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Friday, December 2, 2022

David Alaverdian Weighs In

David Alaverdian and Edgar Mendoza Hernandez weighed in ahead of their super flyweight+ bout tomorrow at Auditorio Ernesto Rufo in Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico. Alaverdian came in at 115.7 pounds and Mendoza was 115.3.

Alaverdian, a 29 year old from Israel, is 6-0-1 with 5 KOs. His lightest weight has been 110.5 pounds ( a bogus split decision draw three weeks ago in which David deserved to win) while his previous heaviest was 114.8 pounds. Alavardian told The Jewish Boxing Blog, he believes the scale was off. He said he was 115.3 pounds when he left home. After five hours and a trip to the bathroom, the scale claimed he somehow gained weight, which of course is impossible. Before stepping on the scale, officials noticed on the bout sheet Alaverdian was from Israel. With a raised eyebrow, one said, "Israel, hmm. Krav Maga?"

Mendoza is a 29 year old from Mexico City, Mexico with a record of 3-8 with one KO. His heaviest weight was for his last fight on November 11 when Mendoza came in at 118.5 pounds. His lightest weight was 110.8 pounds back in 2019.

BoxRec lists both Alaverdian and Mendoza as "suspended" because they fought on November 11 in separate bouts. Everyone from that card has the same label. Boxers are usually "suspended" for a period of time after a fight so that they don't fight too often for health and safety reasons. Typically BoxRec lists the commission in charge of issuing the suspension and either the expiration date of the suspension or that it is indefinite. BoxRec only has the word "suspended" on the pages of the boxers from the Acapulco card, which is unusual.

The health and safety of the fighters should be paramount, but suspensions should be based on what happens in the fight. Alaverdian was barely touched in his last bout. Mendoza was stopped, so his safety is a bigger issue. Fortunately, he wasn't knocked unconscious and didn't suffer a prolonged beating last month. His previous fight before that was in July, not unreasonably recent. The only other time Mendoza was stopped was in 2016. But the recent stoppage is concerning.

For a preview of this fight, check out "David Alaverdian Back in Action This Saturday."

Note: The idea of adding a "+" to a bout where the fighters are barely over the division's limit comes from the great Tim Boxeo.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

David Alaverdian Back in Action This Saturday

David Alaverdian is scheduled to fight on Saturday, December 3 against Edgar Mendoza Hernandez at Auditorio Ernesto Rufo in Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico. Both men fought on the same card on November 11 in Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico.

David Alaverdian (6-0-1, 5 KOs) is a 29 year old from Nahariya, Israel. On November 11, the judges called his fight with Angel Geovanny Meza Morales a split draw. It was a horrible decision meant to save the local kid's undefeated record. Alaverdian landed about as many punches as Meza threw. The judges seemed to discount David's jab completely. The Jewish Boxing Blog scored it 59-55 for Alaverdian.

Edgar Mendoza (3-8, 1 KO), nicknamed Torito, is a 29 year old from Mexico City, Mexico. Torito translates to "little bull," and it isn't an apt description of Mendoza. A tall super flyweight, Mendoza is best on the outside keeping his opponent at range.

Teddy Atlas and Emanuel Steward, both legendary trainers and tv analysts, used to say they preferred taller fighters. But taller fighters tend to have skinny legs and at times Mendoza has exhibited the grace of a newborn fawn while circling the perimeter of the ring. In his 2015 debut against Edgar Hernandez Villanueva, Mendoza traded too often with his shorter foe and lost a majority decision.

On November 11, Mendoza was beaten badly by Ernesto Garcia, an aggressive fighter who switches stances like Alaverdian, and cuts off the ring well. Torito showed heart and a willingness to trade while under fire, but he was officially knocked down three times in under two rounds of action. His corner mercifully stopped the contest.

This is the right opponent on the right timeline for Alaverdian after that frustrating draw. Mendoza, a tall guy who lets his hands go, of course has a puncher's chance, but he boasts of only one KO in eleven fights. He is tough however, only stopped twice.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

News and Notes

Shawn Sarembock, a 31 year old junior middleweight, had been tentatively scheduled to fight on December 16, but his bout has been pushed back to January although nothing is official yet. Check out his interview last month with The Jewish Boxing Blog.

Yuri Foreman worked with his old trainer Joe Grier this past week. Grier, who is retired, helped Foreman win the WBA junior middleweight world championship in 2009. Grier threw in the towel after Foreman tore his ACL in his first title defense against Miguel Cotto in Yankee Stadium. In so doing, Grier attempted to save his fighter by stopping the fight in the eighth round, but referee Arthur Mercante Jr. inexplicably rejected the towel and forced the fight to continue. Foreman, normally an agile boxer, was a sitting duck because of his compromised leg.

David Kaminsky, a 22 year old super middleweight, had surgery this week to repair a torn ACL and MCL. Despite the injuries, he attempted to fight on October 8th, but the California State Athletic Commission won't allow him to enter the ring until his injuries are surgically repaired. The absolute minimum timetable to rehabilitate after ACL surgery is six months, but a year is closer to the norm.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Frustratingly Unfair Decisions

There is an old anti-Semitic trope that asserts Jews run the world, and since boxing is part of the world, they run boxing, too. This line of thinking is particularly deleterious, because it casts suspicion on any individual Jew who achieves success. At one time, Jews were certainly overrepresented as boxing promoters, but overrepresentation, of course, does not equal control.

If, for some peculiar reason, we accept the anti-Semites' view that Jews control boxing, it certainly hasn't helped Jewish boxers. This year has seen several frustratingly bad decisions go against Jewish fighters.

The worst decision came in Poland this past March. Igor Lazarev dominated the local kid, Dominik Harwankowski. The Jewish Boxing Blog scored the bout 59-55 for Lazarev, but the local judges disagreed. Eugeniusz Tuszynski, Tomasz Chwoszcz, and Arek Malek scored the fight 59-55, 58-56, and 58-56 respectively for their fellow countryman. The JBB soon learned that Arek Malek had a significant conflict of interest considering he was Harwankowski's mentor.

On November 11, David Alaverdian showed off his skills against local prospect Angel Geovanny Meza Morales in Mexico. The JBB scored the fight 59-55 for Alaverdian. The judges' scores are a bit of a mystery, but one had it 59-55 one way, another scored it 56-58 the other way, and the third judge saw it 57-57 for a spit draw.

The most bizarre incident dates to Mor Oknin's fight on February 26 in Agua Prieta, Mexico. Oknin claims he defeated Jose Cariaga by fourth round TKO. BoxRec lists the result as a third round TKO victory for Cariaga. The JBB investigated and was told by an editor of BoxRec that the site has "lots of problems with wrong reports." BoxRec posts whatever result the local commission reports. This fall, Oknin told The JBB that an effort to overturn the result was ongoing.

There has been no evidence of anti-Semitism as a motivation for any of these bad decisions. They were almost certainly erroneous decisions made to favor the local fighter regardless of the background of the opponent. The pro game is so decentralized that local commissions can pretty much do whatever they want. 

Jewish boxers also suffered from bad decision in amateur boxing this year. During the European Amateur Championships in May, Alaverdian and Miroslav Kapuler were the victims of curious judging. In Alaverdian's fight, two judges inconceivably scored the third round for his opponent. Kapuler clearly controlled the second round of his bout, but two judges inexplicably scored the round for his opponent. Judge Johany Maden of France was the common denominator in both decisions, scoring against the Israelis regardless of their performance in the ring.

The IBA, which ran the European amateur champions, is so corrupt it has been barred from running the Olympic boxing tournament. That corruption is the likely culprit for those bad decisions.

For all the power a faceless group of Jews supposedly possesses, it sure hasn't helped actual Jewish boxers. Those boxers have been on the short end of some terrible decisions this year, not because of their religious persuasion, but because the amateur game is shrouded in corruption and the pro game is so decentralized that results are determined by the whims of individual commissions.

Monday, November 14, 2022

The Importance of Pad Work

*Pat-pat-pat-pat* Floyd Mayweather's Grant gloves land with a unique mixture of speed and grace on the carefully placed Everlast mitts of his uncle Roger. A generation of aspiring boxers watch as Floyd throws nine punches in less than two seconds on HBO's hit show 24/7.

Origins and Popularization
The origins of pad work are murky. All roads lead to an unsourced Wikipedia article, but there are some verifiable moments of significance. The martial arts legend and actor Bruce Lee designed a focus mitt that looked something like a baseball catcher's glove. Hall of Fame coach Emanuel Steward brought pad work into vogue by initially wearing boxing gloves backwards and catching his charge's punches on the padded backside of the gloves.

But Mayweather's extravagant combinations on 24/7, intricately coordinated with his uncle, popularized pad work. Nowadays, one can find countless social media videos mimicking Mayweather's moves.

