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Monday, February 28, 2011

Salita to Fight in April

Dmitriy Salita is scheduled to fight on April 13 at the Oceana Ballroom in Brooklyn, New York. No opponent has yet been named.

Salita (32-1-1, 17 KOs) is coming off of a third round TKO of James Wayka this past December. He last fought at the Oceana Ballroom last September, when he pulled out a unanimous decision over Franklin Gonzalez.

Salita had been calling out some bigger names earlier in the year, so one would expect him to face a tough opponent if scheduling will allow. The welterweight has been vocal about wanting another title shot. This fight is tentatively marked down for ten rounds.

The event is dedicated to Salita's late mentor Jimmy O'Pharrow, who died a week ago.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Look Back: Al McCoy

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.

Al McCoy was the middleweight champion of the world from 1914-1917. He was the first southpaw ever to win a world title. Despite McCoy's extended reign atop the middleweight division, he wasn't quite an all time great in the ring though.

Al McCoy was born Alexander Rudolph on October 23, 1894 in New Jersey. His family, headed by orthodox parents, soon moved to Brooklyn, New York. His father was a kosher butcher in the tough Brownsville section of Brooklyn. Al had his first professional fight when he was only 16 years old in 1910. He took on the name McCoy so his parents wouldn't find out about his new career. His first few fights took place in New England before he made his Brooklyn debut late in 1910.

McCoy fought in an era in which boxing stradled legality. It was illegal to judge a boxing match based on points in certain states. For a winner to be declared, either a knockout needed to be scored or one fighter had to be disqualified. The sport attempted to get around this law by instituting newspaper decisions, where a writer would judge the winner. Significantly, a champ could not lose his crown by way of newspaper decision.

McCoy was considered a light puncher and relied on his superior defense to win. In February of 1914, McCoy was fought a good boxer named Joe Chip to a draw according to newspaper decision. The two were scheduled to engage in a rematch two months later, but Joe Chip became sick. The middleweight's brother George took the ill fighter's place. George Chip happened to be the middleweight champion of the world.

McCoy knocked George Chip out in 54 seconds of the first round to capture the middleweight crown. Though McCoy won the middleweight championship, he still couldn't garner respect. Ken Blady writes, "His one-punch knockout of Chip was called the most sensational accident since Columbus discovered the New World." McCoy was called "The Cheese Champion," a moniker meant to disparage its owner.

According to BoxRec.com, McCoy was 0-6-1 in title bouts as champion. For his opponents, the rub was that Al couldn't be knocked out, so McCoy repeatedly retained his title. He lost a newspaper decision to George Chip in April of 1915. Young Aheam couldn't get McCoy out of there in two ten-round bouts in which the champ lost by newspaper decision. Even in non-title bouts, McCoy lost more than he won.

McCoy had a less than stellar 13-23-7 record while holding the middleweight title. Twenty two of those losses came by way of newspaper decision, meaning that McCoy technically was officially undefeated as champ 42 fights into his reign. One of those losses was against Harry Greb, who easily won every round of their 1917 contest. On November 14, 1917, McCoy finally lost his title when Mike O'Dowd stopped him in six rounds.

McCoy retired a couple of times, the last in 1924. His final record was 32-11-4 with 27 KOs (41-38-29 in newspaper decisions) according to BoxRec.com. After his boxing career, Al lived in Los Angeles with his wife, playing small roles in movies and working in the boxing business with his brother Babe. He died on August 22, 1966.

Blady, Ken. The Jewish Boxers Hall of Fame. 1988.
Riess, Stephen A. Sports and the American Jew. 1998.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Salita's Mentor Dies

Jimmy O'Pharrow, Dmitriy Salita's boxing mentor, died this past Sunday night. O'Pharrow was 85 years old. Here is a touching tribute about the man affectionately known as Jimmy O. written by Salita. O'Pharrow is survived by his wife and two sons.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Nakash-Gunn Off Again?

Undefeated cruiserweight Ran Nakash was scheduled to fight veteran challenger Bobby Gunn on February 24 at Harrah's in Chester, Pennsylvania. Both Nakash and Gunn have been publicly talking about competing against one another for about a year now.

At best, the fight has been postponed. Rumor has it that it could be pushed back to March. But there has been no official word as to whether the fight will take place at all or why it won't take place on February 24. More details to come as they become available.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Emily Klinefelter Recovering

Emily Klinefelter's specific injury was a burst blood vessel in her brain which she suffered this past Saturday in her fight against Christina Ruiz, which was stopped after Klinefelter was counted out in the third round.

According to Jon Frank of The Iowan Daily, Klinefelter's mother reports that Emily is "95-97%." Her mother writes in an email, "Emily is doing wonderfully well and is continuing to improve each day. The doctors’ prognosis for a full recovery remains in effect."

