According to several online sources, the long awaited clash between undefeated cruiserweight Ran Nakash and former challenger Bobby Gunn (21-4-1, 18 KOs) will finally happen sometime in early 2011. The fight could take place as early as January and might be on American television.

Bobby Gunn has been boisterous in calling out Nakash for the past several months. He has blamed Nakash for the fact that the fight has not taken place yet and has declared his confidence in winning the proposed match up. Gunn's fans even created a Facebook group calling out Nakash.

For his part, Nakash has consistently expressed interest in fighting the 36 year old Celtic Warrior. The 25-0 (18 KOs) Nakash fought on the undercard of Gunn's attempt to gain The Ring's cruiserweight championship from Tomasz Adamek during July of 2009. Gunn was stopped in the fourth round and hasn't fought since. Nakash, 32, has fought and won six times since then.

Nakash won his last bout, a 10 round unanimous decision over Victor Barragan last July. That fight was shown on the Comcast Network in the United States. The contest with Gunn, who marks a step up for Nakash, would take place at Harrah's Casino in Chesterfield, Pennsylvania. It would be a 12 round fight.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Melson Wins Debut

Boyd Melson, a captain in the U.S. Army, outpointed Andrew Jones (0-2-1) last night at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, New York. After getting knocked down, Melson came back to win the four round bout by unanimous decision. All three judges scored the contest 38-37.

Melson, who was a renowned amateur, donated his purse for the fight to help fund stem cell research. The 1-0 junior middleweight is next scheduled to enter the ring on December 16 at the Roseland Ballroom in New York, New York.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Melson Weighs In

Boyd Melson weighed in at 155 pounds for his debut against Andrew Jones (0-1-1). Jones weighed in at 151 lbs. The scheduled four round bout will take place tonight at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, New York.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Klinefelter Sisters Win

Both Klinefelter sisters fought and won at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Iowa City, Iowa this past Saturday. Emily won a dominant unanimous decision over Lakeysha Williams (9-16-3, one KO) with scores of 60-55, 60-54, and 60-53. Emily's record improves to 9-0 with three KOs.

Katy knocked out Jessica Williams, who was making her debut, at 2:08 of the first round. Katy's record advances to 7-0 with four knockouts.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Look Back: Harry Haft

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.

After surviving the Holocaust, Harry Haft produced a brief professional boxing career. Haft won't be remembered as a legend of the sport, but his remarkable life story is worth retelling.

Born on July 28, 1925 in the Polish town of Belchatow, Haft was three years old when his father died. When Haft was 14, the Nazis invaded Poland. Under Nazi occupation, Haft and his older brother managed to run a successful smuggling business. Shortly after, in an effort to save his brother, Haft was sent to a work camp. There he continued smuggling. Haft was soon transferred to Auschwitz, but fortunately didn't stay long.

After being transferred to different camps, a German soldier took a liking to Haft in the hopes that Haft would vouch for him should the Nazis lose the war. Haft began fighting thanks to the German soldier. These were bare knuckled matches, sometimes with winter gloves, pitting Jewish inmates against one another for the amusement of the Nazis. Haft was relatively well-fed thanks to his German protector and mostly fought half-dead inmates. The two competitors would fight until one was unconscious, which always turned out to be Haft’s opponent. He defeated a French Jewish heavyweight who was considerably taller and also well-fed. The Frenchman may have been shot after the fight.

As the war turned against the Nazis, Haft found himself on a death march. He made a daring escape and barely eluded death. Alone in the forest, Haft managed to kill a bathing German soldier and steal his uniform. In a bid to find shelter, Haft visited a couple of German residences and killed the inhabitants when they suspected that he wasn't a German soldier. After American soldiers found Haft, he was put in charge of a whore house in Germany. He also boxed in U.S. army-sponsored bouts in Europe.

Haft managed to make it to the United States thanks to an American uncle. When Haft began boxing professionally, his uncle shunned him. The 5'9" Holocaust survivor was an undisciplined boxer who possessed an iron will and a punishing punch. He won his first twelve contests, his first three by KO. In January of 1949, Haft lost to the far more experienced Pat O'Connor. His career would never recover. Haft won only two more fights, including the next contest.

At one point, Haft's manager abandoned him in Florida. Haft was broke and stranded. He remembered that a friend had a rich uncle in the area and intended to ask for a loan. The uncle turned out to be the notorious gangster, Meyer Lansky. Lansky gave him $100 and told him, "A hundred bucks won't make up for those Nazi bastards, but it's yours; it's not a loan."

In June of 1949, Haft lost to then undefeated and future heavyweight title contender, Roland LaStarza. In July, Haft faced the legendary Rocky Marciano. It would be his last fight, a third round knockout loss. Haft retired with a 14-8 record including 8 KOs. He then went into the fruit business in Brooklyn. He died in 2007.

Haft, Alan. Harry Haft: Auschwitz Survivor, Challenger of Rocky Marciano. 2006.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Heyman's Revenge

Cruiserweight "Mad" Max Heyman avenged a loss he suffered back in May to "Mad" Mike Alderete last night. The fight took place at the Hard Rock in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the hometown of both fighters.

Heyman cruised to victory, flooring Alderete in the third round with a body shot. Alderete was unable to answer the bell for the ninth, handing Heyman a eighth round TKO and redemption for his loss earlier in the year. Heyman grabbed his 14th knockout and improved to 24-11-4. Alderete fell to 7-5-2 with three KOs.

Heyman had not fought in nearly three years before gaining a win in January of this year. That led to his first fight with Alderete, which featured a nasty back-and-forth in the run up. After the opening bell rang, Heyman knocked Alderete down in the first, but broke his hand in the same round. His activity faded and Alderete won a split decision as a result.

Heyman was in good shape for the return bout and was the lightest he's been since his lay off ended. The convincing manner in which the 31-year old won the rematch puts his comeback back on track.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Weights For Albuquerque

Max Heyman weighed in at 185 pounds for his cruiserweight rematch against Mike Alderete, who stepped on the scales at 188 lbs. Heyman (23-11-4, 13 KOs) knocked Alderete (7-4-2, 3 KOs) down in the first round of their first bout. In the same round, Heyman broke his left hand and was out-hustled the rest of the match, earning Alderete a split decision.

This fight, which will take place at the Hard Rock in Albuquerque, New Mexico later tonight, is scheduled for ten rounds.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Boyd Melson to Make His Debut

A noted amateur and U.S. military man, Boyd Melson, 29, is scheduled to make his professional debut on November 20, 2010 at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, New York. Melson, who is a junior middleweight, will donate his entire purse to stem cell research. He is penciled in to fight Andrew Jones (0-1-1) in a four round bout.

Melson is also planning to fight on the Salita-Anchondo undercard on December 16, 2010 at the Roseland Ballroom in New York, New York. Junior featherweight Eilon Kedem (11-4-4, 7 KOs) is scheduled to compete on the same card. Kedem is coming off of a loss back in April.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Finer Retains Her Title

Hagar Shmoulefeld Finer retained her WIBF bantamweight title last night at Casino Rama in Rama, Canada. Finer defeated Julia Sahin by ten-round unanimous decision. Finer garnered the win thanks to scores of 98-92, 97-92, and 96-94 over the German native. Both women weighed in at 112 pounds for the fight.

Finer avenged a 2006 majority decision loss to Sahin with this win. Finer, who made her third defense, improves to 22-7-3 with six KOs. Sahin fell to 20-2 with two knockouts. Undefeated cruiserweight Ran Nakash was in attendance supporting Finer.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


A possible return opponent for Yuri Foreman, who has been recuperating from a torn ACL and meniscus, is Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Chavez (41-0-1, 30 KOs) is scheduled to fight Alfonso Gomez on December 4.

According to Lem Satterfield, Top Rank head Bob Arum lays out a rather convoluted series of events that leads to Foreman (28-1, 8 KOs) fighting Chavez. If Chavez beats Gomez and Antonio Margarito either beats Manny Pacquiao or looks good in a loss, Miguel Cotto could get a rematch with Margarito.