Bruce Lee's focus mitts

Styles of Pad Work
Some older trainers disapprove of pad work. Former WBA junior middleweight world champion Yuri Foreman states, "Russian trainers told me, 'Don't embrace the pads,' when I was young." A native of the Soviet Union, Foreman immigrated to Israel before moving to Brooklyn. "It messes up distance. Your perception of distance is very important in boxing."

Adam Hadad, a coach based in Israel, explains why older trainers might be against the exercise. "They often see that Mayweather style and think it’s not real boxing, and they're right. But real pad work is highly valuable and a more modern form of training, so it makes sense that the old guard doesn’t like it."

Shawn Sarembock, an 8-0 fighter with 8 KOs, says, "We use zero hand pads, but not by choice." His dad and trainer, Neil, was a champion kickboxer whose career was cut short due to injury. "It's just me and my dad and I don't want to rip his arms off," Shawn says. "But if I did pad work, I wouldn't do it in the Mayweather style, because I don't fight like that."

Former pro boxer turned coach, Tony Milch says, "I did a lot of pad work with [coach] Ian Burbedge when I was a pro." But he notes, "We didn't do speed pads- Mayweather style- ever." 

"The problem with modern pad work stems from Mayweather’s pad work during open workouts before fights," explains Coach Hadad, who counts Israeli amateur standouts David Bazov and Tomer Benny among his fighters "In front of the cameras Floyd and his uncle did the Mayweather style of pad work: continuous, light combinations with lots of flashy movements. What the Mayweathers did in front of the cameras was just for show."

According to Hadad, a coach- the late James Ricky Coward, known as Coach Rick- started a program called Mittology which taught coaches to hold the pads like Roger Mayweather to produce flashy combinations. Hadad says the videos portrayed this style "as if it were real work rather than fancy stuff for the cameras."

"This style, being visually appealing, proliferated in boxing training because it’s highly Instagramable," Hadad concludes.
Floyd Mayweather works the pads with his uncle Roger

David Alaverdian (6-0-1, 5 KOs), who works with Floyd Mayweather Sr., notes that the fancy Mayweather style of pad work has it's place but can't be the only method. "You gotta do the old school and new pad work style together. You can't just do the new one.

"The biggest problem with the new one is they don't use a lot of footwork," Alaverdian says. "They stand in place, and it's a lot of combinations. So if your opponent is just in front of you, you're going to unload some crazy nice-looking combinations. But what happens when somebody has really good footwork running around the ring? You can't do nothing. You can't even land your jab on this guy."

Hadad agrees that there is something to the Mayweather style, "There is some value to it in terms of building instincts and flow." Specifically about Floyd and his uncle, he expounds, "What most people didn’t contextualize was that that pad work was built over two decades. The original combinations and sequences were sharp and explosive."

The Benefits of Pad Work
Pad work can be used for a variety of reasons. Junior middleweight Tony Milch used pads when he was an active boxer "for sharpness and angles as I was a tall boxer for the weight."

Yuri Foreman says, "I like doing the pads now because it challenges my stamina."

"I find that with beginners, working with the pads allows me to shape their punches and stance faster," Coach Adam Hadad explains. "With advanced fighters, it’s a great tool for tuning counter punches, reactions, and timing. It allows me to push the fighters to have a higher punch rate, more accurate punches, and better overall flow, especially for counter punching."

"That's an advantage that I have over a lot of boxers here in the States," David Alaverdian says of using the old school method of pad work. "Some coaches won't do the basic old school 1-2, jab, jab, jab 1-2 on the pads. They would just do these combination drills all the time. [In a fight against their boxers] I just started running around the ring and using a lot of footwork, and they just can't do anything."

Emanuel Steward works the pads with Thomas Hearns

Alaverdian says both old and new styles of pad work are useful together. "You gotta do both. Because there's a time your opponent's going to move and a time when your opponent's going to stand and trade with you."

Final Thoughts

"As a retired boxer and coach I believe pad work, of course, has its place," says Milch, "but it's not the most important. Overall you do need pad work to keep sharp, but it's not needed as much as boxers or people think nowadays."

"I would do pad work like Abel Sanchez and Triple G [Gennady Golovkin]," says Shawn Sarembock, who, like Milch, believes shadowboxing and sparring are more useful. "Like Robert Garcia does or like Manny Robles."  Sanchez, Garcia, and Robles are all top-level coaches who move around and call for punches that more closely simulate a fight than does the newer style of pad work. 

"It’s hard to maintain focus and motivation with bag work and shadowboxing," Hadad notes. "Pad work is highly engaging and responsive, so it makes training more fun and dynamic."

Though pad work can be quite useful for an expert coach like Hadad, Milch rightly observes, "A lot of people can look good on pads but cannot fight at all."

The opinions of boxers and coaches on pad work are quite nuanced . Those interviewed agree in some areas on the subject and disagree in others. The Mayweather style of pad work may or may not have some value but all agree it shouldn't be a fighter's primary training method. Some see more value in using the pads than others. "Everyone's different," Yuri Foreman puts it aptly. "There's not one approach."

Friday, November 11, 2022

David Alaverdian Deserved to Win, Fight Called Split Draw

Flyweights David Alaverdian and Angel Geovanny Meza Morales fought to a split draw tonight at GNP Segura Arena in humid Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico. Alaverdian, a 29 year old from Israel, dominated the six-round fight virtually from start to finish and deserved to win by a wide margin.

From the opening bell, Alaverdian controlled center ring with his jab and feints from the orthodox stance. At first he threw a range-finding jab, but by the end of the round that jab was landing effectively. Meza, a 22 year old from Mexico, wasn't able to counter the entire fight and kept his hands home most of the way. When Meza did throw, David used the shoulder roll defense to slip the shots.

In the second round, Alaverdian landed a beautiful lead left as a southpaw, avoided Meza's right with a quick step back, and then landed an eye-catching counter left to punctuate the fight's prettiest combination. Alaverdian attacked the body and landed a left uppercut as a righty to easily take the round.

David exuded confidence in the ring by the third round. In that round and the next, he landed left uppercuts from the outside and lead lefts as a southpaw. Both shots are dangerous to throw because they leave one open for a counter. By consistently shooting those punches, Alaverdian showed no concern for Meza's hand speed or counters. In the fourth, the Mexican prospect landed a right while Alaverdian was against the ropes, but the Israeli had won every round to that point.

Meza came out with fire in the fifth and backed Alaverdian to the ropes where he began launching bombs. Body shots and a right uppercut landed. It seemed as if Alaverdian was getting a bit too cute feeling he had the fight in hand. While he continued to jab and land left hooks to the body periodically throughout the round, Meza won it. He had David's back to the ropes multiple times and showed a bigger commitment to the body than before.

Alaverdian won the sixth and final round with his jab. When Meza connected with a shot to the midsection, Alaverdian landed several right back.

The judges scored the bout 59-55 one way, 58-56 the other, and 57-57 although it wasn't clear which score corresponded with which fighter. "I'm kind of bummed out it's a draw," David told The Jewish Boxing BlogThe JBB scored the fight 59-55 for Alaverdian. The only round that was close was the fifth, which The JBB scored for Meza.

"I'm frustrated. I felt like for every shot he landed, I landed five," Alaverdian said. Boxing's scoring system is subjective, but to put it frankly, Alaverdian was robbed of a win. Perhaps the judges favored the local fighter, which happens far too often in the sport, but incompetence in judging worldwide has reached epidemic proportions.

Alaverdian is now 6-0-1 with 5 KOs) while Angel Meza is very fortunate to maintain an undefeated record at 4-0-2 with 4 KOs.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

David Alaverdian and Angel Meza Make Weight

David Alaverdian and Angel Geovanny Meza Morales both weighed in under the flyweight limit ahead of their six-round clash tomorrow at GNP Segura Arena in Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico.

Alaverdian (6-0, 5 KOs), a 29 year old Israeli based in the U.S., came in at 110.5 pounds, the lightest of his pro career. His previous lightest weight was 112 while his heaviest has been 114.8, a very narrow range for a boxer and an indication of extreme discipline. Last month, Alaverdian told The Jewish Boxing Blog, "I can make light flyweight as well." On social media yesterday, he mentioned he had the last couple of pounds to drop.

Meza (4-0-1, 4 KOs) is a formidable 22 year old from Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. Nicknamed Rayito, he also came in at 110.5 pounds. The lightest he's weighed was 110 pounds back in 2020. In his debut he came in at 121.8 pounds, by far the heaviest of his career. This will be Meza's third fight as a flyweight. He's had two as a super flyweight and one as a junior bantam.

