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Friday, August 31, 2012

Melson to Fight in September and October

Junior middleweight Boyd Melson earned a unanimous decision victory over Khalik Memminger on August 2  in his first fight back since losing a disputed decision to Delen Parsley in March. But Melson wasn't happy with his performance. The man known as the "Rainmaker" acknowledged, "The fight against Memminger was my worst performance as a pro and I was more upset about it than most of the fans. Regardless, I can’t ever look like that again and expect to win."

He has a chance to redeem himself on September 22 at World Casino in Queens, New York. His opponent is scheduled to be Yolexcy Leiva (5-4, 4 KOs). Leiva, a 33 year old Cuban-born combatant, is 1-3 in his previous four fights. However, three of those four were against undefeated prospects, including the win. Leiva has been active lately and is the naturally bigger man, fighting the majority of his bouts at middleweight and above.

Melson (9-1, 4 KOs) is a strong southpaw who often fights in spurts and has shown the ability to box effectively when he has a bout in hand. He is known for his busy schedule both in and out of the ring. This is his eleventh fight since his career began in November of 2010. He also travels the world searching for a cure to spinal cord injuries and works a 9-5 job at Johnson & Johnson.

This bout is scheduled for six rounds. In addition, should Melson come away unscathed, he is penciled in to take part in the first boxing card at the new Barclay's Center Arena in Brooklyn, New York on October 20. Dmitriy Salita is also scheduled to be on that card in a separate bout.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Netzer Up Against Tough Opponent

Canadian-Israeli middleweight Danny Netzer is scheduled to face Brandon Cook on September 8 at the Hershey Cntre in Mississauga, Canada. This bout is scheduled for six rounds.

Netzer (3-1, one KO) is coming off of a bounce-back victory against a winless fighter in May. In April, Netzer lost a majority decision against a tough boxer named Phil Rose. Cook is 6-0 with three KOs. He stopped 21-fight veteran Zoltan Surman in May.

Netzer is no stranger to being the underdog. In his first two career bouts, the man nicknamed "Silent" gave up a good bit of weight to his more experienced opponents, but won both contests.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Look Back: Charley White

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.

Charley White is regarded as having one of the best left hooks in the history of the sport. He fought ten legendary champions over the course of his career. Three times he came within a whisker of winning a world championship. But his slow wit may have cost him each time. Nevertheless, The Ring's Nat Fleischer once ranked him as the tenth best lightweight of all time. In 2003, the same publication ranked him as the 100th best puncher ever.

Charles Anchowitz was born on March 25, 1891 in Liverpool, England. His parents were from Russia and the family moved to the Maxwell Street ghetto in Chicago, Illinois when Anchowitz was seven years old. He contracted tuberculosis from the dirty air of the ghetto when he was 13. His parents sent him to William O'Connell's gym to increase his strength. It happened to be the same gym that world champion Harry Harris learned his craft. Anchowitz had two brothers who also trained there.

Though skinny and sickly, Charles was so adept at boxing he turned professional at the age of 15. He used the surname White in the ring to honor former featherweight champion and Chicago-native Tommy White. The younger White won his first 21 bouts according to BoxRec. He had started out his career as a boxer, but realized he had knockout power after an incident that took place outside of the ring. A truck driver splashed mud on his new pants, so White yelled at him. The big fellow stopped the truck and came after White. One punch laid out the truck driver senseless.

White fought the great featherweight champion Abe Attell twice in successive years beginning in 1909. Neither was for the title. Attell outboxed Charley soundly in both affairs. Afterwards, the 5'6" White fluctuated between lightweight and welterweight for the rest of career. Over the next few years, White fought several future champions, losing to Jimmy Duffy, Jack Britton, and splitting two bouts with Johnny Dundee.

Charley didn't mind eating a punch or three if it meant he could give one back. Often times, the one he gave back was more powerful than anything he received. While his toughness can't be questioned, his intellectual quickness can be.

On May 26, 1914, White took on Willie Ritchie, the lightweight champ. White battered the champion, nearly knocking him out in the first with a left hook, a right, and another left hook. But White inexplicably took his foot off the gas. Charley continued pounding Ritchie and won a ten-round decision. However, this was the era of newspaper decisions, meaning that the title could only changed hands if the fight was stopped inside the distance. White got the win, but Ritchie kept the belt.

A year later, White took on a new lightweight champ, Freddie Welsh, and lost a ten round newspaper decision. Afterwards, he lost a newspaper decision to Leach Cross and drew with Ted Kid Lewis. Charley went undefeated in his next nine bouts. That led to a return match against Welsh on September 4, 1916.

Winston Churchill once said, "All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes." Apparently, Charley White wasn't a fan of Churchill. Welsh was pounding White through five rounds when a left hook came crashing down on the champion's face. As was the case against Ritchie, the belt was practically wrapped around White's waist. But, perhaps hypnotized by his own punch, the Chicagoan didn't follow up on his advantage. Welsh survived and eventually recovered, until the 12th. Welsh was hurt again, but just at that moment, a portion of the stands at Ramona A.C. Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado fell down. Welsh held on for the 20 round newspaper decision.