Arum is currently targeting Cotto-Chavez for early next year. But if Cotto gets the rematch with Margarito, Arum has considered Yuri Foreman as a replacement to fight Chavez. Foreman likely won't fight until 2011 while he recovers from those injuries sustained against Cotto this past June.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Salita to Fight Anchondo

Dmitriy Salita (31-1-1, 16 KOs) will take on Mike Anchondo (30-3, 19 KOs) for the vacant IBA welterweight world championship on December 16, 2010 at the Roseland Ballroom in New York. The IBA title is considered a minor belt.

Salita is coming off of a unanimous decision victory over Franklin Gonzalez in September. This fight marks Salita's second straight campaign at welterweight after fighting mostly at junior welter throughout his career. To prepare for this fight, Salita has worked with the renowned trainer Emanuel Steward for a few weeks, though Nirmal Lorick will be his principal trainer.

Salita is the naturally bigger man and holds a significant height and reach advantage over Achondo. Both men are the same age, 28 years old. Anchondo is a former world champion, defeating Julio Pablo Chacon for the vacant WBO super featherweight title in 2004. He lost the title on the scales before his first defense, a loss to Jorge Barrios.

Anchondo looked unimpressive in his last fight, a 4th round TKO loss televised on ShoBox against Freddy Hernandez last month. Hernandez, coincidentally, was the last man to hold the IBA welterweight title back in 2008. Anchondo appeared out of shape and was never really in the fight with the talented Hernandez.

A win over Anchondo would be the best of Sailta’s career to this point. The bout is scheduled for 12 rounds.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Foreman's Manager Dies

Murray Wilson died last Wednesday of a heart attack. Wilson was the manager of former WBA light middleweight champion Yuri Foreman. He also owned a popular New York restaurant called Campagnola.

Foreman told Dan Rafael of ESPN, "He was like a dad to me. I had total trust in him."

Wilson was 72 years old. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Foreman Recovering

Yuri Foreman's knee continues to heal after he tore his ACL and his meniscus in his last fight back in June. Foreman, the former WBA light middleweight champion, has already started running as part of his recovery.

Foreman (28-1, 8 KOs) isn't exactly sure of the date of his return. His return was originally scheduled for February, but he said more will be known in a month. In the meantime, Foreman is enjoying being a father for the first time. His wife gave birth this past August.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Look Back: Abe Attell

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.

The legendary boxing promoter Tex Rickard once claimed that Abe Attell was the greatest boxer that he had ever seen. Allen Bodner asserts that Attell is the second best Jewish boxer in history, behind only the Great Benny Leonard. Bert Sugar ranks him in the top fifty fighters of all time. The Hall of Famer, nicknamed "The Little Hebrew" and "the Little Champ," held the featherweight title from 1901 until 1912.

Born on February 22, 1884, Abraham Washington Attell was the 16th of 19 children had by Russian immigrants. Attell was raised in an Irish neighborhood in San Francisco. He turned pro in 1901 after a brief but thunderous amateur career. The 5'4" youngster first engaged in a 10-round draw with the splendid former champion George Dixon in 1901, then a 20-round tie a couple of months after, and finally beat Dixon eight days later on points in a 15-round contest. When Young Corbett beat Terry McGovern and then failed to make weight, Attell laid claim to the featherweight championship at the age of 17.

It was in the final Dixon contest that Attell transformed from a knockout puncher into a cunning boxer. In complete control of everything in the ring, Attell often threw non-title fights in order to make the rematch more lucrative. An obsessive gambler, Attell would bet heavily on himself in the rematch. After winning, he was wont to throw his money away at the track. Attell KOed Harry Forbes in the 5th round in 1904 to leave no doubt as to the name of the featherweight champion. He had bet his entire purse that he would stop Forbes in that round.

Later that year, Tommy Sullivan knocked out Attell, but was deemed to be over the 122 pound featherweight limit, so Attell retained the title. At the start of 1908, Attell defended his title, no rare occurrence, this time against Owen Moran of England. Throughout the fight, Moran kept referring to the champ as a "dirty Jew." Attell was enraged and bit off a piece of Moran's nose. Moran begged referee Jim Jeffries for a disqualification. Jeffries refused and advised Moran to, "Bite him back."

Attell boxed circles around the featherweight division and, as a result, often took on heavier opponents. Battling Nelson and Jim Driscoll were the two best lightweights the featherweight champion faced and he fared well against both. After 11 years at the top, Attell lost a 20-round decision to Johnny Kilbane in 1912.

In addition to gambling, Attell also enjoyed retiring from boxing, something he did with a greater frequency than Sugar Ray Leonard. Attell finally retired for good in 1917. His record was an estimated 72-11-18 with 39 KOs, not including a 37-6-5 record with regards to newspaper decisions (a combined 109-17-23 record for the mathematically-challenged). Attell was alleged to have been an accomplice in Arnold Rothstein's attempt to fix the 1919 World Series, what became known as the Black Sox Scandal. Both managed to elude justice, but it involved a year exiled in Canada for Attell. Attell had two brothers and two nephews who were also boxers and remained a lifelong fan of the sport. He died on February 6, 1970 in New York.

Blady, Ken. The Jewish Boxers Hall of Fame. 1988.
Bodner, Allen. When Boxing Was A Jewish Sport. 1997.
Riess, Stephen A. Sports and the American Jew. 1998.
Somrack, Daniel F. Boxing in San Francisco. 2005.
Sugar, Bert Randolph. Boxing's Greatest Fighters. 2006.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Frenkel Hopes to Stay Busy

In an interview with James Slater of East Side Boxing, cruiserweight Alexander Frenkel said he hopes "to fight again as soon as possible. Maybe November." Frenkel is coming off of a stunning seventh-round KO of former world champion Enzo Maccarinelli to take the European title earlier this month.

When asked whether he would like to fight for a world title, Frenkel explained, "If I got the chance to go for a world title, I would go for it, if my trainers okayed it." He added humbly, "But I know I need to learn much more, and to get much stronger. Fights with the best fighters will make me stronger and better."

The future seems to be bright for the undefeated 25-year old. Frenkel has consistently showed a propensity to knock out his opponent with one punch, usually with the same left hook that floored Maccarinelli. He also showed a good chin against the powerful Welshman. However, Frenkel believes he was losing on points at the time of the KO as the fight was in England, but he appears to understand that he needs to improve to reach the top of the sport.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Look Back: Daniel Mendoza

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.

Daniel Mendoza revolutionized the sport of boxing. Whether he initiated or merely popularized the art of boxing as we know it today, can be disputed. But there is no doubt that he helped to change the game by being among the first to utilize a jab, sidestepping footwork, and defensive positioning. Not only a Jewish boxing pioneer, he was also England's heavyweight champion of the world during the late 18th century, even though he stood 5'7" and weighed all of 160 pounds.

Born on July 5, 1764 in London England, Mendoza spent his formative years as a glass cutter, laborer, and an assistant to a greengrocer. He came from a tough neighborhood and an England that didn't much care for people of the Jewish faith. But Mendoza wore his identity proudly. A Sephardic Jew and self-promoter, Mendoza nicknamed himself "The Light of Israel" and the fairly blunt "Mendoza the Jew."

Mendoza turned pro at the age of 18, beating Harry the Coalheaver. He later beat Martin the Bath Butcher. His first loss came in his 17th fight and was to Tom Tyne. In 1788, Mendoza took two out of three over the proficient Richard Humphreys in a trilogy of bare-knuckled bouts. Throughout the year, the two combatants engaged in an epic letter-writing campaign to coax the other into the ring.

When Big Ben Brain retired in 1791, Mendoza held a claim to the title. He solidified that claim with wins over Bill Ward in 1792 and 1794. Some called Mendoza a coward because he used movement to avoid punches rather than merely standing still and attempting to block punches with his arms as was customary at that time.

In 1795, Mendoza lost the title to John Jackson, a contentious result as Jackson utilized the illegal tactic of hair-pulling to his advantage. Mendoza would later make a comeback at the age of 56. Ken Blady estimated Mendoza's final record at 31-4. Throughout much of his career, which spanned four decades, he ran an academy in which he taught his style of boxing.