During the weigh-in the MC announced that a boxer in a different fight was from Ukraine and another boxer from Romania. It turned out they were both from Armenia, and based on his reaction, Armenia is a country the MC had likely never heard of. During the stare-downs, the MC often pushed one of the fighters closer to the other, trying to generate some animosity. A different official moved Alaverdian and Meza closer during their stare-down, but the two were stoic and professional the entire time.

A coin was then flipped to choose corners. Alaverdian will receive his instructions in the red corner while Meza will fight out of the blue. The two then shook hands.

The event will be shown on Fite.tv. It can be viewed with a Fite + subscription, which is only $4.99 a month. Fite + is offering a seven day trial period, so the event can be viewed for free as long as the subscription is canceled before the trial period ends. Fite.TV can be watched on a smart tv, mobile device, or computer. Video quality can vary from event to event, but on the whole Fite.TV is quite reputable.

The JBB's preview of Alaverdian-Meza is here. Video of the weigh-in can be viewed here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Updates on Alaverdian, Bazov, and Cohen

David Alaverdian is scheduled to face Angel Geovanny Meza Morales at the WBC annual convention in Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico this Friday. Here is The Jewish Boxing Blog's preview of the fight. The card is slated to be shown on Fite TV. It's a six-round flyweight affair. Former two-division world champion Carolina Duer is at the convention.

David Bazov had been scheduled to make his pro debut on November 12 in Kosovo. He is now off the card. Bazov fought in an exhibition match just a couple of weeks ago.

Stefi Cohen mentioned that December 10 was a possible date for her return to the ring, but she is now scheduled to fight on January 27, 2023. The fight is penciled in for Quiet Canyon Country Club in Montebello, California, USA. It's a four-rounder in the super bantamweight division against an opponent to be announced at a later date. The event is to be shown on UFC Fight Pass.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Dr. Stefi Cohen May Fight in December

 Dr. Stefi Cohen was recently asked on social media about her next fight. She responded by saying, "December 10ish." The fight is also pegged to take place in the U.S. state of California although nothing is official.

Cohen had been scheduled to fight Ontario, California on October 22, but her opponent backed out just before the weigh-in. Stefi sports a record of 2-1-1 with one KO during her boxing career. Cohen, as is the case with most boxers, has had quite a few fights cancelled during her career, which began in June of last year.

A 30 year old native of Venezuela, she is currently based in Miami, Florida. Stefi is a world record-holding powerlifter, entrepreneur, and social media star. She has also been open about her struggles with anxiety. She admitted she experiences a fear of failure, fear of disappointing others and herself, and a fear of looking bad. Though her record contains blemishes, Stefi has acclimated herself to the ring quite well for someone who began boxing just two years ago.

"I never imagined I'd be doing any of this at 30 years old," Cohen recently wrote, "At this rate I won't be surprised if I become like... a 52 year old carpenter living in Arkansas with three kids that aren't even mine."

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Back from the Brink: Interview with Shawn Sarembock

Shawn Sarembock, now 8-0 with 8 KOs, found himself on a potentially disastrous path as a teenager. "I was rebellious, a trouble maker," he told The Jewish Boxing Blog in a phone interview. His teen years were filled with "drugs, drinking, and girls."

At the age of 19, Shawn had an epiphany while staying in a house filled with drug addicts. "What am I doing?" he said to himself. "I called my dad to pick me up, and we started training again the next day." Shawn immediately stopped using drugs.

Born on January 11, 1991 in California to South African parents, Shawn spent two years living with his mother in Tel Aviv, Israel after his parents divorced. He then moved back to the United States to live with his dad, Neil. A champion kickboxer whose dreams were derailed after suffering a freak injury in sparring, Neil transitioned to training boxers and studied under the tutelage of Hall of Famers Jesse Reid and Jackie McCoy at the Westminster Boxing Club in California.

When Shawn was four years old, Neil began teaching his son the sweet science with hand pads. The training continued until Shawn's life spiraled out of control. When he began training again as a 19 year old, "Boxing was like riding a bike," Shawn remembers. "It all came back to me." But it wasn't all easy.

Shawn started living in his father's gym in a Mexican section of Phoenix, Arizona. He slept on a mattress on the floor in the gym's office. He showered at a local gym and washed his clothes in a neighborhood laundromat where Spanish was the primary spoken language. "It's a cliché about boxers: without boxing we'd be either dead or in jail. But for me, it's true," Shawn explains.

He spent two years focusing on the fundamentals with his dad. "It took time to get my coordination back," he admits. He had his first amateur fight in 2012. Only eleven more would follow.

"I have a patient style. I like to take time to study my opponents. I felt very rushed in the amateurs," Shawn reveals. Amateur matches are three rounds and the scoring system rewards activity, not the best situation for a deliberate boxer-puncher.

Turning pro in 2019, Shawn has shown tremendous poise in the ring as a prizefighter. When opponents such as Adrian Zendejas, who Shawn fought last year, come rushing in throwing bombs, Sarembock exudes calm under pressure. "I have to be prepared for anything," Shawn says. "In training, I'm conscious of the fundamentals- my hand-placement, my footwork- until it becomes second nature. So when the lights come on, I'm ready for anything."

Shadowboxing contributes immensely to Shawn's preparation for a fight. He envisions his opponent while working on his technique. He notes the old trainer's maxim, "A trainer can tell how good a guy can be after watching him shadowbox for five seconds." It's his favorite way to prepare for a fight and believes it's the most helpful.

Shawn's next fight is tentatively scheduled for December 16 in Tijuana, Mexico. As with his eight other pro bouts, Shawn will likely go into this one without seeing film on his opponent. "When the first bell goes, I try to figure them out. I take it as it comes. I feint to see their reaction, and I'm making mental notes."

Because he has faced hardships and nearly lost it all, nothing in the ring can bother him. Undefeated, Shawn Sarembock is ready for anything.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

David Alaverdian to Fight on November 11

Super flyweight David Alaverdian is scheduled to fight on November 11 in Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico at the WBC's annual convention. A name being mentioned as a possible opponent is undefeated prospect Angel Geovanny Meza Morales.

A 29 year old native of Netanya, Israel, Alaverdian (6-0, 5 KOs) last fought professionally in April. He was supposed to fight on October 8 in Jackson, Mississippi, USA, but his opponent Artrimus Sartor came in drastically overweight and wouldn't accept a rehydration clause.

Based in Las Vegas, Nevada in the U.S., Alaverdian will fight in Mexico for the sixth time. "It's nice, and actually the support I get there for being an Israeli is quite surprising," David told The Jewish Boxing Blog in an Instagram Live interview earlier this month. "Mexican people are great fight fans, great boxing fans. Not once have I had a bad experience there."

Angel Meza, nicknamed Rayito, is a 22 year old from Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. He boasts a record of 4-0-1 with 4 KOs and deserved to win the lone draw. Meza had his first two fights against nondescript opposition just before covid-19 turned into a pandemic. He won his third fight in November of 2020. After a 14-month layoff, Rayito stopped Jesus Alberto Rojas, who was 2-0 at the time, in the fourth round this past February.

Meza's last fight occurred on August 27 against José "Durán" Pérez in Tijuana. He began tentatively against Pérez, who came in with a solid 11-3 record. Meza mostly looked to land hard counters during the first half of the six-rounder. By the third, though still reluctant to lead, Meza pressed forward. No longer wary of Pérez's punches, Meza let his hands go in the second half of the fight and battered his more experienced foe. Only one judge saw it for Meza though; the other two scored it a draw.

Against Pérez, Meza aimed to either parry or time Pérez's punches. Strictly a counterpuncher during the first half, he loaded up on his shots in the second part of the fight, rarely throwing combinations until he was in complete control. Meza showed a potentially devastating- if inaccurate- left hook to the head and an equally damaging and more accurate left hook to the body. But he rarely jabbed and didn't set up his offense.

There are a few ways to combat a counterpuncher. One is to throw combinations, something Alaverdian does regularly. Another is to get in and out fast, which David can do effectively. Changing angles can also negate counters. In a phone interview last month with The Jewish Boxing Blog, Alaverdian, who switches stances, said that while his strength as a righty is his power, his best attribute as a southpaw is his angles.

In his pro fights, Alaverdian has often kept his hands low. "If a person is fast, I keep my hands up," David told The JBB. Against the hard-punching Meza, that would be wise. While Meza has a lot of ability and talent, this bout could see him shell up if Alaverdian's speed becomes overwhelming.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Stefi Cohen Off Ontario, California Card

Stefi Cohen had been scheduled to fight tomorrow at the Lumcolor-Phoenix Center (formerly the California Education and Performance Arts Center) in Ontario, California, USA against Kedra Bradley, but her fight has been cancelled.

