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Friday, May 31, 2013

Groenteman, Wohlman Injury Update

Barry Groenteman (8-5-2, 2 KOs) was forced to pull out of a fight in April due to an injury. Groenteman told The Jewish Boxing Blog that he has recovered from that injury. He said, "I feel very good and I'm in great shape," continuing, "I'm gonna defend my Dutch title in Amsterdam in October. I'm now in training to come back in September."

Groenteman is coming off of a points victory over Samir Boukrara in January.

Zachary Wohlman (4-1-1, 1 KO) was forced to pull out of a fight in March due to a broken jaw. He told The Jewish Boxing Blog, "I'm healing up on track! Sparring and getting ready to fight next month!"

Wohlman suffered his first career defeat in his last fight this past November.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Danny Ahrens vs. Andrew Patterson

February 2, 2013
The Arena
Cambridgeshire, England

Ahrens: blacks trunks
Patterson: white trunks

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Isaac Chilemba vs. Tony Bellew II

May 25, 2013
O2 Arena
London, England

2013-05-25 Tony Bellew vs Isaac Chilemba II by sweetboxing11

Chilemba: red and gold trunks
Bellew: blue trunks, white trim

Monday, May 27, 2013

Carolina Duer vs. Sabrina Maribel Perez

May 24, 2013
Instituto San Isidro
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Duer: yellow top, white trunks
Perez:  white top, silver trunks

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Chilemba-Bellew II: Same Fight, Different Result

Tony Bellew captured a unanimous decision against Isaac Chilemba today at the O2 Arena in London, England. The rematch took on almost the exact same form as their first fight; only the judges' opinion of the bout was different.

Chilemba wore the same red and gold trunks with Wildcat written on the belt-line and entered to the same song, DJ Khaled's "All I Do is Win." Bellew wore his customary blue trunks with the word Bomber on the front. He sauntered to the ring to the familiar anthem of his favorite soccer team, Everton.

The early portion of the fight mirrored their first contest as well. Bellew plodded forward, winging away, and failing to touch Chilemba. Chilemba's slithery defense frustrated Bellew. Isaac's body movement was so proficient he often looked like a contortionist rather than a boxer while avoiding oncoming punches. His head movement was expert and even when Bellew was able to find Chilemba, Isaac usually had a glove waiting to block.

Chilemba's problem was once again a low punch output. He threw more early in the rematch, but he still allowed Bellew to bully him. Bellew constantly came forward during the first six rounds of the fight, and though he rarely landed, his aggression appeared to be enough to convince the judges. The man from England controlled the center of the ring and jabbed more in the early rounds than he did in the first fight. Chilemba continuously landed subtle counters, but there is no denying that Bellew's punches were harder than Isaac's.

Bellew's left eye began to swell in the third round due to a punch and he blinked in distress throughout the rest of the bout. Both men wrestled and held more than in their match eight weeks ago and both strayed from the rules on occasion. Bellew landed a left uppercut to the groin and followed it with an overhand right in the third round, probably his best combination of the fight. Chilemba spent most of the fifth smacking the back of Bellew's head.

As in the first fight, Chilemba dominated the seventh round. He landed lead rights, left hooks, and jabs. He finally stayed in the pocket. The seventh was the first round Chilemba didn't allow himself to be backed up to the ropes.

By the tenth round, Bellew was tired. His mouth was open during the eleventh and he missed the target wildly. Meanwhile, Chilemba was fresh and slyly moved in front of Bellew after touching him. Isaac repeatedly landed a weird windmill-like combination that featured an overhand jab- if such a thing exists- followed immediately by an overhand right. The left was meant to distract the opponent long enough to leave him open for the right. In those final three rounds, Bellew still often came forward, but Chilemba usually had a jab waiting for him.

Bellew couldn't hit Chilemba early and Chilemba couldn't miss Bellew late. Yet, the judges all saw the bout for Bellew. One judge scored the bout for the local man 117-112 and the other two had it 116-112.

The seventh, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth were all clearly for Chilemba, but the other eight rounds were close. With a dearth of clean effective punching, it really came down to whether an observer favored Bellew's ring generalship or Chilemba's defense.