Mendoza is credited with writing a couple of books, The Art of Boxing published in 1787 and his 1816 Memoirs though one or both could have been ghostwritten. He also became a stage actor. He allegedly is the first Jew to have had an audience with a king of England. Mendoza died in 1836.

Blady, Ken. The Jewish Boxers Hall of Fame. 1988.
Boddy, Kasia. Boxing: A Cultural History. 2008.
Bodner, Allen. When Boxing Was A Jewish Sport. 1997.
Century, Douglas. Barney Ross. 2006.
Mendoza, Daniel. The Art of Boxing. 1787.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Alexander Frenkel vs. Enzo Maccarinelli

September 18, 2010
LG Arena
Birmingham, England
European cruiserweight championship

part 1

part 2

Frenkel: black trunks
Maccarinelli: black and white trunks

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Alexander Frenkel vs. Michael Simms

March 3, 2010
Max Schmeling Halle
Berlin, Germany

Frenkel: black trunks
Simms: white trunks

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Frenkel KOs Maccarinelli

Alexander Frenkel, a surging young cruiserweight, scored a frightening seventh round knockout of former WBO cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli yesterday in Birmingham, England. Frenkel improves his record to 23-0 with 18 KOs. Maccarinelli falls to 32-5 with 25 KOs. Maccarinelli has been stopped in all of his losses.

Frenkel, who is from Ukraine and fights out of Germany, traveled to Maccarinelli's home turf of Great Britain in the biggest fight of his career to date. Maccarinelli, who is from Wales, was firmly in the fight until the seventh. With 51 seconds to go in the round, Maccarinelli threw an ill-fated right that Frenkel ducked. Frenkel then generated a tremendous amount of force as he rose and connected with a dynamic left hook that sent Maccarinelli's head springing around and his body to the canvas.

At that point, referee Erkki Meronen should have stopped the fight. Maccarinelli gallantly stood up, but his legs had left him and his eyes were glazed. When the fight continued, Frenkel knocked Maccarinelli unconscious with an unmerciful one-two combination. The fight was finally stopped with 30 seconds left in the seventh round.

The win earned Frenkel the European cruiserweight title formerly held by Maccarinelli. It also created a large amount of buzz around the 25-year old. After piling up eight knockouts in a row, Frenkel won an easy unanimous decision over the hard-nosed Michael Simms last March. This impressive stoppage of a former champion should give Frenkel a shot at the cruiserweight division's best.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mariano Plotinsky vs.Thomas Ulrich

March 7, 2009
Dresden, Germany
Freiberger Arena
WBO Inter-Continental light heavyweight championship

part 1

part 2

part 3

Plotinsky: black and white trunks
Ulrich: black, white, and red trunks

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Plotinsky Moving On

The boxing career of Mariano Plotinsky, 35, appears to be over. The Buenos Aires native has been struggling with degenerative arthritis in his left elbow. He had surgery after his last fight, but the injury hasn't relented.

Nicknamed El Demoledor, Plotinsky has a background in various combat sports. In the boxing ring, he amassed a record of 16-4 with 8 KOs, employing a brawling style. Plotinsky first became a prize fighter at the improbably late age of 28. After dropping his debut, Plotinsky won his next seven fights. The light heavyweight beat Mariano Ruben Diaz Strunz by unanimous decision to win the Argentina title in October 2008.

After fighting his entire career in South America, Plotinsky traveled to Germany to face Thomas Ulrich for the vacant WBO Intercontinental title in March 2009. Ulrich had challenged for a world title on multiple occasions and Plotinsky entered the ring as a significant underdog. But Plotinsky captured the belt in his more renowned opponent's home country thanks to an 11th round knockout.

Plotinsky received a chance to challenge for the WBO light heavyweight championship of the world last April against the beltholder Jürgen Brähmer. In the face of an onslaught by the taller more skilled champion, Mariano never once took a backwards step, exhibiting admirable courage and heart. Because of the elbow injury, the Brähmer bout appears to have been his last.

In his retirement from boxing, Plotinsky, who is married with children, will continue to train prospects in combat sports. Best wishes to Mariano and his family.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Women's Boxing Update

Women's IBF bantamweight champion Hagar Finer (21-7-3, 6 KOs) is scheduled to fight next on October 30, 2010 at Casino Rama in Rama, Canada. Finer has defended her belt twice this year, last beating Agnese Boza by 5th round knockout last April.

Fresh off her win last month, Emily Klinefelter (8-0, 3 KOs) is scheduled to jump into the ring on November 13, 2010 at the Johnson County Fairgrounds, the sight of her last three triumphs, in her hometown of Iowa City, Iowa. Klinefelter knocked out Savanna Hill inside of one round on August 27, the first win of her career against an opponent with a winning record.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Heyman Gets Rematch With Alderete

Max Heyman will get a chance to avenge his last loss. According to Rick Wright of the Albuquerque Journal, Heyman and Mike Alderete are scheduled to battle again on November 6, 2010 at the Hard Rock in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Alderete (7-4-2, 3 KOs) simply outworked his veteran opponent last May to win a split decision.

It was reported that Heyman (23-11-4, 13 KOs) broke his left hand in the first round, a round in which he put Alderete down. His punch output dropped significantly after the initial three minutes of the fight. Heyman had taken off nearly three years before winning his comeback fight last January. The first bout with Alderete marked his second contest since his return.

Heyman and Alderete shared bad blood with one another in the lead up to their first fight, which should make for an interesting rematch. This cruiserweight contest is scheduled to be the main event on the Danny Romero-produced card.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Salita Interested in Fighting Malignaggi

Dmitriy Salita, coming off a unanimous decision victory over Franklin Gonzalez last Wednesday, told BoricuaBoxing.com that he is interested in fighting former IBF light welterweight beltholder Paulie Malignaggi. Salita said, "It's a very exciting fight for New York. I think it definitely does the Garden. Paulie's a great fighter."

Malignaggi (27-4, 5 KOs), who attended Salita's last bout, is a light-punching slick boxer with impressive foot and hand speed. He has beaten a number of good fighters including Juan Diaz, Edner Cherry, and Lovemore N'Dou (twice). But Malignaggi, nicknamed the Magic Man, has faltered when facing top opponents, losing to Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, and Amir Khan last May.

Salita (31-1-1, 16 KOs), who lost to Khan last December, hopes to climb into the ring in about two months to stay active and face Malignaggi either in December or early next year.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Salita Musters a Comeback Win

Dmitriy Salita, fighting in the welterweight division, won an eight-round unanimous decision over Franklin Gonzalez tonight at Oceana Hall in Brooklyn, New York. Each judge saw the bout 78-74.

Salita, who rises to 31-1-1 with 16 KOs, takes a step in the right direction after suffering a first round knockout at the quick hands of WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan last December. But Salita knows defeating Gonzalez (13-6, 9 KOs), a respectable but limited southpaw, is only the beginning. Before the fight, he acknowledged to Elizabeth Astacio of BoxingTalk that the only way to silence the critics that surfaced after the Khan fight is to beat a marquee opponent.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Poppa Yuri

According to FightNews.com, Yuri Foreman just became a dad as his wife recently gave birth. (Mazel tov!)

Foreman will reportedly begin light running in two weeks after tearing his ACL and his meniscus on June 5 in a match against Miguel Cotto.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Klinefelter Sisters Win

The older sister, Emily Klinefelter, knocked out Savanna Hill (6-6) last night in one round at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Iowa City, Iowa. The elder Klinefelter progressed to 8-0 and earned her third professional KO.

The younger sister, Katy, defeated a familiar Klinefelter foe, Kerri Hill (2-16), by way of a six-round unanimous decision. Kerri Hill faired a similar fate against Emily last May. The more youthful Klinefelter, Katy, rose to 6-0 with three knockouts.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Salita's Scheduled Opponent

In his first fight since losing against WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan, Dmitry Salita is scheduled to fight Franklin Gonzalez. Gonzalez (13-5, 9 KOs) is from the Dominican Republic. Despite his tainted record, the 34-year old has two things to his advantage. He is experienced against tough competition and has been active of late. He's fought thrice since Salita last entered the ring and five times in the past twelve months, showing a 2-3 record.