Cohen's fight was removed from BoxRec earlier in the day. The Jewish Boxing Blog contacted the promoter of the show, Red Boxing Promotions, but did not receive confirmation. Later in the day, the promotional company released photos of the "Weight In" as it called it on its social media pages, although no weights were provided. Cohen and Bradley were not pictured and did not weighed in. Cohen laer said that her opponent pulled out of the fight at the last minute.

Cancelled fights, particularly around the weigh-in, are unfortunately quite common in boxing. Cohen has endured her share of proposed bouts that have vanished into thin air. Some boxers have financial backing, but most have to pay out of their own pockets to train and and travel to their fights. Cancelled fights are frustrating for all involved, from the boxers to the fans.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Stefi Cohen to Face Kedra Bradley on Saturday

Dr. Stefi Cohen is scheduled to face Kedra Bradley at the Lumcolor-Phoenix Center (formerly the California Education and Performance Arts Center) in Ontario, California, USA on Saturday, October 22. Cohen was originally slated to face Paola Ortiz.

Cohen is 2-1-1 with one KO. She suffered her lone defeat in her last fight, a unanimous decision loss to Devany Cuevas Torres in July. Stefi is a world record-holding powerlifter, who began boxing a couple of years ago. The 30 year old has lost ten pounds over the last five weeks in order to make the bantamweight limit.

Kedra "Chico" Bradley (1-5) is a 26 year old from Danville, Virginia. She played Division II college basketball for Livingstone College from 2017-2019. At 5'6", she will have a significant height advantage over Cohen, who is about 5' tall. Bradley fights nothing like Ortiz, Cohen's original opponent.

Bradley has a good long quick jab that she often doubles up. Her best punch is a sneaky counter straight right. She has fast hands, but her punch technique frequently falls apart. Bradley telegraphs her punches by lowering her hands before throwing. She's athletic on her feet, but her balance isn't good.

On March 26, 2021- in her second pro fight- she faced Ashley Sciscente. Kedra landed that sneaky counter straight right to score a knockdown in the first. Bradley's upper-body movement was awkward but effective on defense. She often tried to exchange with Sciscente and found some success. Bradley was announced the winner by split decision, but Boxrec lists it as a split decision victory for Sciscente.

After losing her next two fights, including one to kickboxer Sarah Liegmann, Bradley and Sciscente fought a rematch. That bout took place on December 18 last year. Bradley jabbed as the shorter Sciscente charged forward. The result was announced as a majority decision victory for Sciscente although BoxRec lists it as a split decision win for her.

Bradley next fought six months later, taking on Mikiah Kreps this past May. Bradley was susceptible to Kreps's pounding left hooks and open to a body assault. Defensively, Kedra didn't move her upper-body like she did in the first Sciscente fight; instead, she clinched a lot. She was clearly in pain at the end of the fourth round, and the fight was stopped in the corner.

Cohen will want to apply pressure against Bradley, cut off the ring, and attack the body to set up the overhand right or left hook up top. Bradley has age, experience, height, and speed advantages. Cohen has the strength and technique advantages. Stefi should come out victorious as long as she doesn't get careless during exchanges or doesn't let Bradley control the fight on the outside with the jab.

This bout is scheduled for four rounds.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

David Bazov to Make Pro Debut on November 12

Southpaw light heavyweight David Bazov is scheduled to make his professional debut on November 12 at Palestra e sportit Bashkim Selishta in Gjilan, Kosovo. Bazov is a 19 year old from Israel.

Bazov participated in the 2021 European Youth Amateur Championships. He has sparred with pro prospect Mikhael Ostroumov. Bazov has also worked with Dan Mor, Tomer Ben Shalom, and his head coach for the past year Adam Hadad- all noted trainers based in Israel. David will be featured in one more fight before his pro debut. He's scheduled to take part in an amateur/exhibition card in Israel on October 25 promoted by former world champion Hagar Finer.

Ahmed Shtiwi, a popular undefeated Israeli welterweight from Nazareth, is also slated to fight on the card. No opponent has yet been announced for either man.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Chilemba KOs Kheri

Light heavyweight Isaac Chilemba knocked out Mbaruku Kheri in the second round of their fight at Carousel Casino in Hammanskraal, South Africa. The fight was stopped after just four minutes and 53 seconds.

“This was just a keep-busy fight, just getting back in the ring," Chilemba told Mphatso Malidadi. "From here will see what’s next,”

Chilemba is now 27-9-3 with 11 KOs. Kheri is now 18-12 with 15 KOs. He has been stopped eleven times including twice this month.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Isaac Chilemba and Opponent Make Weight

Both Isaac Chilemba and his opponent Mbaraku Kheri made the light heavyweight limit ahead of their fight tomorrow. They'll be battling for up to ten rounds at Carousel Casino in Hammanskraal, South Africa. This will be Chilemba's first fight in his adopted home country in eleven and half years.

Chilemba (26-9-3, 10 KOs) came in at 174.7 pounds. This is his heaviest weight in three fights after he improbably went down to super middleweight after spending a decade at light heavy. Chilemba's heaviest weight for a fight came in 2019 when he weighed 188.3 pounds for a fight, which was over eleven pounds heavier than his second highest weight. Isaac has only been over the light heavyweight limit four times in his career and two of those were by less than a pound.

Kheri (18-11, 15 KOs) came in at 172.3 pounds. BoxRec doesn't list Kheri's weight for many of his fights, but the smallest he's been listed as is 165.3 pounds in 2007. Kheri weighed in at 185 pounds when he fought Joey Vegas on October 1 in a cruiserweight bout. His heaviest listed weight is 188, which he was in 2011.

Chilemba is the heavy favorite against the dangerously overmatched Kheri. They have comparable records, but the quality of opposition is levels apart. Kheri has been stopped in ten of his eleven losses including in the October 1 fight.

A preview of the fight can be viewed here.

photo courtesy of 5th Element Promotions

Friday, October 14, 2022

Review of the Unexpected Danny Green

The Unexpected Danny Green: From Mississippi to Manhattan, Harlem to Hollywood... Boxing was Just the Beginning
By Paul R. Friedman

Danny Green, the main character of Paul R. Friedman's debut novel, grows up in segregated Mississippi, moves to New York to pursue a pro boxing career, and then to Los Angeles to become an actor. Intriguingly, Friedman has written a comprehensive biography of a fictional character.

Green's somewhat Pollyannaish life is occasionally interrupted by events such as incidental run-ins with the mob and getting trapped in a hurricane while on vacation. Because it's written like a biography, there's no real story arc. The pacing speeds up during bursts of action and slows down during intimate moments of relaxation, adding depth to the story and mimicking life. As a character, Danny Green is admirable if not relatable or altogether realistic. He's stoic and heroic. He writes moving essays for the New Yorker, never fights with his wife, and knocks out criminals.

Boxing fans will appreciate The Unexpected Danny Green although there are some anachronisms. Green turns pro in 1978 and is on a non-televised portion of a Showtime card. Showtime didn't begin to broadcast boxing until 1986. HBO and ESPN are also given significance far earlier than was the case. At some point, dates within the story become blurred, but the use of endswell in Green's corner during the Julio Ramirez fight may have come just before it was invented.

Novelists, of course, are allowed to manipulate the facts to fit their narrative, but there are a couple of inconsistencies within the book's own logic. Green was 16 years old in 1974 when he took up boxing, but in 1976, we learn "A few years earlier, he had started competing in the regional Golden Gloves tournaments." Green's entire boxing career is difficult to place. He's an Olympic alternate who begins his career in a six-rounder at Madison Square Garden. But no one in the sparse crowd has heard of him, and he has to travel to his opponents' hometowns for his next several fights. Without providing spoilers, the rest of his career is curious as well.

Nevertheless, there's a lot to like about the boxing portion of the story. Green trains at Gleason's and there is a discussion of the 1976 and 1984 U.S. Olympic boxing teams. But the true strength of the book is in the description of Danny and his wife's lavish vacation spots, and in his journey as an actor. You feel like you're soaking in the scenes with the couple whether they travel to St. Thomas or Italy. Green's progression as an actor is meticulously described, from his coaching to his meetings with his agents to his time on set. It's an entertaining guide to Hollywood from a true expert.

The Unexpected Danny Green features Jewish characters and boxing, but the two rarely meet. It's a fun read about a likeable main character written in a conversational tone filled with vivid details. Though fans of Hollywood will get the most enjoyment out of the novel, there's a Jewish ethos and enough boxing for fans of The JBB, especially those interested in the late 1970s and 1980s, to make it worth a read.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Joshua Feldman to Turn Pro Next Year

Joshua Feldman, an 18 year old junior middleweight from Cape Town, South Africa is planning on turning pro early next year. He's now training with Colin Nathan, a fellow Jew and renown trainer and manager based in Johannesburg. Nathan deserves consideration for Trainer of the Year after leading two of his charges, Hekkie Budler and Sivenathi Nontshinga, to improbable victories with masterful corner-work this year.