Scott Christ of Bad Left Hook scored the fight for Chilemba 116-112 and Adam Abramowitz of Saturday Night Boxing had Chilemba up by a couple of points. Jim Watt of Sky Sports had Bellew winning 116-113 and Dan Rafael of ESPN thought the judges' scores accurately reflected the fight. The Jewish Boxing Blog saw Chilemba winning 115-113, seven rounds to five.

The Sky Sports punch stats said that Bellew had landed about twice as many as had Chilemba, which leads one to believe that a couple of Everton soccer players were manning the punch count keys.

Chilemba's record falls to 20-2-2 with 9 KOs; Bellew's is now 20-1-1 with 12 KOs. After the result was announced, Isaac and Tony hugged. Discussing how hard he had trained for the rematch, Bellew told the audience, "I've hated boxing these last eight weeks." He is line to face the winner of Chad Dawson-Adonis Stevenson.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Duer and Perez Battle to Draw

Carolina Duer and Sabrina Maribel Perez fought to a split draw at the Instituto San Isidro in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was a rough fight that featured a ton of clinching and several headbutts between the two world champions. Duer holds a super flyweight belt and Perez holds a bantamweight strap. This one was for a different vacant bantamweight belt.

Perez, wearing a white top with silvery trunks, started the fight effectively. Her overhand right had far more power than any punch Duer could throw. In the first, Perez dominated by coming forward and looping the right. Duer, who wore a yellow top and white trunks, changed tactics in the second and relied on her customary bull charge which involves her literally running at her opponent as Carolina chucks punches at her. But Perez's looping rights carried the first three rounds for the younger women.

Duer got back into the fight for two reasons. She focused on Perez's body with the left and Perez seemingly fell in love with her own right and began loading up on that punch in search of a knockout, to the detriment of her offense.

Showing she can vary her attack, Duer fought southpaw for a few seconds at a time throughout the contest. She boxed some and brawled other times. While lefts initiated her comeback during the middle rounds, her right hand began finding a home on Perez's face by the late rounds. Several times Duer lowered her left shoulder, stuck her right hand out, stepped down and pivoted off her left foot before throwing the right accurately.

Perez became frustrated after the first three rounds. She showed this when she hit on the break in the fourth round, constantly held throughout the seventh, and intentionally headbutted Duer in the tenth after receiving a clean combination to the head. That final infraction earned Perez a one point deduction from referee Hernan Guajardo.

The story of the bout was Perez's power, which blacked Duer's right eye, and Duer's sustained activity. One judge saw Duer winning 95-93, another scored it for Perez 96-92, and the third had it even at 94. All three scores were curious since there were no knockdowns and it seemed as if only one point was deducted by the referee.

Duer's record is now 14-3-1 with 5 KOs and Perez is 10-0-1 with 2 KOs. This is the first time Perez has failed to win a bout in her eleven-fight career. Duer had a twelve-fight win streak going before the draw.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Sweet Science Commits Plagiarism

The Sweet Science is a well-respected boxing site with quality writers and editors. Unfortunately, the site has committed plagiarism by claiming an article written by The Jewish Boxing Blog as their own.

The Jewish Boxing Blog published an article on Thursday, May 9 called "Salita Doesn't Want to Retire, Hopes to Face Bracero." That same day, The Sweet Science posted the exact same piece with the title "Salita Lobbying Hard For Bracero Fight" and labelled it as a press release. Since they are exactly the same, both posts contain the phrase: "The former world title challenger recently clarified his comments, telling The Jewish Boxing Blog..." which should leave no doubt as to which entity authored the piece.

It also must be noted that The Sweet Science posts their byline on top of every press release on the site, a practice they should stop immediately

Erroneously labeling the article as a press release was just a misunderstanding. In addition, The JBB did not send the piece to The Sweet Science; it must have been sent by a third party. The real issue came when The Sweet Science did not address the issue.

As soon as I, the proprietor of The Jewish Boxing Blog, became aware of the situation on Thursday, May 16, I sent an email to The Sweet Science explaining the misunderstanding and asking that The Sweet Science to change the byline from The Sweet Science to The Jewish Boxing Blog and asking if they would be so kind as to include a link to The Jewish Boxing Blog.

