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Friday, December 30, 2011

The Year That Was

As was the case last year, apologies for having a year in review now as opposed to around Rosh Hashanah. But 2011 was a year of expectations unfulfilled in Jewish boxing.

The two big fights came within three weeks of each other about nine months ago. Junior middleweight Yuri Foreman lost to Pawel Wolak in March. Foreman cited a lack of hunger and has taken the rest of the year off. In April, Ran Nakash got a surprise opportunity to fight for the WBO belt against Marco Huck in Germany. Huck won a unanimous decision in a fight that Steve Kim of MaxBoxing.com labeled as one of the four most controversial verdicts of the year. Kim wasn't the only one who felt this way.

Numerous fights involving Jewish boxers fell through this year. Nakash wasn't able to find a willing opponent after his gritty title challenge. Welterweight Dmitriy Salita saw a fight with Ismael El Massoudi nearly usurped. Alexander Frenkel, who held the European cruiserweight belt, had numerous bouts against various veteran European fighters fall through. Frenkel has since lost the fire to box and is taking time off. Max Heyman had a fight scheduled with prospect Gayrat Ahmedov, but injured his hand in training.

However, there are many positives going forward for fans of Jewish boxing. In many ways, this year signified a changing of the guard. Boyd Melson, Cletus Seldin, and Zachary Wohlman are all undefeated. The three combined to go 12-0 with seven knockouts in 2011. The three should be active in 2012 as well.

Adn there's more good news. Nakash is scheduled to fight in January. Salita is in negotiations with El Massoudi once again. Foreman has indicated that he plans on returning to the ring in the coming year.

Stay tuned boxing fans.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Foreman on His Fight with Cotto & More

Here's a fun interview for IsraelSportsRadio.com with Yuri Foreman from this past Summer. Foreman describes his fight with Cotto and journey to rediscover the fire that led him to become a world champion. Foreman has since stated his intention to fight in 2012.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Salita on His Next Fight

Dmitriy Salita was on IsraelSportsRadio.com this month. He discussed recent developments involving musician Matisyahu, being famous, and his work with kids.

Salita also explained the circumstances with a possible upcoming fight with Ismael El Massoudi. Salita has been scheduled to fight El Massoudi in early November, but Matthew Hatton attempted to usurp the bout. Salita sued and won. Now, he is currently negotiating with El Massoudi's people once again.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Look Back: David Dusang

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.

Sadly, David Dusang died last month. Dusang wasn't a world champion boxer, but he was an inspiration to many and led a truly impactful life.

David Dusang was born in 1963 and grew up in Winnipeg, Canada. His father, Ken, had had a few professional bouts and inspired David to take an interest in boxing. The son trained with his older brother in a makeshift gym Ken had set up in the family basement. David would go on to become a noted amateur.

Dusang, who would mostly fight at welterweight, made his professional debut on February 12, 1981 when he was 18 years old. Laurie Mann knocked him out in the first round. But Dusang didn't quit. He rattled off ten consecutive wins over the next two and half years.

Dusang, nicknamed the "Jewish Bomber," was known for his hand speed and his movement. Promoter Tommy Burns described Dusang as such, "He has great footwork, quick hands and lots of skill, but he’s too smart to be a boxer. He doesn’t like to get hit and when you stop and think about it, there is nothing wrong with that. You just have to find something else to do.”

The Jewish Bomber, who proudly wore the Star of David on his trunks, earned a rematch against Laurie Mann on December 6, 1983. Mann was 15-1 as Dusang hoped to avenge his only loss. But it wasn't to be. Mann repeated his earlier performance, knocking out Dusang in the first round.

Dusang had one more fight in 1984, before retiring with an 11-2 record and six KOs. His father Ken said of David, "He was a good boxer as a young man back in the day, but he was really a better adult. He had a wonderful career in business and was a great husband and father. David was a fine, fine man.”

Dusang attended the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba after his boxing career. He was a successful advertising executive, including a long stint with Major League Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays.

On November 17, 2011, Dusang was tragically killed in a car accident when a speeding truck ran into his car near Toronto, where Dusang lived. After his death, a friend eulogized, "Dave was pure sweetness, kindness, a compassionate man, a good soul... He was sincere, dedicated, determined. He was an incredible gift to all that knew him."