Feldman has been training in Cape Town for six years. He only had about ten amateur fights but came away with a gold medal in a regional tournament and silver in a national one.

"We've got a tremendous prospect," Nathan asserted to SA Boxing Talk. "Great fundamentals, great skill, very dedicated. You've actually got to stop him. If you don't stop him and say we're closing the gym, he'll be hitting the bag. It's- like- crazy."

The plan is to go for Josh's boxing license next March. "I'm really proud to be a Jewish fighter, a Jewish person," Josh said, "And having a Jewish coach, it just seems like it lined up."

Feldman has lofty goals. "My dream's to become a world champion," he declared.

"We're going to nurture him and take him along really slowly and develop him correctly, and let's see where the road leads to," Nathan assured. "But I think he's got a tremendous amount of potential, very talented, and let's see where it goes."

Monday, October 10, 2022

Isaac Chilemba to Face Mbaruku Kheri in Mismatch

Isaac "Golden Boy" Chilemba is scheduled to face Mbaruku Kheri on October 16 at the Carousel Casino in Hammanskraal, South Africa according to Mphatso Malidadi. This will be Chilemba's first fight in his adopted home country in over eleven years.

Chilemba, a 34 year old from Malawi, has a record of 26-9-3 with 10 KOs. He fought almost all of the best light heavyweights of his era. In his most recent fights, Chilemba battled two well-regarded undefeated super middleweight prospects, Pavel Silyagin and Osleys Iglesias.

Kheri is a 39 year old from Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. His 18-11 record is deceptively good. Kheri has only beat two men who had more than two wins when he fought them, and only one with more than three wins. In his 18 wins, the only time he beat a fighter with a winning record was in his debut in 2005; Fred George was 2-1-1.

Kheri has fought in seven countries. In addition to his home country, Mbaruku has fought in Kenya, Uganda, Serbia, Russia, Ukraine, and Zambia. However, he hasn't had any success against an opponent with a halfway decent record. In his 11 losses, he has been stopped 10 times. Eight of those KO losses have come before the fourth round.

Mbaruku Kheri lost by TKO nine days ago. Joey Vegas fought like a bull and pressured the taller Kheri. Kheri could only throw telegraphed jabs and slow, wide rights. Mostly, he covered up and clinched. In the middle of the sixth round, Kheri quit. His best attribute as a fighter is the courage to get in the ring despite limited skill and a weak chin.

Chilemba is a very slick boxer and not a concussive puncher, but frankly, this fight is a dangerous mismatch. The only way Kheri belongs in the ring with Chilemba is if Kheri gets a referee's license. Mismatches at this level are the responsibility of the matchmaker, promoter, and the commission. Hopefully, a new opponent will be found for Chilemba's homecoming fight.

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Dr. Stefi Cohen Set to Face Paola Ortiz

Dr. Stefanie Cohen is scheduled to face Paola "La Loba" Ortiz at the Lumcolor-Phoenix Center (formerly the California Education and Performance Arts Center) in Ontario, California, USA on Saturday, October 22.

The 30 year old Cohen (2-1-1, one KO) is coming off of her first career loss. On July 8, Stefi was outboxed by Devany Cuevas Torres, and Cohen lost a unanimous decision. While Cuevas won two rounds convincingly, two others were close and could've gone Cohen's way for a draw.

Cohen holds a PhD, was a good soccer player, is an entrepreneur, social media star, and world-record holding powerlifter. The native of Venezuela began boxing later than usual but has made remarkable strides in a short period of time despite the loss to Cuevas.

Paola Ortiz (1-7-1) is a 29 year old from Mexico who is now based in Houston, Texas. She began her pro career in 2013 and lost her first five fights. She then fought Susan Reno twice in 2015. After the pair fought to a majority draw in February that year, they made history in their fight on May 15 at the Masonic Temple, in Brooklyn. The six-rounder became the first female fight in New York state to have three-minute rounds. Ortiz won that "fast paced" fight by unanimous decision. She then took nearly five years off.

"La Loba" returned to the ring on March 7, 2020, the weekend before covid-19 shut everything down. Shanecqua Paisley Davis used her reach advantage, faster hands, and quicker feet to shutout Ortiz in a four-round affair. Ortiz showed rust early: her jab was tentative and her reactions were delayed. As the fight progressed though, she began dipping her left shoulder and unleashing hard overhand rights.

A year and half later, Aliyah Pequeno completely outclassed Ortiz. She landed combinations from the outside and used an in-and-out style effectively. Paola's hands were too slow to compete, and she ate a lot of clean shots. Her corner pulled her out of the fight following the second round.

Cohen should be able to box effectively against Ortiz or slug with her if she chooses, as long as Stefi avoids Paola's overhand right. Ortiz, who prefers to wear long baggy trunks in the ring, uses some upper-body movement, but her best defensive attribute is a good chin. Ortiz is a great comeback opponent for Cohen because she's game and has some skill, but is too slow for Stefi, who should be able to work on her technique in the ring.

This bout is scheduled for four two-minute rounds.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

David Alaverdian's Fight Cancelled

David Alaverdian was scheduled to face Artrimus Sartor tonight at Mississippi Basketball and Athletics in Jackson, Mississippi, USA. Sartor, who badly missed weight, did not accept a rehydration clause. He initially weighed seven pounds over and could only take off two pounds in the time allotted.

David (6-0, 5 KOs) was prepared to proceed despite Sartor's massive weight advantage, but his management felt it unwise. Sartor (4-3, 1 KO) has only weighed in under the bantamweight limit once and has never made the super flyweight limit during his pro career. He missed weight by nearly five pounds.

Sartor was previous suspended indefinitely by the New Jersey Athletic Control Board allegedly for unpaid fines. By taking the fight, one can speculate that he hoped Alaverdian's teams would pay the fines allowing Sartor to be reinstated while never planning on going through with the fight. It's also possible the 36 year old Sartor realized the caliber of opponent he was to face and looked for a way out before the fight began.

Alaverdian hopes he can land another fight quickly.

You can read The Jewish Boxing Blog's interview with David here and watch a different JBB interview with David here.

Friday, October 7, 2022

David Alaverdian Weighs In

Super flyweight David Alaverdian is scheduled to fight Artrimus Sartor in a showcase bout tomorrow, October 8 at Mississippi Basketball & Athletics in Jackson, Mississippi, USA. Sartor was Alaverdian's original opponent, then it was Jenn Gonzalez, and now it's Sartor again.

Alaverdian, a 29 year old from Israel with a record of 6-0 (5 KOs), made the super flyweight limit by weighing in at 114.4 pounds. David has fought in the flyweight division, coming in at 112 pounds for a fight a year ago, but most of his fights have been at super flyweight. His heaviest weight has been 114.8 pounds. In an extensive interview, he told The Jewish Boxing Blog, "I can make light flyweight as well. I really can make it. I don't cut much for weight. I walk around at 120."

Sartor, a 36 year old based in Texas, has a record of 4-3 with one KO. He not only missed the super flyweight limit, but the bantamweight limit as well. He came in at 119.7 pounds, the second lightest of his career. For a fight three years ago, he weighed in at 117.8 pounds, the only time he has made the bantamweight limit as a pro. His heaviest weight was 133 pounds, a lightweight, for a fight in 2015. Four of his fights have been at featherweight.

When Sartor was originally named as Alaverdian's opponent, BoxRec listed him as suspended indefinitely by the New Jersey Athletic Control Board, but that notice has since been lifted. Jenn Gonzalez would have represented a tougher challenge than does Sartor. Sartor hasn't fought in three years, is about ten years older than Gonzalez, has less pro experience, and hasn't faced the same level of competition as Gonzalez. They fight in very different styles as well. Sartor is a counter puncher who likes to jab.

At this stage of his career, it's important for Alaverdian to build up his record and look impressive even if it's against seemingly overmatched opponents. This bout is scheduled for six rounds. A link to purchase the pay-per-view can be found here. The JBB's preview of Alaverdian-Sartor is here.

photo courtesy of David Alaverdian's IG page

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

David Kaminsky Off October 8 Card

David Kaminsky had been scheduled to fight on October 8 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, USA but has fallen off the card.

 After suffering his first defeat in June of 2020, Kaminsky had to stay away from the ring because of a serious knee injury. Kaminsky tore his ACL and MCL. The injuries seemed to have healed without surgery, but a doctor with the California State Athletic Commission pulled David off this weekend's card and is requiring surgery before David can fight in the state again.