The Sweet Science did not respond.

I sent another email to The Sweet Science explaining the situation on Monday, May 20. The Sweet Science did not respond.

I tweeted The Sweet Science and its Editor-in-Chief, Michael Woods, on Tuesday, May 21, alerting both accounts about the issue with the article and advising them to refer to the emails I had sent. There was no response.

As a last resort, and after much consideration, The Jewish Boxing Blog has decided to go public with the allegation of plagiarism against The Sweet Science. The Sweet Science is a great boxing site with many respected people working at it, but they have committed one of the most egregious sins in journalism and have arrogantly ignored The Jewish Boxing Blog's concerns.

June 22, 2013
The editor of The Sweet Science emailed The Jewish Boxing Blog and apologized for the misunderstanding. The article has been taken down.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Chilemba-Bellew II Preview

The first fight on March 30 between light heavyweight contenders Isaac Chilemba and Tony Bellew ended in a disputed and unsatisfying draw. The two men will battle once again on May 25, this time at the O2 Arena in London, England.

In the first fight, Bellew (19-1-1, 12 KOs) began aggressively, but he wasn't able to touch Chilemba (20-1-2, 9 KOs) because of Isaac's slippery defense. Chilemba got off to a slow start offensively and didn't begin to fire with any regularity until the seventh round. Isaac admitted afterwards that he caught the flu two days before the fight, which may have hampered his offense.

But Chilemba is a slow-starter even when healthy, a habit he will have to break for this bout. The man from Malawi does have a tendency to finish strong, which will help him in a scheduled twelve round affair. The key for Chilemba in the rematch will be to keep his punch output up throughout the bout. He was at his best when coming forward and, once Bellew developed respect for Isaac's power in second half of their first fight, Tony was hesitant to unleash his punches.

Bellew will need to jab early and often, a punch he surprisingly failed to use in their first match. Chilemba is too cagey on defense, so Bellew will need to aim that jab at his opponent's chest to slow him down. The first fight showed that Bellew won't be successful if he tries to rough up Chilemba or tries to load up for a big shot. By jabbing to the chest and cutting off the ring, Bellew will hope to keep Chilemba stationary enough to land his more powerful right hand.

At today's press conference, Chilemba was gracious, "I thank Tony for taking the rematch, being strong about it." He added, "I believe I won the fight last time. I'm not here to defeat Tony, I'm here to defeat my own performance I put up last time."

Bellew said he was "looking forward" to the rematch. Yesterday, he told Sky Sports, "To make a great fight happen it takes two to tangle and it takes two guys who really want to make a fight. I am willing to play my part in it. It is whether he is willing to play his part. The real difference on the night is my output and this time I’m not going to stop after seven." The implication is that Bellew would prefer a brawl and was frustrated by Chilemba's boxing the first time around.

Since the first fight, both boxers' stock has fallen a smidgen. The Transnational Boxing Rankings has Chilemba as the tenth best man in the division while Bellew is just out of the top ten (Chilemba was ninth and Bellew tenth before their first fight). But The Ring has Chilemba rated at number seven and Bellew at eight (Chilemba was seventh and Bellew ninth before their first fight).

The winner will still earn a title shot against the recognized light heavyweight world champion. Chad Dawson, the champion, is scheduled to face hard-punching Adonis Stevenson on June 8.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Look Back: Artie Levine

In an effort to link the past with the present, The Jewish Boxing Blog will offer monthly a short biography of notable former Jewish boxers.

Artie Levine, an extremely hard puncher, engaged in over 70 fights during his career, but, above all else, he is remembered for one second of action in the ring. In that one second, he knocked down Sugar Ray Robinson with a left hook.

Born on January 26, 1925, Arthur L. LeVien grew up in Brooklyn, New York the youngest of seven children. His father was Jewish, but his mother wasn't. In 1946, Artie met a Jewish woman named Mimi at a social club in Brooklyn and a fell in love. Mimi and her family were concerned that Artie's mother wasn't Jewish. So he went to a mikvah and was circumcised. Artie told Allen Bodner about the experience:

"I had my pecker, I couldn't use it for a month. I had gotten married a couple of days later. I was incapacitated; it was terrible. I had about half an inch cut."