Amir Khan recently had some encouraging words for his former opponent. About his first round KO of Salita (30-1-1, 16 KOs), Khan told Ellie Seckbach of BoxingFanHouse.com, "That happens in boxing. One punch can change a fight. And that's what happened to Salita, just like it happened to me (against Breidis Prescott in 2008). I'm sure Salita can bounce back."

The classy Khan concluded, "Good luck to Salita, because he's a great fighter and a great guy as well. You know after the fight he was respectful and didn't saying anything bad. But that's boxing for you. One punch can change a fight." Khan also believes that Salita would give Timothy Bradley, The Ring's #1 rated junior welterweight, "a great fight."

Salita's fight against Gonzalez is scheduled for September 1 at Oceana Hall in Brooklyn, New York. It is set for eight rounds and will be in the welterweight division.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Look Back: Al "Bummy" Davis

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.

By the stroke of dreadful luck, Al "Bummy" Davis never fought for a title. He fought a number of champions, but the belt was never on the line thanks to the powers that be. Regardless, he is considered to have possessed one of the best left hooks in the history of boxing. In a 2003 list of the greatest punchers ever, The Ring ranked Bummy #54.

Bummy Davis was anything but a bum. Born Albert Abraham Davidoff on January 26, 1920 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, Al Davis's name went through a peculiar evolution. From Vroomy, a nickname derived from his middle name in Yiddish, to Boomy, and finally to Bummy, Davis originally didn't appreciate his moniker, which was given to him by manager Johnny Attell when Davis began his professional career.

During Davis's childhood, Brownsville was a mob-infested ghetto. Though widely assumed to have been mob-tied, it now seems that Davis was able to rise above his surroundings. Even his brother Willie was a mobster. On several occasions, Davis crossed paths with noted gangsters, including Abe Reles, Louis Lepke, and Frankie Carbo. Bummy flirted with danger thanks to his quick temper and persistent sense of justice.

Bummy was a brawler who harbored no qualms with being punched in the face. Usually, his left hook would compensate for his defensive weaknesses. Davis's best win was a first round KO of Hall of Famer and world champion Bob Montgomery in 1944. Montgomery lost the championship three months before the fight and would win it back two weeks after.

After defeating local boys, Bernie Friedkin and Mickey Farber, Davis beat up former champion Tony Canzoneri and future champion Tippy Larkin at the end of 1939. That led to a non-title fight with lightweight champion Lou Ambers in which Bummy lost a unanimous decision. In 1940, Bummy faced welterweight champion Fritzie Zivic, who was a notoriously dirty fighter, in another non-title bout. After repeatedly enduring thumbs in the eye during the first round, Bummy went ballistic in the 2nd, hitting Zivic low more times than Larry King has had weddings. Davis was suspended for the blows.

During his suspension, Bummy joined the army in a bid to repair his severely damaged image. He returned to fight Zivic in a non-title benefit. Zivic pounded Davis over 10 rounds, but the Brownsville native was courageous in defeat. Bummy's next 15 fights were on the road as the suspension still held in New York until 1943. After the win over Montgomery, Bummy faced the recently-defeated former champion Beau Jack. Despite staggering Jack in the first, Bummy lost a unanimous decision.

Three months later, the legendary Henry Armstrong blasted Bummy inside of two rounds. The next year, in 1945, Rocky Graziano defeated Davis on a 4th round TKO. Rocky hit Davis after the bell signifying the end of the 3rd round. Bummy couldn't recover from the illegal blow and was stopped early in the next round. Davis finished his career with a record of 65-10-4 including 46 KOs.

Six months after the Graziano fight, Davis was present during a hold up of the bar he had just sold. Indignant at the robbery, Bummy chased the armed thieves, brandishing only his bare hands. In the chase, Davis was fatally shot, dying at the age of 25. He left behind a wife and son.

Bodner, Allen. When Boxing Was A Jewish Sport. 1997.
Ross, Ron. Bummy David vs. Murder, Inc.: The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Mafia and an Ill-fated Prizefighter. 2003.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Salita Coming Back in September

Junior welterweight contender Dmitriy Salita (30-1-1, 16 KOs) is scheduled to make his comeback fight on September 1, 2010 at Oceana Hall in Brooklyn, New York according to his website. It would be his first fight since losing a title shot against WBA junior welterweight champion Amir Khan last December. Salita, who does not yet have an announced opponent, is taking part in the promotion of the card.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Look Back: Barney Ross

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.

Barney Ross is widely considered to hold the number two spot on the list of the greatest Jewish boxers of all time. Ross was the lightweight, junior welterweight, and welterweight champion of the world... at the same time! He captured the welterweight title twice. Known as the "Pride of the Ghetto," Ross defeated the likes of Tony Canzoneri, Billy Petrolle, Jimmy McLarnin, and Ceferino Garcia, beating each multiple times.

Born Dov-Ber Rasofsky in 1909, Barney Ross spent his formative years in the tough Maxwell Street ghetto in Chicago, which was filled with mobsters such as Al Capone. He was known as Beryl during his youth and was a lifelong friend of Jack Ruby, the murderer of Lee Harvey Oswald. His father was murdered in his store when Ross was 13 years old. His mother subsequently suffered a nervous breakdown and Ross's younger siblings were put in an orphanage. Earning enough money to support his younger siblings became the motivating factor in his boxing career.

Ross was a renowned amateur boxer. Training out of mobster Davey Miller's gym, he had his first professional fight in 1929. Ross quickly amassed a sterling pro record fighting on the undercard of Jackie Fields's fights. In 1933, with a record of 43-2-2, Ross took on the lightweight and junior welterweight champion of the world, Tony Canzoneri. He defeated the two-division champion by split decision to capture both belts. After defending the junior welterweight belt, he defeated Canzoneri by split decision to keep both titles. A year later Ross won the welterweight championship by earning a split decision victory over Jimmy McLarnin in a fight that saw the judges mark widely divergent scores.

Ross lost his next fight, a rematch against McLarnin to lose the welterweight belt. That continued a bizarre streak involving failed welterweight title defenses. That streak continued the next time Ross and McLarnin met in the ring. By this point, Ross had voluntarily abdicated his lightweight and junior welterweight championships. Ross earned the welterweight tile for the second time after unanimously out-pointing McLarnin.

Following the third McLarnin bout, Ross endured three tough matches with Ceferino Garcia, the master of the bolo punch. Less than year after the final fight with Garcia, Ross entered the ring against the legendary Henry Armstrong in 1938. Ross had often mentioned that he would retire after suffering his first true beating in the ring. Armstrong afforded Ross the opportunity to stay true to his word. Ross was universally lauded for his courage, but Armstrong snatched the welterweight crown from Ross by unanimous decision, ending Ross's career with a record of 72-4-3, 22 KOs (and two newspaper decision victories).

At the commencement of World War II, Ross joined the Marines and was heroic in the battle of Guadalcanal. He was wounded and received morphine to dull the tremendous pain. The morphine treatment transformed into a heroin habit when Ross returned to the United States. After much struggle, Ross was able to kick the habit and became an advocate for those afflicted by drug addiction. Afterwards, Ross ran guns and raised funds to help fight for a Jewish state. Ross's tremendous journey ended in 1967 at the age of 57.

Jimmy McLarnin vs. Barney Ross III
May 28, 1935
New York, New York
World Welterweight Championship
part 1

part 2

part 3

part 4

Bodner, Allen. When Boxing was a Jewish Sport. 1997.
Century, Douglas. Barney Ross. 2006.
Dettloff, William. "Barney Ross is a tough act for Yuri Foreman to follow." The Ring Blog. 2010.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Klinefelters to Fight at End of August

Both Klinefelter sisters are scheduled to fight at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Iowa City, Iowa on Friday August 27, 2010 in six round bouts. Emily, 26, is an undefeated featherweight with 7 wins in as many tries. Katy, 22, has won each of her five professional fights.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Nakash Wins by Decision

Widely divergent scores propelled Ran Nakash to his 25th consecutive win in 25 professional fights. Nakash (25-0, 18 KOs) defeated Victor Barragan (11-6, 3 KOs) by unanimous decision with scores of 99-91, 97-93, and 96-94. Both exchanged thudding body punches throughout the contest. Nakash broke Barragan's nose in the middle of the fight and Barragan never really recovered. This win, taking place at The Arena in Philadelphia, could lead to the much anticipated match up with Bobby Gunn.