This must be a frustrating time for the 22 year old prospect. A southpaw with a 6-1 record, Kaminsky is a slick boxer with a lot of skill. By the time he fights again, it will be at least 27 months since he last fought in the ring. He had been scheduled to fight in May. That fight was postponed until June and eventually cancelled. Kaminsky had a fight scheduled for July in Miami, Florida, but that also didn't materialize.

Kaminsky wrote on Instagram, "Surgery should be soon and I'll be back." The Jewish Boxing Blog wishes David a speedy recovery.

Monday, October 3, 2022

David Alaverdian to Face Jenn Gonzalez on Saturday

Super flyweight David Alaverdian is scheduled to face Jenn Gonzalez at Mississippi Basketball & Athletics in Jackson, Mississippi, USA. Jackson has been in the news recently as it deals with a lengthy water crisis. Accustomed to fighting in Mexico, this will be Alaverdian's second fight in the U.S.

David is 6-0 with 5 KOs. A 29-year old from Nahariya, Israel, Alaverdian switches stances with ease and possesses tremendous hand-speed and expert footwork. In a recent wide-ranging interview with The Jewish Boxing Blog, the undefeated prospect revealed, "I was expecting my career to move forward much faster than it actually has." While Gonzalez is not a world class opponent, he does represent a slight step-up for the Las Vegas-based fighter.

Jenn "El Infinito" Gonzalez is better than his 9-13-1 record (with 5 KOs) suggests. In his third fight, Gonzalez was immediately disqualified for failing to wear an authorized groin protector. Later in the year, he thoroughly dominated Hector Herrera for seven minutes when a fluke punch cut Gonzalez badly and he lost by TKO. "El Infinito" has also been on the wrong side of several close decisions.

The 25-year old from Santa Tereza, Nicaragua has mostly fought in his home country. The pack of Nicaraguan flyweights and super flyweights is led by the legendary Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez. Fellow countryman Cristofer Rosales won a world flyweight title in 2018. Felix Alvarado is a former world titleholder at light flyweight and is slated to challenge Sunny Edwards for a flyweight world title next month. Beyond the top, there is a vibrant scene filled with talented tough guys who fight each other multiple times in competitive fights. The best of the bunch reach world level.

In his home country, Jenn Gonzalez has fought some tough opponents. He was beaten twice- once in 2019 and the other a year later- by Winston Guerrero, who is currently 18-0. Gonzalez split a pair of fights with former Latin American flyweight titlist Ernesto Irias in 2020. Gonzalez dominated their September fight, but only won by majority decision. Two months later, he lost by split decision in a close bout that should have gone his way. Jenn has lost to Gerardo Zepata (who is now 15-0), Engel Gomez (who was 7-0-1 at the time), and the rough Ricardo Blandon. 

Gonzalez has fought internationally three times. In 2019, he challenged Hiram Gallardo in Mexico for something called the WBC youth silver flyweight belt. Gallardo gave Sunny Edwards ten rounds in his next fight. Gonzalez has fought his last two bouts in the United States. In February, he drew with Danny Suarez in the undefeated prospect's hometown, Orlando. A month later, Felix Parrilla stopped him in the third in Atlantic City.

Alaverdian will want to press the action against Jenn Gonzalez. Gonzalez is very effective when he comes forward but much less so when fighting off the backfoot. He outboxed Nelson Luna in 2020, but that was an anomaly. Jenn rarely counters and doesn't jab much. He typically throws a three-punch combination: a lead left hook followed by a distracting right punctuated by a hard left hook, the only punch that was meant to land all along. He has a very good left hook and a sneaky left uppercut. The 23-fight veteran occasionally lands the right, but it's not an especially dangerous punch.

Gonzalez has a good chin and can be a rough customer. He'll hit low if he's in trouble and will punch after the bell if he feels he's been hit late, although he is not generally a dirty fighter. He doesn't believe in "feel-out" rounds. The Nicaraguan keeps a high guard, so he's susceptible to body shots, Alaverdian's specialty. Winston Guerrero assaulted Gonzalez's body in their two fights, and Gonzalez refused to bring his elbows down until it was too late. Worn down in the sixth of their first fight, Gonzalez couldn't stop the attack up top and the fight was stopped.

Gonzalez's best shot against Alaverdian is to apply constant pressure. Jabs are not common weapons in Nicaraguan fights, and Gonzalez's pressure has been thwarted by some well-timed jabs. Alaverdian happens to have a great one. This fight is scheduled for six rounds.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Isaac Chilemba to Fight on October 16

Isaac Chilemba is scheduled to fight on October 16 at the Carousel Casino in Hammanskraal, South Africa. The Malawi-born fighter has been based in South Africa throughout his career, but this will be his first fight in his adopted country in eleven and half years.

Chilemba (26-9-3, 10 KOs) has fought almost all of the best light heavyweights of his era. In his last two fights, he lost to two highly-touted super middleweight prospects. He last fought on May 27 against Osleys Iglesias in Poland. Since Chilemba last fought in South Africa, he has been a road warrior. In addition to Poland, Isaac has fought in the U.S., Canada, Russia, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Greece.

Earlier in the month, Chilemba said he would fight one of two more times. He has opened a gym in South Africa as he eyes retirement. No opponent has yet been announced for October 16.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

David Alaverdian to Face Artrimus Sartor

Super flyweight David Alaverdian is scheduled to face Artrimus "El Chapo" Sartor in Jackson, Mississippi, USA. This will be Alaverdian's first pro fight since his impressive showing against Jeno Tonte last April.

Alaverdian (6-0, 5 KOs) is a 29 year old from Israel. He's now based in the U.S. This fight will likely be a showcase for David's tremendous skills.

Sartor (4-3, [one NC] one KO) is a 36 year old from Cincinnati, Ohio and is now based in Houston, Texas. "El Chapo" has one major advantage over Alaverdian; he's naturally the bigger man. Sartor once weighed as heavy as 133 pounds for a fight back in 2015. The lightest he has weighed in for a fight is 117.3 pounds in 2019. Alaverdian's heaviest is 114.8 pounds and says he walks around at about 120.

Otherwise, Alaverdian has all of the advantages. He's faster, fresher, and far more skilled. Sartor hasn't fought since October 10, 2019; Alaverdian's pro career started in December that year. Sartor won his first three fights, but his three losses came against two novices and a journeyman.

Sartor said his best punch is the jab, and he prefers the stick-and-move style. In 2017, Sartor fought his toughest opponent to date, Jesse Angel Hernandez, who was 8-1 at the time and has fought some quality opponents since. Hernandez switches stances like Alaverdian, but that's where the similarities stop. Sartor moved and countered Hernandez, but too often Artrimus argued with referee Neal Young. In the second round, he became trapped in the corner as Hernandez unloaded until Young stopped the bout. The fight was later changed to a no-contest, but unlike the result, the punches absorbed by Sartor didn't disappear.

Sartor answered a Facebook ad posted last week by promoter, matchmaker, and active boxer Britton Norwood, who offered $3,000 to anyone who would fight Alaverdian. BoxRec says Sartor is currently suspended by the New Jersey Athletic Control Board. He has never fought in New Jersey, but was scheduled to fight Jeremy Adorno on January 11, 2020. Adorno fought someone else on that night. It's possible Sartor failed a physical. The Mississippi commission tends not to be as strict as New Jersey's.

This bout is scheduled for six rounds. Check out David Alaverdian's recent interview with The Jewish Boxing Blog.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Interview with Prospect David Alaverdian

David Alaverdian is scheduled to fight in Jackson, Mississippi, USA on October 8. The 6-0 prospect spoke with The Jewish Boxing Blog about a variety of topics including his start in boxing, his sparring partners, his coach, and his style of fighting.

Alaverdian started boxing when he was about eight years old growing up in Israel. His dad forced him to box because David was a small kid. David hated it and stopped after a while. When he was in eleventh grade, he saw a friend come back from a boxing tournament in Ukraine with a medal. That sparked a hunger to return to the sport, but his schedule was too hectic that year. He began training again in twelfth grade, saw the great Vasiliy Lomachenko box in the amateur championships in Baku, and started watching old fights. As a result, Alaverdian fell in love with boxing.

David faced many disappointments as an amateur but kept going. "That's my mentality," he told The JBB. "I don't let shit bother me. I'm not a quitter."

People in the know soon recognized Alaverdian's talent, and he's been brought in as a sparring partner for many top fighters. He's sparred with WBO super flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka, one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. David was impressed with Ioka's patience. "After sparring with him for two rounds, I said, 'I can be a world champion right now!'" David exclaims. "But after ten rounds, I realized how good he is. In the fifth or sixth round, his experience showed."