Artie injured himself playing football when he was 13 years old. His doctor recommended that he work out his leg in a local gym, where Artie cultivated a love of boxing. He entered professional boxing as a 16-year old in 1941 and used the surname Levine. He attempted to keep his new profession secret from his parents as long as possible. While he described his parents' economic status as "quite comfortable"- a rare condition for a boxer's family- he admitted that he became a boxer to earn money. But Levine later regretted the decision, saying, "I should have stayed in school is what I should have done. Stayed in school, gone to college, which I could have done."

Levine showed his ability to swat from the get-go. He stopped his opponent inside of two rounds in five of his first seven bouts, although he wasn't exactly facing world-beaters. He suffered only one defeat in his first 26 fights; all before the age of 18. Artie's trainer was Charley Goldman, who later trained Rocky Marciano. Levine fought mostly in New Jersey and near Goldman's Massachusetts base because Artie's home state didn't license boxers until they turned 18.

Levine described himself as possessing "two left feet." But his left hook was legendary. Truth be told, Levine had power in either hand. An attractive man, his long straight nose belied the fact that his defense wasn't impenetrable. He stood 5'9" and began his career at 140 pounds, eventually making his way up to middleweight.

In 1943, Levine joined the marines and fought only one bout from July 1943 until May 1944. Artie adopted the nickname "The Fighting Marine," which matched perfectly with the rhythm of his name and the controlled  ferociousness with which he fought. He left the service in 1945.

Artie faced increasingly better opposition before taking on Jimmy Doyle on March 11, 1946. Doyle, who Levine called a great fighter, managed to reach Levine's face often during the first eight rounds, but in the ninth, Levine knocked Doyle down three times and gave him a concussion.

Robert Sacci wrote that referee Jackie Davis "should have stopped it, but he was too busy tallying up points, judging the fight." Doyle died a day after facing Sugar Ray Robinson in 1949 and, according to Sacci, the Levine fight may have softened him up. Levine told Bodner, "I knocked him out in the ninth, and he nearly died in the ring on me... It destroyed me in boxing. I lost my killer instinct after that."

Eight months and eight fights later, Levine faced Sugar Ray Robinson, widely recognized as the greatest boxer who ever lived. Artie entered Cleveland's Arena as a 4-1 underdog on November 6, 1946 with the great Ray Arcel in his corner. In the fateful fourth, Levine landed a right cross that threw Robinson into his own corner. Levine wailed away but couldn't touch Robinson until he opened up with a left hook that crashed down on the point of Robinson's chin.

Robinson was down and virtually out. Referee Jackie Davis, the same man who failed to stop Artie's bout with Doyle on time, marched Levine over to a neutral corner. Davis sauntered back to Sugar and incorrectly started his count at one. Robinson was in such bad condition that he didn't rise until the count of nine.

Twenty seconds had passed from the moment Robinson had slumped to the canvas and the moment he rose. Thomas Hauser wrote that it was "a quintessential 'long count'." Robinson later noted that Levine's left hook was the hardest he had even been hit.

Robinson wrote of Levine's power in his autobiography that after his trainer told him, "The eighth round is next, Robinson." Ray retorted, "The eighth? I thought it was the fourth." Robinson added, "That's how Artie Levine could scramble your brains." Robinson wrote that Levine had landed his lethal left hook in the fifth, but, as mentioned, the blow came in the fourth, yet another way Levine could scramble your brains.

Robinson was tagged and staggered with a left hook again in the ninth round. In the tenth, Sugar hit Artie with a left hook to the body. Levine retreated the ropes where Robinson rained punches on him. Levine finally fell back and sat on the bottom rope where the referee counted him out in ten seconds.

Two fights later, Levine took on Herbie Kronowitz at Madison Square Garden. Kronowitz boxed well early, but a right smashed into Kronowitz's chin in the fourth round. From that point on, Kronowitz was more careful. Levine won a unanimous decision with three scores of 6-3-1, although Herbie thought he deserved the victory.