White seemed to follow the wisdom of Mohandas K. Gandhi who once said, "Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes." Against, The Great Benny Leonard, Charley was again seconds from cementing his legacy with a championship. During their July 5, 1920 contest, White knocked Leonard out of the ring in the fifth round. Benny's brother illegally helped the Ghetto Wizard backthrough the ropes.

Of course, Leonard was a master at surviving near-disasters such as the one against White. White again wasn't able to capitalize on his advantage. In fact, by the ninth, Leonard was the one in charge. He knocked Charley down five times in that round  before the fight was stopped. Though the wisdom of Gandhi eventually defeated Churchill and the British Empire, Charley White never won his championship.

White fought Johnny Dundee three more times going 1-1-1. He defeated Ritchie Mitchell. Then, after 17 years in the game, White retired. He had amassed a sizable fortune. Unfortunately, he lost his money to the Great Depression and tried to make a comeback to the ring in 1930. White was knocked out in the second round of his first fight on the comeback trail. According to BoxRec, his final record was 87-16-5 with 58 KOs (and 34-19-9 in newspaper decisions).

White soon moved to Hollywood and trained movie stars. But this story does not have a happy ending. His wife Elizabeth had him committed to a psychiatric ward after the former fighter chased her with a knife. He was suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Three years later, White died on July 12, 1959.

Blady, Ken. The Jewish Boxers Hall of Fame. 1988.
Sterritt, Mike. The Great Underrated Boxers. 2011.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cletus Seldin vs. Jonathan Garcia

July 28, 2012
Paramount Theatre
Huntington, New York

Seldin: purple trunks, white trim
Garcia: turquoise trunks

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mike Brooks vs. Calvin Pritchard II

May 17, 2012
Plattduetsche Restaurant
Long Island, New York

Brooks: red and black trunks
Pritchard: purple trunks, black trim

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Brooks Stays Undefeated

Mike "Lefty" Brooks advanced his record to 8-0 with two knockouts yesterday thanks to a unanimous decision victory over Joey Arroyo (3-3-1) at Plattduetsche Restaurant in Long Island, New York. Brooks used one-twos and landed the occasional solid body shot in order to carry the fight.

The taller Arroyo boxed; Brooks stalked and banged. Both fighters paced themselves because of the extreme humidity, which soaked the outdoor air. But Brooks was the more active puncher and the more aggressive pugilist. This was the first time Brooks has fought as many as eight rounds, a challenge he handled with ease despite the arduous weather conditions.

The scores were 80-72, 79-73, 78-74. Despite the scores, it was a competitive fight. Brooks managed to pull out the vast majority of the rounds, however slight, giving him a wide decision.

In capturing the win, Brooks earned something called the IBA youth lightweight title. A reader less versed in modern boxing parlance might wonder what that belt signifies. In today's boxing, belts with vendible labels have multiplied as if the sanctioning bodies were run by rabbits. They're a dime a dozen.

But don't blame the boxer. Who among us would turn down an Employee of the Month award or a promotion even if it was begotten by dysfunctional office politics? A belt is a mark of achievement. When a boxer's entourage proudly holds up a series of trinkets during the pre-fight introductions, it can be a source of intimidation to psych out a less decorated opponent. This aside about the prevalence of dubious titles in boxing is not to diminish Brooks's victory or Arroyo's valiant challenge in the least.

Today, there are four major sanctioning bodies. The IBA isn't one of them. They each have a world champion in the various weight divisions. Recently, they've added other terms such as champion emeritus, super champion, champion in recess, and interim champion. Then there are silver belts, diamond belts, Latino belts, North American belts, intercontinental belts, and youth belts.

It's a winning formula for a certain few in boxing. The sanctioning bodies and promoters conspire to dupe the public through the proliferation of phony titles. Whenever a fighter seeks to win a belt, he must pay a sanctioning fee. Imagine if, before the NBA Finals, LeBron James had to pay for the right to win the Larry O'Brien trophy.

So, the sanctioning bodies make money. The promoter gets to market the fight as a "title" contest, which should pull in a few more less-informed customers. The sanctioning organizations and the promoters make out like bandits. The fans and the integrity of the sport suffer.

In June, two capable fighters Gabriel Rosado and Sechew Powell fought a crossroads contest to see which might be challenging a top ten boxer in their weight class in the near future. NBC Sports announcer Kenny Rice repeatedly referred to the bout as for the junior middleweight championship. It was actually for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental light middleweight title. A few boxing writers in the know snickered, but the deception probably helped ratings.