John Whisler reports that a concerned Ruiz was "ecstatic" to learn of Klinefelter's improvement.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Melson Notches Decision Win

Junior middleweight Boyd Melson won his second career bout last night at BB King Blues Club & Grill in Brooklyn, New York. The 2-0 Melson won a majority decision over Marquise Bruce, who is now 0-1-1.

The judges' scores were 39-37, 39-37, 38-38. Both boxers weighed 153.5 pounds for the bout. Melson was coming off of a unanimous decision win in his debut last November in which he came off the canvas to grab victory.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Emily Klinefelter Suffered Cranial Bleeding and Swelling

Emily Klinefelter left Saturday night's fight in Johnson City, Iowa against Christina Ruiz in an ambulance. According to Ryan Suchomel of press-citizen.com, Emilio Ledezma- Ruiz's manager- said that Klinefelter woke up after surgery Sunday. Ledezma noted that Klinefelter had suffered from cranial bleeding and swelling.

Klinefelter and Ruiz engaged in a highly intense bout. Klinefelter was knocked down in the second round. Ruiz told Jon Frank of The Daily Iowan, “Her eyes were kind of rolling back, and I thought they were going to stop the fight, but they didn’t."

Klinefelter was felled again in the third round. Jon Frank writes, "Cheers from the crowd quickly silenced after the Iowa City native did not answer the referee’s 10 count... Unresponsive to wake-up calls, fanning, and shaking, she breathed steadily, her eyes shut. Convulsions sporadically shot through her body as she remained flat on her back."

Frank's article has video of the fight. The video does not include the knockdowns or the scene after the fight except for a short clip of the ambulance ride.

According to Frank and a FightNews.com article, which has pictures from the contest including a shot of Klinefelter stretched out afterwards, the referee counted all the way to 10 before stopping the fight. Ledezma told Suchomel, "The girl was taking a beating. The ref should’ve stopped the fight [earlier]."

Suchomel writes that Klinefelter's mother stated in an email, "Emily remains hospitalized and is doing quite well. The doctors feel that there is an excellent probability of full recovery."

Adam Pollack- Klinefelter's husband and promoter- said in a statement, "The doctors feel that there is a high probability of a strong recovery. She is speaking and is cogent and responsive, though in and out of sleep as they monitor her. Things are looking up, but the optimism is naturally guarded for the first 72 hours, which is the most critical time."

Thoughts and prayers go out to Emily Klinefelter and her family.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Enforcer Stopped

Emily "The Enforcer" Klinefelter suffered her first career loss at the hands of Christina Ruiz this past Saturday in the Johnson City Fairgrounds in Johnson City, Iowa. Klinefelter, who will turn 27 next month, was knocked out in the third round. She was reportedly taken to the hospital after the fight.

Klinefelter's record falls to 9-1 with 3 KOs while Ruiz's improved to 6-3-1 with 4 KOs.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Ring's Sloppy Foreman Article

The Ring Magazine is the self-proclaimed "Bible of Boxing." It is the most respected publication in the sport. Unfortunately, acclaimed writer Michael Rosenthal, didn't show Yuri Foreman the same amount of respect in his article "Foreman is Out to Prove He Belongs with the Best."

Sure, Rosenthal touts Foreman's courage after continuing to fight Miguel Cotto despite a leg injury. In fact, Rosenthal is generally sympathetic to Foreman throughout the article. But there are glaring errors that implicitly belittle Foreman.

Rosenthal writes, "The craziness began in the seventh round of a fight Cotto was winning fairly convincingly, when Foreman’s right knee – weakened by a childhood injury -- buckled and he slipped to the canvas.

"The same thing happened twice more in the eighth round, prompting trainer Joe Grier to throw in a towel to stop the fight."

Foreman actually fell to the canvas twice in the seventh round. He never fell in the eighth, the round Grier threw in the towel. Rosenthal could have found that out by employing a modicum of research. A simple Google search would have done the trick. Rewatching the seventh and eighth rounds was another option.

Worse still, Rosenthal mentions that Foreman tore his meniscus in the Cotto fight, but doesn't print one word on the ACL tear he suffered. Foreman did suffer a torn meniscus, but a torn ACL is a far worse injury. Brandon Roy of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers came back to play in a playoff basketball game eight days after tearing his meniscus. Perhaps Roy's comeback was ill-advised, but at least it was possible. An ACL tear puts an athlete out of commission for at least six months.

Foreman has reportedly worked hard to rehabilitate and his right knee is stronger than it was before the Cotto fight. He next takes on Pawel Wolak on March 12 in Las Vegas.

On a side note, Foreman describes the impact of faith on his life in this local CBS broadcast out of Dallas.