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Monday, December 31, 2012

The Year That Was

This was the year of the cancelled fight in Jewish boxing. After an impressive win in January and signing with Lou DiBella, Ran Nakash came in overweight in June and was ousted from a South African cruiserweight tournament before throwing a single punch as a result. Yuri Foreman was poised to make his comeback to the ring in November, but his fight was cancelled because of damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy.

Isaac Chilemba was scheduled to fight on HBO against Zsolt Erdei in September. Erdei injured himself in training and Chilemba's fight against late sub Rayco Saunders was not televised. Dmitriy Salita's proposed scrap with Ismael El Massoudi never came to be. Barry Groenteman and Danny Netzer also experienced fights being nixed.

Cletus Seldin and Mike Brooks both stayed undefeated and Danny Ahrens won his first two pro fights. But Boyd Melson, Zachary Wohlman, and Netzer all suffered their lone career defeat in 2012. Melson and Wohlman not only suffered a loss, but both had a fight resulting in a frustrating draw.

Melson's loss was a close decision against an undefeated prospect who Boyd knocked down twice. His draw came in a fight Melson deserved to win by a wide margin. Wohlman was stopped in his loss against a journeyman. He came in overweight partly because of a hiccup in maintaining his sobriety, according to an interview on KLEAN Radio. His draw was the result of an accidental headbutt and a quirk in the California rules in a fight he was controlling.

Next year looks promising for fans of Jewish boxers. Foreman, Chilemba, Salita, Melson, Seldin, Brooks, and Groenteman have all either signed or been rumored to fight within the first two months of 2013. Foreman is on the comeback trail, Chilemba is close to achieving a title fight and a spot on HBO, and Salita has been consistently stepping up on his way to another title shot. Melson, Seldin, Brooks, Ahrens, and Wohlman are all prospects to watch in the new year. And super flyweight champion Carolina Duer hopes to build off of her four 2012 wins.

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