On the same card, Israeli lightweight Oz Goldenburg rose to 2-0 with a majority decision victory over Marcos Garcia (0-3). The judges' scores were 39-37 (twice), and 38-38. Though Garcia threw more punches, Goldenburg's did more damage.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Weights for Nakash-Barragan

Undefeated cruiserweight Ran Nakash weighed in at 204.5 pounds for his fight with Victor Barragan later tonight at The Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Barragan (11-5, 3 KOs) stepped on the scale at 198 lbs. This marks the fifth time in a row Nakash (24 wins, 18 KOs) has weighed in over the 200-pound cruiserweight limit. The bout is scheduled for 10 rounds.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ran Nakash vs. Dan Sheehan

April 29, 2010
Tel Aviv, Israel
Nokia Hall

Nakash: black and yellow trunks
Sheehan: black and red trunks

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Yuri Foreman vs. Miguel Cotto

June 5, 2010
Bronx, New York
Yankee Stadium
WBA light middleweight championship

part 1

part 2

part 3

part 4

Foreman: black and yellow trunks
Cotto: black and white trunks

Monday, July 5, 2010

New Opponent for Nakash

Lou Del Valle, Ran Nakash's original opponent for July 14 at The Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has backed out. Instead of the middle aged former champion, Nakash is scheduled to take on Victor Barragan.

Barragan (11-5, 3 KOs) is a 28-year old American cruiserweight. He is better than his record indicates. In Barragan's five losses, his opponents entered the ring with a combined total of four defeats. BoxRec has rated Barragan as the 11th best cruiserweight from the United States. His last bout was a narrow 10-round unanimous decision loss to Nicholas Iannuzzi this past March.

Nakash (24-0, 18 KOs) looks to keep his undefeated record in tack in his fourth fight of 2010. For a change, Nakash will not have to look up at his opponent. Barragan is listed at 5'10", the same height as Nakash is listed. The match is scheduled for 10 rounds.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


John Duddy, a popular Irish boxer fighting out of New York, has been discussed as a possible opponent for former WBA light middleweight champion Yuri Foreman. Duddy (29-2, 18 KOs) is coming off of a one-sided loss to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on June 26. A 31-year old who hails from Derry, Duddy was initially a hot prospect until his star faded recently.

Yuri Foreman (28-1, 8 KOs) lost his title to Miguel Cotto on June 5. That night, Foreman tore his ACL and his meniscus. He has just started to walk with a brace and will likely not be back in the ring until 2011.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Two Years Ago...

Two years ago, there was much to be optimistic about for fans of current Jewish boxers. Three well-regarded undefeated Jewish prospects made us dream of a Jewish boxing revival. That optimism has since faded. All three are currently coming off of their first career loss.

Heading into his bout with Cedric Boswell, Roman Greenberg had a string of wins over experienced heavyweights with winning records. The two met in the ring on August 29, 2008. It was certainly a step up for Greenberg (now 27-1, 18 KOs). Boswell, though well past his prime, had a sparkling record of 27-1. Boswell's only loss was a 10th TKO against world class opponent, Jameel McCline, in 2003. Boswell fought well, but ran out of gas in that final round.

Against his toughest test, Greenberg was knocked out by Boswell in the 2nd round. He hasn't fought since. An injury has delayed his return. There have been rumblings that Greenberg will make a comeback, but he hasn't yet materialized in the ring as of yet. By now, it has been a nearly two-year lay-off. When he does reenter the heavyweight picture, the question will be whether or not he can regain the momentum he was riding before the Boswell fight back in 2008.

Dmitriy Salita was scheduled to fight WBA light welterweight champion Andriy Kotelnik in 2008. But Kotelnik had to back out. Kotelnik then beat a world class puncher, Marcos Maidana, and lost to Amir Khan. Last December, Salita found himself paired up against Khan, who is on the short list of boxers on the cusp of mainstream stardom, for the belt. Khan's hand speed shocked Salita and the fight ended in the 1st round.

Salita's 30 wins include some foes with good records, but none against hot prospects or world class boxers. Between the talent of his opponents in his wins and that of Khan is a continent-size gap. As Khan could be a top pound-for-pound boxer in the near future, a loss to him should not define Salita. There is still room for Salita to work his way up to the world class level.

Yuri Foreman had defeated a number of solid fighters when he faced Daniel Santos for the WBA light middleweight championship last November. Foreman was impressive that night and won the title, improving his record to 28-0. He became the first Jewish world champion of this century. The win afforded him a historic bout against superstar Miguel Cotto in Yankee Stadium.

Foreman lost his title to Cotto earlier this month, but he gained respect within the boxing community in the loss. After rupturing his meniscus and ACL in the 7th round, Foreman continued to fight. He's likely out for the rest of 2010, but will likely return to boxing relevance when he heels.

There is one active Jewish boxer who remains undefeated. Ran Nakash, who is turning 32 next week, is a 22-0 cruiserweight from Israel. At 5'9", he's short for the division. But he wears the weight well, from his broad shoulders down to his massive legs. He harbors a vicious body punch.
Nakash has beaten some solid journeymen, though they had poor records, but he has not faced a world class opponent as of yet. Nor has he competed against a top prospect. His first test will come in July against an aged former champion, Lou Del Valle. Nakash has often fought over the 200-pound cruiserweight limit. But the Krav Maga instructor has stayed busy, engaging in six bouts in the past year. It remains to be seen if this dangerous puncher can win when he steps up next month.

Certainly, the optimism of having three renowned Jewish prospects has subsided. But a loss on one's record is not fatal in boxing. The Super Six Tournament, involving the best super middleweights in the world, is hoping to show that a loss will not stain a boxer's chances at gaining respect. Instead, involvement in tough fights is the key to making a fighter's reputation.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nakash Scheduled to Fight Del Valle

Ran Nakash (24-0, 18 KOs) is scheduled to face Lou Del Valle (36-6-2, 22 KOs) at The Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 14, 2010. Del Valle marks a step up for the undefeated Israeli cruiserweight.

Del Valle is a former WBA light heavyweight champion. The 41-year old Long Island native won his title nearly 13 years ago. He has faced top competition, losing unanimous decisions to Roy Jones Jr. and Virgil Hill, both taking place in the 1990s. It will be the second fight in roughly two years for Del Valle, who moved up to cruiserweight in 2004 after a spilt decision loss to Bruno Girard in a bid to regain the WBA light heavyweight title.

Meanwhile, Nakash has stayed busy this year. This would be his fourth fight of 2010 and his seventh in about a year. Nakash has never faced an opponent of Del Valle's caliber, though the ex-champion is past his prime. Del Valle is 1-3-1 in his last 5 bouts, which dates back to 2006.

The two have a common opponent. Dan Sheehan lost a unanimous decision to Del Valle in 2005 and was knocked out in the 3rd against Nakash this past April. The bout between Naash and Del Valle is scheduled for 10 rounds.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Look Back: Benny Leonard

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.

A hero to poor Jewish kids, the great Benny Leonard, nicknamed the Ghetto Wizard, is widely regarded as the best Jewish boxer of all time. Many consider him the best lightweight ever and he is often ranked as one of the top ten best fighters in the history of the sport. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

Benjamin Leiner was born on April 7, 1896 in New York's Lower East Side to poor Russian immigrants. He fought under the name Benny Leonard so his Orthodox mother wouldn't find out that he was boxing. Leonard's debut came in 1911 at the age of 15, a match he lost on a 3rd round TKO due to a bloody nose. He didn't lose many more after that. From 1917-1925, Leonard held the lightweight title, the longest such reign in the history of the division. He retired as champion.

