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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.