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Monday, July 25, 2011

Heyman Out of Ahmedov Fight

Max Heyman was scheduled to face the undefeated light heavyweight Gayrat Ahmedov this Friday. But, according to New Mexico Boxing, Heyman injured his left hand in training and has had to pull out of the fight.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ahmedov-Heyman Preview

Max Heyman takes on WBA light heavyweight International champion Gayrat Ahmedov this Friday at the South Point Hotel, Casino, and Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada. If Heyman wins, it would jumpstart his career. A win for Ahmedov is a necessary step on his way up.

Though both men are 32 years old, Heyman (24-11-4, 14 KOs) is the more experienced of the two. The New Mexico-native turned pro in 1997, while Ahmedov did so in 2004. Heyman, who works as a fireman, has faced world class opposition, including Adrian Diaconu in 2006 and Chris Henry the following year. Both Diaconu and Henry have been top ten light heavyweights and both were undefeated when they stopped Heyman.

The question is whether or not Ahmedov (16-0-1, 11 KOs), who is from Andijan, Uzbekistan and fights out of Las Vegas, has what it takes to be world class. Ahmedov has one-punch knockout power. Four of his last seven opponents were KOed in the first round and another in that stretch was stopped in the second. Ahmedov, who is calm and confident in the ring, has wicked power to the body.

To win in impressive fashion, Ahmedov will have to deal with Heyman's awkward style. After taking two and half years off following the Henry fight, Heyman has fought three times at cruiserweight against limited opposition. The Henry bout was the last time Heyman has fought at light heavyweight.

For Heyman to win, he will have to be in excellent shape. His goal should be to to take Ahmedov into the later rounds. Ahmedov has never been passed eight rounds and has only fought passed the sixth round once. Heyman will have to keep his hands busy in order to put rounds in the bank and hope to keep Ahmedov off balance so that Gayrat can't connect with a knockout blow.

The bout is scheduled for ten rounds.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Melson, Seldin Win

Last night at the Oceana in Brooklyn, New York, two Jewish prospects improved on their undefeated records. Boyd Melson earned a second round TKO against Zach Schumach, while Cletus Seldin won a four round unanimous decision over Hector Rivera.

Melson (5-0, 3 KOs) has stopped his last three opponents. Schumach (2-3-1), a genuine junior middleweight with extensive experience in combat sports, was a slight step up for the undefeated New Yorker. It was also the first time Melson had participated in a scheduled six round bout. Melson weighed 153.25 pounds, while Schumach came in at the junior middleweight limit of 154. The bout was stopped by referee Steve Willis at 2:23 of the second round.

Seldin (2-0, one KO) won for the second time in two weeks, coming off of a KO win on July 9 in his debut. All three judges scored last night's fight in favor of Seldin, 40-35. Rivera (2-9, one KO) had been knocked out in first round of his previous bout against Melson on May 19. Before that contest, Rivera had never weighed more than 140 pounds for a fight. He came in at 151.5 lbs. for this one, while Seldin was 148. Seldin is scheduled to fight on September 10 at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, New York.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Frenkel to Face Licina

Alexander Frenkel is now planning on facing the experienced Enad Licina. The date and place for this cruiserweight contest is still to be determined. Frenkel was originally scheduled to face Silvio Branco later this month, but Branco backed out.

Frenkel (23-0, 18 KOs), who is the European champ at cruiserweight, hasn't fought since last September's stoppage of Enzo Maccarinelli. Licina (20-3, 11 KOs), a Serbian-born resident of Germany, has fought twice in 2011, including a loss to IBF world champion Steve Cunningham on February 12.

Our source for all things Alexander Frenkel, Per Ake Persson of BoxingScene.com, postulates that the winner is likely to get a world title shot. Both men are promoted by Sauerland, as is most of the top of the cruiserweight division.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Seldin Wins Debut, Will Fight on the 20th

Welterweight Cletus Seldin earned a third round TKO over Wilson Feliciano on Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida in his professional debut. Feliciano fell to 2-2 with two knockouts.

Seldin, the former New York Golden Gloves finalist, is scheduled to get right back into the ring. Nicknamed "The Hebrew Hammer," the 24-year old Seldin will be on the Brighton Shore Fights card on July 20 at the Oceana in Brooklyn, New York. The event is promoted by Salita Promotions.

Boyd Melson will be fighting on the same card. Melson (4-0, 2 KOs) is scheduled to face Zach Schumach, who has a background in MMA, but has also boxed professionally. Melson last fought on June 10, a third round TKO over Kelvin Kibler.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Heyman to Face Ahmedov

Max Heyman will move back down to light heavyweight when he faces Gayrat Ahmedov in their scheduled bout on July 29, at the South Point Hotel, Casino, and Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada. Heyman (24-11-4, 14 KOs) hasn't fought since avenging a loss to Mike Alderete in the rematch last November.