Renown journalist Arthur Brisbane claimed, "He has done more to conquer anti-Semitism than 1,000 textbooks." Leonard was known as a cerebral boxer, a master defensively, who developed power later in his career. A story about his wherewithal in the ring goes: after nearly knocking out contender Ritchie Mitchell earlier in the first round of their 1921 contest, Mitchell hit Leonard with a left to the midsection and a right to the jaw. Leonard went down and barely beat the count. At that point, he waved Mitchell in, which thoroughly confused the contender, and the chance to KO the champ faded. Leonard won a 6th round TKO.

As is the case with men who began their careers nearly 100 years ago, Leonard's official record is a point of contention. For starters, Leonard fought in an era when boxing was teetering on the edge of legality. By law, a winner was crowned only in the event of a knockout. To get around this restriction, newspapers often scored the fight and printed the results the next day. Leonard's record is approximately 91-5-1 with 71 KOs and perhaps 117 no decisions (he was apparently 93-14-10 in newspaper decisions).

In addition to his debut loss, he was stopped two more times early in his career. His next loss was a DQ for the welterweight championship against titlist Jack Britton about 10 years later. Britton was in control of the bout until Leonard nailed him with a left to the body in the 13th round. Britton went down. Leonard, the epitome of poise, then inexplicably ran over to a befallen Britton and whacked him causing the disqualification.

Seldom did Leonard ever lose control as he did in the Britton fight. Even his hair stayed cool. The Ghetto Wizard famously bragged that his slick-backed hair was never messed up during a fight. Ken Blady relays a story where an opponent, Leo Johnson, sullied Leonard's hair when they met in the center of the ring before their 1917 fight for the lightweight title in an effort to get Leonard out of his game. Leonard greeted the disrespectful gesture by knocking out Johnson in two minutes.

Benny Leonard lost his vast boxing fortune in the stock market crash of 1929. As a result, he set about on an ill-fated comeback. He won a number of fights, but only because his opponents took dives. He was fatter, slower, and even his trademark hair had receded. Leonard worked his way up to a fight with Jimmy McLarnin, one in which the former champion was beaten badly and stopped in the 6th round. Leonard then retired from boxing. He later contributed to the war effort in World War II, just as he had done during the first World War. Afterwards, he became a boxing referee and died in the ring on April 18, 1947 in New York.

Benny Leonard vs. Lew Tendler
July 27, 1922
Jersey City, New Jersey
Lightweight Championship

Blady, Ken. The Jewish Boxers Hall of Fame. 1988. pgs 109-128.
Bodner, Allen. When Boxing was a Jewish Sport. 1997.
Siegman, Joseph. Jewish Sports Legends: The International Jewish Hall of Fame. 2000. pgs 57-58.
Sugar, Bert. Boxing's Greatest Fighters. 2006. pgs 17-19.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Nakash to Fight in Philadelphia Again

Philadelphia is familiar ground for Ran Nakash (24-0, 18 KOs). He has competed there ten times. The cruiserweight is schedule to fight once again in the city, on July 14, 2010 against an unspecified opponent. Negotiations with former cruiserweight challenger Bobby Gunn are evidently off.

In other news regarding Jewish boxers in Philadelphia, Elad Shmuel was originally schedule to box at the Hyatt Regency in Penns Landing this afternoon, but was taken off the card earlier in the week.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Foreman Underwent Successful Surgery

ESPN's Dan Rafael is reporting that former WBA light middleweight champion Yuri Foreman underwent successful surgery today to repair a torn meniscus and a torn ACL.

Rafael writes, "Murray 'Schpipples' Wilson, Foreman's manager, said he hopes Foreman will be ready to return to action in February."

Foreman released a statement saying, "I thank my fans for their outpouring of good wishes."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Foreman Tore His Meniscus

It has been widely reported that Yuri Foreman tore his meniscus against Miguel Cotto this past Saturday at Yankee Stadium. Foreman was defending his WBA light middleweight title. Cotto was ahead on the scorecards when Foreman collapsed, untouched, from a knee injury in round seven. From that point, Foreman was game, but his best attribute, his lateral quickness, evaporated.

A towel was thrown into the ring in the 8th round, and the fight was apparently over, but referee Arthur Mercante Jr. refused to stop it. After a brief delay, the two fighters finished the round. Foreman (28-1, 8 KOs) was knocked down by a body blow in the 9th and Mercante waved off the contest. Cotto (35-2, 28 KOs) grabbed a belt in his third weight division. It is not known how long Foreman's injury will keep him out of action.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bizarre End to Foreman's Reign

Yuri Foreman lost his WBA little middleweight title to Miguel Cotto Saturday night after a bizarre finish to an otherwise entertaining fight.

With 2:15 left in the 7th Round, Foreman's right knee, which already donned a brace, gave out. Foreman, who relies on constant movement to keep his opponent off balance, hobbled for the rest of the fight. About 30 seconds after the contest restarted, Foreman slipped in the corner, further damaging his knee.

With 1:15 left in the 8th round, a white towel flew from Foreman's corner. The fight appeared to be over. Throngs of ringside observers poured into the ring. But Arthur Mercante Jr., one of the best referees in the business, decided the contest should continue. After about a three minute delay, Cotto and Foreman began to exchange once again.

It was an overwhelmingly pro-Cotto crowd for the first fight at the new Yankee Stadium. June 5th was a muggy sticky night in the Bronx. Only a smattering of fans came out to support the lesser-known Foreman.

Foreman looked tense at the outset of the fight. His lateral movement was unproductive and Cotto, displaying much improved footwork and boxing technique, established himself early. Foreman got into the fight in the 3rd round. In the 4th, despite receiving a bloody nose, Foreman repeatedly found success with rights to Cotto's face.

But in the 5th, Cotto took back control. The knee injury in the 7th effectively ended Foreman's chances to win. Foreman, however, refused to give in. Unable to move in his customary fashion, Foreman traded with the more-powerful Cotto. Paramount in Mercante's decision to continue the fight in the 8th was Foreman's insistence that he wanted to keep going.

Cotto landed a bruising left hook to Foreman's body in the 9th, and Mercante immediately ceased the bout. While Cotto (35-2, 28 KOs) won the belt, Foreman (28-1, 8 KOs) won a great deal of respect, even from the discerning Puerto Rican fans in attendance, for failing to give in when he was in trouble.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Weights and Predictions from Yankee Stadium

WBA light middleweight beltholder Yuri Foreman (28-0, 8 KOs) weighed in at the 154 pound limit. Miguel Cotto (34-2, 27 KOs) hit the scales at 153.5 pounds.

Doug Fischer, a writer for The Ring has predicted Foreman to win a close decision. Trainer and analyst for ESPN, Teddy Atlas, believes Foreman will outbox Cotto to pick up the victory. Cotto is currently a 2 to 1 betting favorite.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Getting Ready for Foreman-Cotto

Who: Yuri Foreman (28-0, 8 KOs) vs. Miguel Cotto (34-2, 27 KOs)
When: Saturday, about 11:15pm (New York time) on HBO
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
For What: Foreman's WBA light middleweight title
Why: Why not?

Before the fight:
As an Orthodox Jew, Foreman will be observing Shabbat until sundown on Saturday. He will reportedly arrive at the stadium about two hours before the fight.

Cotto will have a lot on his mind. He is dealing with the psychological damage from his previous fight, a 12th round TKO loss against Manny Pacquiao. In addition, Cotto lost his father last January. If he doesn't perform well, it could be the popular Puerto Rican's final time on the big stage.

During the fight:
Foreman will want to utilize his movement and his jab to stay on the outside in order to take advantage of his height (5'11" to 5'7") and reach (72" to 67") advantages. Foreman must be willing to trade at opportune moments, especially when Cotto is off balance. Unless trainer Emanuel Steward has worked miracles, Cotto will present those opportunities.

Cotto will hope to cut off the ring, walk through Foreman's jab, and get inside his guard. Once inside, he'll need to work the champion's body with left hooks. That could slow down Foreman by the late rounds. Cotto is not a one-punch knockout artist, so he'll need to keep pressure on Foreman to be successful.