The U.S.-based Israeli elaborated on Ioka's patience, "If I hit him with a good shot, he waited to get me back. Most fighters, when you hit them with a good shot, they want revenge immediately. He waited for the right moment."

Alaverdian has also sparred with the Moloney twins, Andrew and Jason, who he says are "very good people." He remembers, "It was such a great experience. The heavier one, Jason, hits harder." David calls 2012 Olympic silver medalist Tugstsogt Nyambayar "an awesome guy." He helped King Tug prepare for his fight with Gary Russell by offering light sparring and moving around the ring with him.

Alaverdian and two-time Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez "were going pretty easy," David recalls. "At the end of the match, he unloads on me." Ramirez is four weight-classes above Alaverdian. "I got pissed off and started throwing hard shots back!" David says of Ramirez, "He's very, very good."

Floyd Mayweather Sr. has the highest profile of David's coaches, but Cedric Ferguson is his primary coach. Alaverdian praises Ferguson's calm and the sense of confidence he instills in the fighter. According to David, he has a good approach in the corner in between rounds and gives clear instructions. "I've had a lot of coaches, and he has the right style for me. There's good chemistry, and that's important."

As long as it works, Ferguson lets his 29 year old charge do what he wants, including switching to southpaw. "Many coaches don't want you to switch," David says. "They say you lose something on defense or you lose power. But as long as it works, he lets me do it."

Alaverdian spends half of his training as an orthodox fighter and the other half as a southpaw. He believes he has more power to the body as a righty, but he uses angles more effectively as a southpaw.

In the European amateur champions this past May, Alaverdian uncharacteristically stayed in the orthodox stance against Dmytro Zamotaev of Ukraine. When asked why, he responded, "I had the wrong mindset. I kept thinking, 'They're going to rob me.' So I came forward and tried to knock him out." That proved to be difficult with the poor quality gloves given to amateurs. "I hit him to the body in the third round, and I heard him [gasp]. If I had the gloves we wear in a professional fight, I don't know, I think I would have at least knocked him down." As it turned out, Zamotaev won a highly disputed decision.

Against Zamotaev, David kept his hands high as he came forward, but in his last pro fight, against Jeno Tonte, his hands were low. "If a person is fast, I keep my hands up, "Alaverdian says, "But as soon as the fight started against Tonte, I knew I was too fast for him.

"My job as a boxer is to entertain, and I was very entertaining in that fight. The crowd loved it. I stole the show." Alaverdian won by way of second round TKO to score his fifth knockout as a professional.

On October 8, he says there is a good, undefeated opponent lined up although it's not 100% confirmed yet. Regardless of the opponent, it'll be entertaining. David Alaverdian's fights always are.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Benny Leonard to Yuri Foreman, The Man Who Beat the Man

Yesterday, I posted a connection between Yuri Foreman and Benny Leonard through shared opponents. Starting with Foreman, I traced back common opponents until I reach Leonard. Today, starting with Leonard, I tried to see if I could get to Foreman a different way. The caveat for this exercise is that the fighter must have beaten the previous opponent and then lose to the next fighter.

After seven years out of the ring, Benny Leonard made a comeback. His final fight was a third round TKO loss against Jimmy McLarnin on October 7, 1932 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

On May 28, 1934, Jimmy McLarnin lost to Barney Ross by 15-round split decision at the Madison Square Garden Bowl in Queens, New York to relinquish the world welterweight championship. McLarnin won the rematch by split decision at the same venue four months later. Exactly a year after the first fight, at the Polo Grounds in New York, Ross won the title back in third fight by unanimous decision.

Barney Ross lost the welterweight world title to Henry Armstrong by brutal 15-round unanimous decision on May 31, 1938 at the Madison Square Garden Bowl. It would be Ross's last fight.

No longer champion, Henry Armstrong lost to John Thomas on July 4, 1944 by unanimous decision in a ten-rounder at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.

"Gentleman" John Thomas was stopped in the fourth round by Enrique Bolanos at the same venue on September 30, 1947. It was Thomas's last fight.

On January 4, 1952, Enrique Bolanos dropped a ten-rounder by unanimous decision to Chico Vejar. The fight took place at Madison Square Garden.

Chico Vejar lost to future Hall of Famer Luis Rodriguez on March 2, 1960 at the Auditorium in Miami Beach, Florida. Rodriguez won a ten-round unanimous decision.

In his second to last fight, Luis Rodriguez dropped a ten-round split decision to Mike Lankester on March 16, 1970 at the Seattle Center Arena, in Seattle, Washington.

On October 21, 1975, Mike Lankester lost by second round KO to 1972 Olympic gold medalist Sugar Ray Seales at the same venue. 

Sugar Ray Seales lost to Dwight Davison by tenth round TKO on May 23, 1980 at the Pine Knob Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan.

On April 4, 1986, Dwight Davison lost a six-rounder on points to Alphonso Bailey at Caesars Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Alphonso Bailey lost his final fight by TKO in the first round to Julio Cesar Vasquez on November 24, 1990 at Torrequebrada Hotel & Casino in Benalmadena Spain.

Julio Cesar Vasquez was disqualified in the sixth round of his fight against Verno Phillips on June 13, 1991 in Campo Universitario de Desportes in Santa Fe, Argentina.

On September 7, 2001, Verno Phillips dropped a unanimous decision in a ten-rounder at the Dakota Magic Casino in North Dakota.

Kassim Ouma, who has fought twice this year, lost a split decision in a ten-round affair against Saul Roman at Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon, California on November 2, 2007.

On April 3, 2008 at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, New York, Saul Roman lost a ten-rounder by unanimous decision to Yuri Foreman. Foreman retained his NABF super welterweight belt.
Saul Roman
Yuri Foreman

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

From Yuri Foreman to Benny Leonard, Down the BoxRec Rabbit Hole

Many of you may know what going down the BoxRec rabbit hole means. For those who don't, check out a fighter's ledger and click on an interesting or vaguely familiar looking opponent. Repeat for the next hour or so, and you're firmly inside the BoxRec rabbit hole.

While burrowing one day, a question occurred to me: Is there a link between Yuri Foreman, the most recent Jewish male world champ who last fought in 2021, and Benny Leonard, often regarded as the best Jewish boxer ever? In other words, if I click on a Yuri Foreman opponent- say Anthony Ivory- and then an opponent of  Ivory's and so on, will I eventually reach Benny Leonard?

The answer is yes. In fact, while it's not exactly easy, there are many ways to get from Foreman to Leonard, which shows how connected boxers are through the ages. Below is one way they're linked. This one features many club fighters in the Midwest of the U.S., a brief stop in Canada, and a trip down south during Jim Crow. I tried one line that included Jewish boxers Saoul Mamby and Felix Said Brami (they both fought the Guyanese Ghanaian, Ivelaw Eastman), but I wound up in Spain during Benny Leonard's era with no way to get back to the States.

Below are the fights that link Yuri Foreman and Benny Leonard. The date (U.S. form), the records at the time of the fight, the result, the weight class, and the location are listed. Below the fight is a brief summary of the opponent with years active, final record, and some notes about them. At the very bottom is a list of all the fights included.

01-16-2004, Yuri Foreman (12-0) vs. Anthony Ivory (29-65-5), Foreman UD 6 (60-54 x3), (jr middle) Minneapolis, MN.
Anthony Ivory: 1989-2006 (32-78-6) From Chicago and nicknamed Poison, Ivory fought many notable opponents including: Simon Brown, Winky Wright (twice), Mikkel Kessler, and Kelly Pavlik to name a few.

11-29-1991, Anthony Ivory (8-7-1) vs. Jake Torrance (21-49-1), Ivory Pts 6, (middle) New Munster, WS.
Jake Torrance: 1980-2000 (22-79-2) From Indiana, he fought Ivory again in 1994 and lost by SD. He was later the referee for two of Ivory's fights. Torrance fought Buddy McGirt, Julian Jackson, Donald Curry

09-22-1980, Jake Torrance (0-0) vs. Warren Thunder (9-6-1), Torrance TKO 3, (jr middle) Chicago, Il.
Warren Thunder: 1977-1980 (9-7-1) A Native American boxer from Chicago.

05-22-1978, Warren Thunder (2-2) vs. Bobby Crawford (5-30-2), Thunder TKO 3, (jr middle) Chicago, Il.
Bobby Crawford: 1968-1982 (5-33-2) From Chicago, he lost to Floyd Mayweather Sr. after the Thunder fight.

04-11-1973, Bobby Crawford (1-9) vs. Billy Goodwin (3-11-2), Goodwin Pts 6, (jr. middle) Chicago, Il.
Billy Goodwin: 1970-1982 (13-35-2) From Milwaukee, Goodwin beat Crawford three times, all in 1973, the last two by KO. During his career, Goodwin lost to Tommy Hearns and Jewish boxer Bruce "The Mouse" Strauss.