From that point, Levine only went 5-5 in what would be his last ten career fights. His last bout took place in 1949. Artie ended with a record of 52-15-5 with 36 KOs. After his career, Levine, who made good money inside the ring, owned a meat business and later sold cars. He was also a boxing judge in the 1980s and was ringside as late as 2004. After his first wife died, he married a non-Jewish woman, which was a source of tension between Artie and his children. As Bodner writes, "So Artie Levine, the non-Jew who married a Jew, became the Jew who married a non-Jew."

Artie died on January 13, 2012.

Bodner, Allen. When Boxing was a Jewish Sport. 1997.
"Brooklyn Boxer Floors Robinson for Nine Count." Toledo Blade. November 7, 1946.
Hauser, Thomas. "Sugar Ray Revisited." SecondsOut.com.
Robinson, Sugar Ray. Sugar Ray. 1969, 1970.
Royal, Cliff. "The Club-House." Times Daily. December 8, 1945.
Sacci, Robert. Friday's Heroes: Willie Pep Remembers. 2008.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Roman Greenberg Won't Be Back in the Ring

The boxing career of former heavyweight contender Roman Greenberg is over, according to a knowledgeable source. For years, fans held out hope that Greenberg, who turns 31 this week, would continue fighting after his lone career loss, but that possibility has now ended.

Greenberg was born in Moldova and grew up in Tel Aviv. After turning pro in 2001, he won his first 27 bouts. In his first 14 fights, Roman defeated only one man with a winning record, but his next 13 wins were all against opponents with marks over .500.

On August 29, 2008, Greenberg faced the toughest test of his career. Cedric Boswell sported a 27-1 record, but was 39 years old when he entered the ring against Greenberg at Center Stage in Atlanta, Georgia. After a slow first round, Boswell's faster hands began to touch Greenberg in the second. An overhand right threw Greenberg back to the ropes. Boswell then probed Roman's lax guard until he landed two looping rights that dramatically wobbled the Jewish fighter. Referee Bill Clancy quickly stepped in to wave off the fight despite Greenberg's protests. Within a flash, Roman's air of invincibility had vanished.

According to the knowledgeable source, Greenberg hasn't rediscovered the will to return to the ring since. Roman resisted every effort his former manager, Robert Waterman, made to coax him back into the sport. Greenberg's heart simply wasn't in it. In 2012, Waterman told Barry Toberman of The Jewish Chronicle, "Roman trained hard, but the problem was getting him to training."

Greenberg was one of three men- along with Dmitiry Salita and Yuri Foreman- who were responsible for the recent resurgence of Jewish boxing in the twenty-first century. Since The Jewish Boxing Blog began in 2010, no fighter has stoked the hopes of Jewish boxing fans more than Greenberg. Countless readers have written emails to The JBB hoping for some hint of his return. Those emails have tapered off as the years have passed.

Greenberg currently works as a bouncer for a Tel Aviv nightclub.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Salita Doesn't Want to Retire, Hopes to Face Bracero

Last month, Dmitriy Salita was quoted in Haaertz as saying, "Physically, I feel great, but the business and inconsistency of the sport has me seriously thinking about doing something else." The former world title challenger recently clarified his comments, telling The Jewish Boxing Blog, "I do not want to retire from the ring. However, I have a family and that is my first focus. Boxing is my job!"

Salita has made a yeoman's effort to step up the competition in recent years, but it's been all for naught. Former world champion Mike Anchondo backed out of a fight with Salita twice, once in December of 2010 and again the following spring. Salita signed a contract to face Ismael El-Massoudi sometime late in 2011 or early in 2012, but El Massoudi pulled out. Next, Salita called out beltholder Paulie Malignaggi. Malignaggi said he'd love to fight Dmitiry, but then went in another direction.

Most recently, Salita was scheduled to take on Hector Camacho Jr. The fight was initially postponed due to an injury incurred by one of the main event fighters and then was bizarrely cancelled. Salita explained that, after the fight was inexplicably shelved by Golden Boy Promotions, "Post-cancellation we tried to do the Camacho fight ourselves, but he did not want to take it."

Salita added, "We sold loads of tickets for the Camacho fight that we had to return post-cancellation. I did get a lot of frustrated long time fans that did not understand why my fight got cancelled. I hope that it does not damage my relationship with my fans and supporters."