After the fight:
If Foreman wins, he'll instantly be a player at the top of the 154-pound division. Any win will bring critics claiming that Cotto was over-the-hill. A loss for Cotto, even a competitive one, could very well vault him into retirement.

If Cotto wins, it'll help him on his quest to return to the heights he experienced two years ago. A close loss and Foreman will become a B opponent for champions and top prospects in the division. A bad loss will force Foreman to put the pieces of his career back to together, possibly at middleweight, where he'll be relatively faster.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Foreman-Cotto Teasers

Just to get you excited for Saturday night...

Totally unrelated, The Ring's Michael Rosenthal has a list of the best ten Jewish Hall of Famers.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Foreman Has Something to Prove

When Yuri Foreman stares across the ring before his fight this Saturday night at Yankee Stadium, he'll be looking at an undoubtedly more accomplished boxer. Miguel Cotto has been one of the best and most beloved fighters of the past few years.

Some deride Foreman as a "paper champion." In this era of a myriad of belts, Foreman holds one, the WBA light middleweight crown. At this point though, he isn't the cream of the crop of the division. That honor probably belongs to Sergio Martinez or Paul Williams should they decide to continue to fight at 154 instead of at middleweight.

The Ring Magazine has Foreman accurately (at this point) ranked as the sixth best junior middleweight. To gain the WBA belt, he dominated world class veteran Daniel Santos. That win propelled the first Israeli world champion into the Ring's top ten for the division.

A win over Cotto will probably not affect his Ring rating as Cotto is a novice at 154. But a victory late Saturday night over the Puerto Rican great will give him something that has evaded the Jewish beltholder to this point in his career, a ton of credibility in the boxing world.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Heyman Hopes for Rematch

After a split decision loss on May 7 to Mike Alderete, Max Heyman is hoping for a rematch.

Heyman told New Mexico Boxing, “I just want a rematch and think it will happen. I might not like the man, but Mike did come to fight. I appreciate that, and admire that. I take nothing away from him – he brought the fight to me and that’s awesome. Let’s do it again.”

There is still bad blood between Heyman and Alderete. Before the fight, they had thrown verbal jabs at each other and the talk hasn't stopped even though the match took place three weeks ago.

Heyman (23-11-4, 13 KOs) broke his left hand in the fight. He knocked Alderete (7-4-2, 3 KOs) down in the first round, but then suddenly became less aggressive and only took the decision on one judge's card.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Foreman's HBO Interview

Courtesy of HBO

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Steward's Concerned About Foreman

WBA light middleweight champion Yuri Foreman (28-0, 8 KOs) will face the toughest challenge of his career in two weeks. On June 5, 2010, he'll stand in the ring across Miguel Cotto (34-2, 27 KOs). In Cotto's corner will be legendary trainer, Emanuel Steward.

Steward, who originally agreed to consult Foreman before switching sides to train Cotto, sees it as a 50-50 fight. He told BoxingScene.com, "It's going to be a very tough fight. If I was making the decision, I would not have picked Foreman for his first fight back [since his brutal loss to Manny Pacquiao last November]."

The thought among many boxing writers is that Foreman is a slick boxer whose movement will give the power-punching Cotto headaches.

In an interview with East Side Boxing, Steward asserted, "The biggest problem in this fight for me is Yuri is such a good fighter himself. It’s not so much just what Miguel is doing, but Yuri Foreman is a very underappreciated fighter. I think his talent, his boxing skills, and his speed is totally unappreciated."

Cotto is clearly the more renowned fighter. Even before losing last November to Pacquiao- the pound-for-pound king- Cotto has faced a string of world class opponents over the past five years at junior welterweight and welterweight. This will be his first fight at 154 pounds. Foreman's biggest test to this point was against Daniel Santos last November for the title.

Steward continued, "I was talking with Sugar Ray Leonard. He said, ‘Steward, that’s one fighter that I would never have wanted to fight, even in prime.’ I said, ‘I know.’ Yuri Foreman’s going to be a very difficult fight for anyone.”

There is some question as to whether Cotto, 29, is still in his prime as he's participated in a number of violent contests. There is some concern that Cotto's skills have waned due to those bouts. He was beat into submission against Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito in 2008. He was cut against Joshua Clottey last summer and also took punishment against Shane Mosley and Zab Judah, both in 2007. Those three resulted in Cotto victories.

Foreman, 29, hasn't been in any wars. But some question as to whether he can test Cotto's chin. Foreman is not a knockout puncher. He's perceived to rely on his boxing skills, though he was able to knock Santos down twice in his last fight and was willing to trade with the tough Andrey Tsurkan in 2007.

Whether Steward's high compliments are genuine or a bit of gamesmanship, it is difficult to tell. But, in any event, this bout, which has been dubbed The Stadium Slugfest and will be televised on HBO, is extremely intriguing.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Shmuel Scheduled to Fight in June

Twenty three year old junior welterweight Elad Shmuel (21-2, 11 KOs) is scheduled to be back in action on Sunday June 13, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Tel Aviv native has won his last four fights. This will be the third time he's fought this year. His last bout was a unanimous decision over journeyman Edward Anderson at welterweight early last month. This will be the eighth match of Shmuel's career in Philadelphia; the previous seven took place at the Blue Horizon. No opponent has yet been scheduled.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Heyman's Hand Broke

According to New Mexico Boxing, in his fight with Mike Alderete last Friday in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Max Heyman broke his left hand. Heyman believes he broke it in the first round of the bout.

Heyman (23-11-4, 13 KOs) knocked down Alderete in first round and then was outworked the rest of the way. Alderete (7-4-2, 3 KOs) walked away with a split decision victory. The winner said he would grant Heyman a rematch, but only if it was held at 175 pounds. Last Friday's bout was at cruiserweight.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Yuri Foreman Piece on E:60

Courtesy of ESPN

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Salita Wants a Rematch

Hoping to avenge his only career loss, light welterweight contender Dmitriy Salita believes he's now ready to battle on the level of WBA champion Amir Khan. Boxing News 24 reports that Salita (30-1-1, 16 KOs) wants a rematch with Khan (22-1, 16 KOs).

It was last December that Salita got his first world title shot. The Brooklyn-based fighter traveled to Khan's hometown of Newcastle, England for what he hoped would be his coming-out party. Instead, it was an uncompetitive fight, over almost as quickly as it started. After three knockdowns in the first round, the bout was stopped and Salita's first opportunity was gone.

Since the fight, Salita has been blasted on the internet for his poor showing. But he has kept his sights high. A fight with Khan, who is scheduled to fight Paulie Malignaggi in a week, is likely not in the immediate future for Salita. In the meantime, this is a chance for him to work his way back up the rankings by challenging top contenders before his next title shot.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Heyman Loses Split Decision

Mad Max Heyman lost a split decision to Mad Mike Alderete last night at Isleta Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Heyman slid to 23-11-4 with 13 KOs. Alderete jumps to 7-4-2 with 3 KOs.

Heyman knocked Alderete down in the first round. At that point, Alderete became more aggressive than Heyman, who was in only his second fight in the last three years. As a result, the scorecards read 77-74, 76-75, and 75-76 in favor of Alderete.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Weights for Albuquerque

Max Heyman weighed in at 192 3/4 pounds and Mike Alderete came in at 189 for their cruiserweight battle. The fight will take place tomorrow at Isleta Casino & Resort in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The card will be televised on ESPN 2, but it is unlikely that this fight will be aired.

There has been bad blood between Heyman (23-10-4, 13 KOs) and Alderete (6-4-2, 3 KOs) leading up to the fight. Alderete has accused Heyman of ducking him. Heyman questions Alderete's right to call him out as Alderete is not very accomplished. Both are from Albuquerque.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Yuri Foreman on Jimmy Kimmel Live

April 29, 2010

part 1

part 2

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mariano Plotinsky vs. Jürgen Brähmer

April 24, 2010
Hamburg, Germany
WBO light heavyweight championship

part 1

part 2

Plotinsky: black and red trunks
Brähmer: black, gold, and red trunks

Friday, April 30, 2010

Nakash, Finer Both Win

Ran Nakash knocked out Dan Sheehan in the third round last night at Tel Aviv's Nokia Hall to move to 24-0. It was the fourth consecutive fight that Nakash has weighed over the 200-pound cruiserweight limit. Nakash weighed 201.5 pounds for this fight. The 36-year old Sheehan, who was 193 lbs., falls to 11-38.