Rosen, Harvey. "In Memory of David Dusang." The Canadian Jewish News. 2011.
Taylor, Scott. "Former boxer David Dusang dies in car crash."  The Jewish Post & News. 2011.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Melson Ends Year with a KO

Boyd Melson, a junior middleweight, ended 2011 with another victory, his sixth of the year. Melson stopped his opponent, Danny Lugo, 2:01 into the third round of their scheduled six-round affair at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Saturday night.

A quick right hook following a break put Lugo down and ended the contest. Melson advances to 7-0 and stacked up his fourth career KO. Lugo falls to 1-3. It was the first time Lugo has been stopped.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Nakash to Return in January

Former world title challenger Ran Nakash (25-1, 18 KOs) is scheduled to return to action on January 21, 2012 at the Roseland Ballroom in New York, New York. This would be Nakash's first fight since facing Marco Huck for the WBO cruiserweight belt last April.

In that fight, Nakash gave a good account of himself. Many observers felt he did enough to earn a draw as he dominated the first half of the contest. The Krav Maga expert from Israel ran out of gas during the second half. Since the fight took place in Germany, the hometown Huck got the benefit of the doubt, winning a unanimous decision by a wide margin.

No opponent has been named for Nakash as of yet. This would be the first fight of his career in New York.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Melson to Face Lugo

Boyd Melson (6-0, three KOs) is scheduled to face Daniel Lugo (1-2) in a six-round junior middleweight affair this Saturday in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This is will be Melson's sixth fight of 2011.

Melson defeated Russ Niggemyer by way of six-round unanimous decision on October 1, a fight that also took place in Atlantic City. Lugo earned his only career victory on the same night in the same building. He outpointed Kevin Rooney Jr., the son of the famed trainer, in an upset win. Lugo, a 33-year old from Pennsylvania, lost a four-round decision to Frank Galarza later that month.

As always, Melson will represent Team Fight to Walk.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Foreman Video

According to Fox 5 New York, Yuri Foreman is planning on making his ring comeback in 2012. He is also about six months away from finishing rabbinical school.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Zachary Wohlman vs. Ricardo Malfavon

December 1, 2011
Club Nokia
Los Angeles, California

Wohlman: black trunks
Malfavon: black trunks with silver trim.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

More Rumblings of a Foreman Comeback

Yuri Foreman is apparently preparing to make a comeback in 2012. Nothing is set yet, however. Foreman hasn't fought since March, a bout against Pawel Wolak in which Foreman admits he was flat and unprepared.

Foreman told Michael Woods of ESPN New York that he would welcome a rematch against Wolak, who lost to Delvin Rodriguez last Saturday in a rematch of their epic draw this summer.

Of that first Wolak fight, Foreman said, "Against Wolak, that was just my body in it. I had no motivation, I was not present. Boxing is the kind of sport, either you are 100 [percent] in or you better not be there."

Woods reports that Foreman will likely reunite with his old trainer, Joe Grier, the man who was in Yuri's corner when the Jewish boxer won the junior middleweight title in 2009 against Daniel Santos.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Wohlman Cruises to Win in Debut

Zachary "Kid Yamaka" Wohlman won his debut by unanimous decision over Ricardo Malfavon tonight at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California. Wohlman garnered scores of 40-35 on each of the three judges' cards.

Kid Yamaka looked quite competent and composed for his first professional fight. He utilized the jab early and never wavered from the game plan. He dominated Malfavon with his boxing skill and his ability to glide away from the 29-year old veteran's punches. Malfavon came forward the entire fight, but was rarely able to land on the defensively proficient 23-year old Jewish boxer.

Malfavon's best moment came in the beginning of the third round, but Wohlman showed no distress in eating a few punches. Through three rounds, it appeared that though Wohlman was winning easily due his boxing, he wasn't able to hurt Malfavon.

Twenty seconds into the fourth and final round, Wohlman loaded up with a left hook that set Malfavon on his trunks. Zachary kept his jab active for the rest of the round to cruise to the win. Malfavon, who has faced good competition despite the poor record, fell to 1-7-1 with one KO. Wohlman hugged his trainer, Freddie Roach, considered the best in the game, after the victory.