Dmitriy has now turned his sights to another Brooklynite, Gabriel Bracero (22-1, 4 KOs). Salita hopes the fight will be televised by Showtime and will take place on June 22 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. For his part, Bracero announced on Twitter, "I love the idea."

Salita concluded, "At this level of my career, I need the network and promoter to want to make these step up fights... My friends in the boxing world tell me that logically it does not make sense that I do not get good opportunities, especially in New York City, the world's biggest Jewish metropolis. My record and fan support should make things easy, but they are very hard. I honestly feel that I have been getting second class treatment. It's very frustrating as you can imagine."

Salita vs. Bracero would be an interesting fight with a lot of local appeal, although it might be relegated to Showtime Extreme, unfortunately. The winner should vault himself into contention to fight another name opponent at welterweight, possibly on the main Showtime channel. Hopefully, the fight gets made; both men deserve it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Brooks Suffers Injury

Michael "Lefty" Brooks suffered an injury in training and has pulled out of his scheduled May 18 clash with Chazz McDowell. Brooks hopes he will be back in action by May.

Brooks wrote to McDowell on Facebook, "Chazz, I hope they get you someone else and you win. I would like to go through with this fight on a later date."

The 9-0-1 fighter later wrote a note of inspiration, "Back to the training, the focus never left. Bumps in the road get passed by moving forward or paving them flat! Everything happens for a reason and we control destiny, so let's get it."

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Brooks to Fight on May 18

Michael "Lefty" Brooks is slated to take on Chazz "Magnificent" McDowell at the Mid-Hundson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York on May 18. The all-New York affair will take place at lightweight.

This fight will likely go the eight round distance. Combined, both men have a total of three knockouts in a 19 fights between them and neither man has even been stopped. Brooks is the naturally bigger man as he fought over the lightweight limit in each of his first seven fights while McDowell has never weighed as much as 135 pounds. McDowell, however, has fought as many as eight rounds twice while Brooks has done so only once.

Brooks (9-0-1, two KOs) is a proficient body puncher who has added more wrinkles to his game in recent fights. Against Bryan Acaba two fights ago, Lefty adjusted his combinations on the fly in winning a majority decision. In his last bout, Brooks fought to a technical draw in Mexico in March. This will be Michael's fourth opponent with a winning record.

McDowell (6-3, one KO) won his first five fights, but has lost three of his last four. In his six wins, his opponents had a combined win total of two heading into the fight. Their combined record is 2-14-1 at the time they faced McDowell.

Chazz is also a singer. This year, he released a song called "She's Wet," which isn't exactly about a woman caught in the rain without an umbrella. In the song, his voice is mercifully distorted by an auto-tuner as it squeaks over a pseudo-pornographic video. Thankfully, his jab is better than his music.

In his last fight, McDowell used that jab effectively and boxed on the perimeter of the ring against Chip Perez, but was susceptible to Perez's overhand right. Brooks is a lefty, so the overhand right won't come into play on May 18, but McDowell's lack of a right hand will. The straight right is usually an orthodox fighter's best punch against a southpaw and McDowell didn't show an effective one against Perez.

Perez was awarded a majority decision over McDowell, who is from Yonkers in New York, though the fight probably should have been ruled a draw. Chazz was far busier and landed more often during the first four rounds, but faded during the second half of the fight.

Brooks and McDowell have a common opponent. Brooks defeated Jamell Tyson in 2011 by unanimous decision thanks to overhand lefts and combinations to the body. Tyson decisioned McDowell in 2012. McDowell didn't jab against his southpaw opponent, which was a problem because his right was like a Carolina hot dog, no mustard on it. Tyson feigned a jab and landed a straight left to the chin knocking down McDowell at the end of the first round. The same move wobbled Chazz in the fourth. Another straight left sent McDowell into the ropes in the fifth, which was deemed a knockdown.

Discussing Brooks, McDowell told The Jewish Boxing Blog, "[He's a] good fighter. He comes forward and is probably going to try to cut me off." Brooks wrote on Facebook, "[I'm] feeling good and can't wait to get back in the ring."