On the same card, Hagar Finer defended her Women's IBF bantamweight belt with a fifth round knockout of Agnese Boza. Finer improves to 21-7-3 with 6 KOs. Boza drops to 5-4 with two KOs.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Nakash Fights Tonight

Ran Nakash fights tonight at Nokia Hall in Tel Aviv, Israel against Dan Sheehan (11-35, 5 KOs). Sheehan shouldn't pose much of a problem for the undefeated Nakash (23-0, 17 KOs). Sheehan has won just one bout in his last 15. Nakash is coming off of a 7th round TKO over Richard Stewart earlier this month. Tonight's match is scheduled for 6 rounds.

Also on the card, Hagar Shmoulefeld Finer (20-7-3, 5 KOs) defends her Women's IBF bantamweight title against Agnese Boza (5-3, 2 KOs). That one is scheduled for 10 rounds.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Plotinsky Stopped in the 5th

In the fifth round, WBO light heavyweight champion Jürgen Brähmer threw a left hook that wobbled the challenger, Mariano Plotinsky. Plotinsky stabilized himself before receiving a left cross to the chin from the southpaw. Plotinsky seemed to take it well and was preparing to answer when the fight was curiously stopped at 2:36 by the referee, Paul Thomas. Plotinsky immediately contested the stoppage.

Brähmer, who moves to 36-2 with 29 KOs, scored a flash knockdown in the first round. The noticeably taller champion was calculating from the outside all night. Brähmer was often able to get his punches off first.

Plotinsky, who falls to 16-4 with 8 KOs, courageously attempted to barrel his way past Brähmer's steady guard. Even after getting knocked down in the first and staggered in the third, Plotinsky continued to stay aggressive. It was a gutsy performance, though in a losing effort. After the contentious stoppage, Plotinsky was classy, clapping for Brähmer when the winner's name was announced.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Plotinsky, Brähmer Weigh In

Mariano Nicolas Plotinsky (16-3, 8 KOs) will battle WBO light heavyweight champion Jürgen Brähmer (35-2, 28 KOs) for the belt in Hamburg, Germany tomorrow at 11:30pm local time. Both fighters weighed-in under the 175-pound light heavyweight limit. The challenger, Plotinsky, stood on the scales at 174.1 lbs while Brähmer was 174.3.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Plotinsky's Opponent in a Car Wreck

In what has already been a weird build up to a championship bout, Jürgen Brähmer, who is scheduled to take on Mariano Plotinsky this Saturday, wrecked his car today. According to Focus.de (in German), Brähmer totaled his BMW, but survived the incident uninjured.

Brähmer, who was sentenced to 16 months in prison for assault in January and is appealing to overturn the conviction based on a technicality, is making his second defense of the WBO light heavyweight title. Earlier in the week, it was reported that the cancellation of flights to Europe, due to the cloud of volcanic ash floating over the continent, was complicating Plotinsky's arrival. The fight is still scheduled to take place in Hamburg, Germany on Saturday.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Plotinsky's Title Shot

Mariano Plotinsky (16-3, 8 KOs) is getting his first shot at a world championship this Saturday. The Argentine native, who is 35 years old, will battle WBO light heavyweight champion, Jürgen Brähmer (35-2, 28 KOs), in Hamburg, Germany.

It was reported back in January that Brähmer, who has previously served time in prison, was sentenced to 16 months in jail. What became of that sentence, I do not know. For what it's worth, Brähmer is ranked #3 in FightNews's light heavyweight rankings and BoxRec has him rated as the 8th best light heavyweight in the world. His last two bouts were victories against previously undefeated men. Coincidently, one of Brähmer's losses came against Plotinsky's co-nationalist, Hugo Hernan Garay, a unanimous decision back in 2008.

In addition to avoiding jail time despite an apparent conviction, German fighters seem to receive certain hometown benefits in the ring. Plotinsky, however, is familiar with fighting in Germany. His last two contests, both wins, took place there. This weekend, he hopes to continue that trend against his champion southpaw opponent.

To fight in Germany, of course, you have to get there. With the cloud of ash- that spewed out of a volcano in Iceland last week- hovering over Europe, flights across the Atlantic to Europe have been canceled. That has made getting to Germany a dicey proposition for Plotinsky thus far.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Kedem Comes Up Short

Eilon Kedem lost a majority decision to Elton Dharry in a six-round junior featherweight contest Thursday night at Roseland Ballroom in New York. Two judges scored the bout for Dharry, 59-55 and 59-54, while the third judge saw an even fight. Kedem weighed 120 pounds; Dharry came in at 121.

Kedem was coming off of a victory over Pedro Antonio Salcedo late last month. Dharry, who last fought in late March, gained his second straight win to rise to 4-5-1 with 1 KO. Kedem falls to 11-4-4 with 7 KOs.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Foreman-Cotto Press Conference

The press conference for Yuri Foreman's bout with Miguel Cotto took place on Friday. Foreman, the WBA light middleweight champion, is a relative unknown compared to the high-profile Cotto. Foreman (28-0, 8 KOs) said of the fight on June 5 at Yankee Stadium, "It's an opportunity to showcase my skills."

Cotto (34-2, 27 KOs), who has taken two vicious beatings in his last four fights, acknowledged, "I know this is going to be a tough fight for us. A tough fight for Yuri, too."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

They're Mad

"Mad" Max Heyman is scheduled to continue his comeback from a three-year layoff on Friday May 7, 2010 against "Mad" Mike Alderete. The bout is scheduled to take place at Isleta Casino & Resort in both fighters' hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Alderete was originally rumored to fight Heyman back in January, but the bout fell through.

According to New Mexico Boxing, Heyman said of Alderete, "He can’t box; he can’t bang. But he likes to talk trash. He also can’t punch." Alderete threatened to take Heyman out.

Heyman (23-10-4, 13 KOs), who is 30 years old, won his last fight against Roy Ashworth in January with a dominating sweep of the judges' scorecards. Alderete (6-4-2, 3 KOs), who is 29, hasn't entered a ring since last June, a draw against journeyman Theo Kruger. Alderete has been winless in his last five contests, going 0-3-2 in that span.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Steward to Train Cotto for Foreman

After agreeing to a role as a consultant for a few weeks with the Yuri Foreman camp, legendary trainer Emanuel Steward has not only backed out, but decided to become the head trainer of Foreman's June 5th opponent, Miguel Cotto.

Foreman's trainer Joe Grier told BoxingScene.com, "We don't need chaos in our camp. I'm pleased that it worked out the way it did. This isn't being overconfident, but I don't believe at this point we need Emanuel to come in and save our lives." Grier went on to state that he was disappointed when he originally heard Steward was signed by the Foreman camp. Grier believes the team around Foreman is quite capable.

Foreman (28-0, 8 KOs) and Cotto (34-2, 27 KOs) will be competing for Foreman's WBA light middleweight title at Yankee Stadium in New York. Foreman will be making his first title defense. Cotto is coming off of a brutal loss to pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Nakash and Shmuel Win

Last night, Ran Nakash came away with a TKO in the 7th round against Richard Stewart at Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia. Nakash's body attack was the key to the fight. The bout ended when veteran referee Steve Smoger stepped in with 37 seconds left in the round. Nakash advanced his record to 23-0, garnering his 17th knockout. Stewart falls to 14-9-2 with 8 KOs.

On the same card, Elad Shmuel won his welterweight contest against Edward Anderson. Shmuel outpointed Anderson, sweeping the cards, 40-35. Anderson was knocked down in the second round of four. Shmuel is now 22-2 with 11 KOs. Anderson, who will turn 49 years old in a week, descends to 4-16 with 3 KOs.

Nakash is currently scheduled to fight next on April 29, 2010 at Nokia Hall in Tel Aviv, Israel. There has also been discussion about him battling former alphabet belt holder Bobby Gunn this summer.