Ahmedov (16-0-1, 11 KOs), who is from Uzbekistan, defeated Tursunboy Abdullakimov in January. That 4th round TKO earned him the ever-coveted WBA international light heavyweight strap. Despite winning that title, Ahmedov, 32, is rather untested. Heyman certainly has the experience advantage.

Ahmedov's meaningless belt will be on the line. The bout is scheduled for ten rounds.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Look Back: Art Aragon

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.

Art Aragon wasn't technically a Jewish boxer having converted to Judaism after his boxing career had ended. But he was the "Golden Boy," named by actor William Holden who had starred in a movie by the same name. Aragon was a talented fighter with a big punch, but is more remembered for his colorful personality.

Art Aragon was born on November 13, 1927 in Belen, New Mexico. After bouncing around the country, he moved to East Los Angeles, California when he was 15. He became a professional boxer when he was 16 years old, admitting later that he lied about his age in order to turn pro. The dawn of his boxing career was quite successful. He had piled up 49 wins when he faced lightweight champion Jimmy Carter in a non-title bout on August 28, 1951.

Aragon earned a ten-round split decision over Carter, who was known to throw non-title fights in order to earn more money in the rematch when he bet on himself. When the two met three months later, Aragon was so drained after making weight, he later quipped that he was the only boxer ever to be carried into the ring. Carter won a 15-round unanimous decision. Aragon, who was notorious for making excuses when he lost, would never get another title shot.

The Golden Boy was popular in Hollywood. He was a friend of Marilyn Monroe's and dated Mamie Von Doren. Van Doren later recalled, "The 'Golden Boy' was a perfect title for him. His smile turned everyone on. His skin was golden. His floppy hair bounced so perfectly. He was just so sexy." But his romantic life wasn't always so enviable.

During the weigh-in before his bout with former welterweight and middleweight champion Carmen Basilio in 1958, Basilio innocently asked Aragon how he was doing. Aragon replied, "Not so good. Both my wife and my girlfriend are here."

The Golden Boy was perhaps the biggest draw in Los Angeles during his era. But, peculiarly, many fans came to boo the man donning gold. Aragon featured knockout power but struggled against boxers who utilized a tight guard. He also was no stranger to controversy. Opponents were fingered for throwing fights, Aragon was once accused of offering to pay an opponent to lose, and he won a heavily-disputed decision over Chuck Davey in 1954.

After the second Carter fight, Aragon won six fights in a row before falling to Billy Graham in 1953. Art started the fight with hard punches, but faded late, losing a ten-round unanimous decision. In 1956, Aragon avenged his loss to Carter, defeating the former lightweight champ at welterweight in a ten-round unanimous decision. That was part of a 15-fight win streak, leading up to the bout with Basilio.

Though Aragon had his moments, the bigger Basilio nearly beat the pants off of Art. Referee Tommy Hart called out to Aragon in the eighth round that if he didn't show something, Hart would stop the fight. Aragon responded, "What are you waiting for?" Basilio was awarded an eighth-round TKO when Aragon's corner threw in the towel.

Aragon finally retired from the ring in 1960. After his boxing career, he acted in several movies and worked in the bail bonds business. He counted Bob Hope, Jayne Mansfield, and Sophia Loren, among other celebrities, as friends. He converted to Judaism in order to marry one of his four wives, Irene. His son, Brad, asserts that Aragon was a proud Jew, although not particularly observant. He especially enjoyed Jewish food. He even had his conversion certificate shrunk so he could literally be a "card-carrying" Jew.

In summing up his life, when asked, with all of his accomplishments in boxing and in Hollywood, what is the best thing he's done, Art replied, "Divorcing my third wife."

Aragon died on March 25, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. He is buried in Mt. Sinai Memorial Park.

Jimmy Carter vs. Art Aragon
November 14, 1951
Los Angeles, California
Olympic Auditorium
World Lightweight Championship
part 1


Greenberg, Brad A. "'Golden Boy' Art Aragon keeps the faith." JewishJournal.com, May 1, 2008.
Golstein, Richard. "Art Aragon Dies at 80; Was One of Ring's Golden Boys." The New York Times, March 28, 2008.
Pugmire, Lance. "Colorful L.A. boxer in the '40s and '50s." Los Angeles Times, March 26, 2008.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Frenkel-Branco Called Off

According to Per Ake Persson of BoxingScene.com, the proposed bout between EBU European cruiserweight beltholder Alexander Frenkel and veteran Silvio Branco, scheduled for July 22, has been called off.

Frenkel's long layoff continues. He last fought on September 18, 2010. In that bout, Frenkel usurped his belt from Enzo Maccarinelli by way of seventh round technical knockout.