So, how will things change? When Floyd Mayweather challenged WBA welterweight champion Shane Mosley in 2010, it wasn't for Mosley's belt. Mayweather didn't pay the sanctioning fee. But, because of his star status, Mayweather knew that he didn't need the WBA, the WBA needed him. Very few boxers are in the same position as Mayweather. Ultimately, it shouldn't come down to the boxer. Surely, it's the responsibility of the sanctioning bodies and promoters to curtail this madness. But we can't be satisfied with putting the fox in charge of the hen house. It must be the responsibility of the media to either ignore or explain the importance (or lack there of) of each so-called title.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Dmitriy Salita vs. Roberto Valenzuela

August 4, 2012
Exposition Hall
Mobile, Alabama

Salita: black trunks
Valenzuela: red trunks

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Salita Pounds Valenzuela

Dmitriy Salita, weighing in at the heaviest of his career, dominated journeyman Roberto Valenzuela in a junior middleweight affair. Salita proved that he was several cuts above the 100-fight veteran from Mexico with a fourth round stoppage at the Exposition Hall in Mobile, Alabama.

Salita used both hands to pound the taller Valenzuela to the body early and often. Wearing black trunks with a Star of David over his left leg, Salita was able to vary his attack. Valenzuela's rebuttal featured comically slow lunging left hooks that were easily blocked. Quickly, Valenzuela realized that he had no chance of hurting Salita and resorted to survival mode. Valenzuela's best offense was an accidental headbutt in the second round.

The Brooklyn native dispensed with his jab early, normally a key punch for Salita, once he realized that he wasn't under heavy fire. He unleashed power punch after power punch at the torso and head of his battered opponent.

Rights snapped back Valenzuela's head in the second and third rounds. Dmitriy continued with his body attack and his uppercuts remained crisp. At the end of the third, Valenzuela slumped to the ground after a left hook broke the camel's back. He reluctantly rose to his feet before the ten count was reached.

Salita smelled blood as the fourth commenced. A right knocked back Valenzuela into the corner. That's when Salita jumped on the opponent, switching between body and head shots, forcing the referee to stop the contest 26 seconds into the round. Salita advances to 34-1-1 and got his 18th KO. According to BoxRec, Valenzuela fell to 65-63-2 with 54 KOs.

Of the fight, Salita said he wanted to get in some rounds after a 16 month hiatus. Despite the long layoff, Dmitriy showed no ring rust. He noted that Valenzuela was awkward and would come in with his head, which caused Salita to be patient in breaking down his foe.

After the bout, Salita came over to Paulie Malignaggi, who was broadcasting for Fox Sports Net. Salita has been chasing a fight with Malignaggi, who is the WBA welterweight champion. Dmitriy made the case that he should fight Paulie next, claiming the clash would be a buzz-worthy attraction as the two are friends and both are from Brooklyn. "I have the utmost respect for Paulie," Salita explained.

Malignaggi retorted that Salita needed to get "more wins" before the Battle for Brooklyn would take place. Commentator Dave Bontempo remarked that Salita needed to raise his "marketability" before Malignaggi-Salita would become a reality. Both boxers are currently scheduled to fight on October 20 at the Barclay's Center Arena in Brooklyn, New York. Whether it is against one another remains to be seen.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Salita to Face Valenzuela

Dmitriy Salita will end a long layoff tomorrow when he faces Roberto Valenzuela tomorrow at the Exposition Hall in Mobile, Alabama. The fight will take place at junior middleweight and is scheduled for eight rounds.

Salita (33-1-1, 17 KOs) had been in the running to face WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi when the Barclay's Center Arena in Brooklyn, New York opens its doors for boxing on October 20. Both Salita and Malignaggi are from Brooklyn. But, last week, Malignaggi selected Pablo Cesar Cano to be his opponent. Of the selection, Salita remarked, "Paulie fighting Cano is pretty surprising to me."

But late this week it seems Cano will not be Malignaggi's opponent on October 20, opening the door for Salita if he should look good against Valenzuela. Valenzuela (65-62-2) has fought 13 times since Salita last entered the ring on April of 2011. Valenzuela, a 39 year old, is nine years older than Salita. The 20 year veteran is two inches taller and has a three inch reach advantage.

Salita, who weighed in at 154.2 for this fight, has won his last three fights and Valenzuela, who came in at 149.4, has lost his last two.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Melson Back on Track

After a wild and controversial fight against Delen Parsley in March, a bout that represented Boyd Melson's first career loss, the junior middleweight got back on the winning track tonight. He defeated journeyman Khalik Memminger by unanimous decision at the Roseland Ballroom in New York, New York.

All three judges gave the fight to Melson, 59-55. Memminger had a strong sixth and final round to prevent a shutout. Though Memminger has now fought in twice as many bouts as Melson, this was only his second time in the sixth round. Melson fought as far for the fourth time. Both men weighed in at the 154 pound limit.

Melson, who was coming off of an orbital bone injury, improved his record to 9-1 with four KOs. Memminger is now 6-9-3 with 3 KOs. Melson, nicknamed the Rainmaker, was profiled by Yahoo! Sports yesterday.