04-14-1970, Billy Goodwin (0-0) vs. Columbus Lloyd (5-7-1), Lloyd Pts 4, (middle) Milwaukee, WS.
Columbus Lloyd: 1968-1983 (8-13-2) From Indianapolis, Lloyd was 6'2" and had a six-year layoff from '75-'81.

04-20-1970, Columbus Lloyd (6-7-1) vs. Garry Broughton (11-18-2), Broughton UD 8, (lght hvy) Windsor, ON, CA.
Garry Broughton: 1964-1980 (30-45-5) Born in England and based in Canada, Broughton once fought Boogaloo Watts in Philly.

01-17-1966, Garry Broughton (2-2-1) vs. Carl Jordan (9-16-2), Broughton UD 6, (middle) Toronto, ON, CA.
Carl Jordan: 1958-1968 (13-27-4) From Pittsburgh, Jordan fought and lost to Broughton twice. Jordan once drew with Jewish boxer, promoter, and matchmaker Don Elbaum.

04-28-1958, Carl Jordan (1-0) vs. Willie Epps (5-12), Jordan Pts 4, (middle) Glassport, PA.
Willie Epps: 1951-1960 (7-20) From Ohio.

01-03-1957, Willie Epps vs. Al Marotti (31-21-8), Marotti UD 10, (welter) Steubenville, OH.
Al Marotti: 1945-1958 (32-24-8) From Salt Lake City.

09-02-1946 Al Marotti vs. Jackie Armitage (19-12-3), Armitage KO 3, (welter) Aliquippa, PA.
Jackie Armitage: 1942-1949 (33-22-3) From Pennsylvania.

06-08-1942 Jackie Armitage (0-0) vs. Marcus Lockman (10-8-1), Lockman SD 4, (welter) Millvale, PA.
Marcus Lockman: 1941-1946 (31-12-3) Nicknamed "Kid Chicken," Lockman was born in Virginia and based in Pittsburgh.

02-20-1941 Marcus Lockman (0-1) vs. Jimmy Harper (5-16), Harper Pts 6, (welter) Pittsburgh, PA.
Jimmy Harper: 1935-1941 (6-16) From Detroit.

11-08-1937 Jimmy Harper (4-5) vs. Young Ford Munger (29-6-6), Harper TKO 3, (welter) Detroit, MI
Young Ford Munger: 1929-1937 (29-7-6) Born in Michigan and based in Florida, his dad was also a pro boxer.

12-17-1929 Young Ford Munger (1-0) vs. Norman Moran (5-18-2), Munger Pts 4, (welter) St. Petersburg, FL.
Norman Moran: 1924-1929, (5-19-2), From Mississippi.

04-01-1926 Norman Moran vs. Tut Seymour (16-9-4), Tut Pts 10, (middle) Gulfport, MS.
Tut Seymour: 1923-1931 (25-34-12), From Mississippi, Seymour fought Moran three times, losing the first two. He became a criminal after his pro career was over.

05-12-1925 Tut Seymour (11-5-2) vs. Battling Budd (37-26-30), Tut Pts 10, (welter) Biloxi, MS.
Battling Budd: 1914-1929 (37-28-31) From Atlanta, later became a ref and a judge. Budd fought Hall of Famer Young Stribling six times and went 2-1-3 including one win by way of unofficial newspaper decision.

10-13-1922 Battling Budd (31-9-18) vs. Sailor Friedman (41-15-8), Friedman Pts 8, (welter) Nashville, TN.
Sailor Friedman: 1916-1928 (50-43-6) A Jewish boxer born in Brooklyn and based in Philadelphia, Friedman fought man of the top lightweights of his era including Joe Dundee, Charley White, Ray Mitchell, and Lew Tendler (five times). On November 22, 1921, he faced world lightweight world champion Benny Leonard in an over-the-weight no-decision bout in Philadelphia, PA. Leonard was 138.8 pounds and Friedman was 140. The papers felt Benny Leonard deserved the victory in the eight 

2004 Yuri Foreman-Anthony Ivory
1991 Anthony Ivory-Jake Torrance
1978 Warren Thunder-Bobby Crawford
1973 Bobby Crawford-Billy Goodwin (three)
1970 Billy Goodwin-Columbus Lloyd
1970 Columbus Lloyd-Garry Broughton
1966 Garry Broughton-Carl Jordan
1958 Carl Jordan-Willie Epps
1957 Willie Epps-Al Marotti
1946 Al Marotti-Jackie Armitage
1942 Jackie Armitage-Marcus Lockman
1941 Marcus-Lockman-Jimmy Harper
1937 Jimmy Harper-Young Ford
1929 Young Ford-Norman Moran
1926 Norman Moran-Tut Seymour
1925 Tut Seymour-Battling Budd
1922 Battling Budd-Sailor Friedman
1921 Sailor Friedman-Benny Leonard

Sunday, September 18, 2022

David Alaverdian Scheduled to Fight Next Month

David Alaverdian is scheduled to fight on October 8 in Jackson, Mississippi, USA, according to BoxRec. The bout is scheduled for six rounds in the super flyweight division. Guatemalan super middleweight prospect Lester Martinez is slated to headline the card.

Alaverdian (6-0, 5 KOs) is an athletic and skilled switch-hitter. His last pro fight was on April 2, an impressive second round stoppage over veteran Jeno Tonte. The 29 year old U.S.-based Israeli fought twice in the European amateur championships in May.

Tonte held a height advantage over David. On dealing with a taller opponent, Alaverdian has said, "You can break distance with explosive movements. For myself, it has always been easier to fight taller guys on the outside and counter rather than walking them down."

David eats his last meal four hours before a fight, but doesn't have a set menu. He just tries to load up on carbohydrates. Before the Tonte fight, he ate fruit, oats, steak, and a ton of rice. It seemed to work as he was light on his feet and quick with his hands in scoring the stoppage victory.

For this upcoming bout, no opponent has been announced.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Gershon's Debut Impressive, Mishaev and Ismailov Win

Itay Gershon began his professional boxing career in impressive fashion. In Ashdod, Israel today with the crowd chanting his name, Gershon stopped Armi Kovaci in the second round of a scheduled four-round super middleweight affair.

Both men began the fight as southpaws. Gershon, the shorter man, jabbed effectively to the body. He also threw combinations, landing the overhand left off the jab. Kovaci spent much of the round trying to measure distance with his tentative jab. Gershon landing the much harder blows.

In the second round, Gershon came out firing, but Kovaci exhibited quality defense. But when the Albanian threw a slow jab, Gershon countered. He then connected with an overhand left, right uppercut combination.

Kovaci finally opened up, which proved to be his undoing. Gershon clobbered Armi with a massive overhand left, and Kovaci hit the canvas hard. When he arose, Gershon switched to the orthodox stance and smashed the groggy Kovaci with an overhand right. Kovaci fell back to the ropes and the fight was stopped. Gershon is now 1-0 with one. KO while Kovaci is 1-7 with one KO.

Gershon prepares to counter Kovaci's jab

Sagiv Ismailov defeated Nikita Basin by unanimous decision in their four-round light heavyweight contest. The 20 year old Ismailov boxed in the first and his superior hand-speed allowed him to take control of the fight. At the end of the round, Sagiv found himself on the ropes with Basin charging ferociously. Ismailov unleashed a right hand that hurt Basin, who fell into the ropes and then went down.

Ismailov spent much of the second round loading up with overhand rights and left hooks that often missed. Basin retaliated with short rights to the body. The heavy attempts and the sustained body attack wore down Ismailov. Sagiv started the third jabbing effectively but soon went back to loading up on overhand rights. His speed diminished, and Basin finished strong although not enough to take the round.

While Basin's chin can be vulnerable, his heart cannot be questioned. He pressed forward the entire time and continued to throw punches. Ismailov tired further in the fourth. He held a lot and found himself trapped on the ropes at other points. But he landed a big counter early in the round and connected with a combination featuring a left hook and a right hand at the end.

Two judges scored the bout 40-35 and the other had it 40-36. Perhaps Basin deserved the fourth round. Ismailov is now 3-0 with two KOs. Basin is 4-3 with 4 KOs.

Ismailov wins by decision against Basin

Aki Mishaev stopped Eugeniu Bat in the second round. It looked dicey for Mishaev in the first when he was basically knocked down. Aki came out of the gate firing wildly with wide shots while Bat stayed contained and tried to counter. Mishaev's best punch was a counter left hook, a tight missile that landed over a Bat jab. Bat landed his own counter right on the chin midway through the opening round that caused Mishaev's knees to buckle.  His right glove grabbed the ropes to keep himself up. It was not scored an official knockdown, but probably should've been.

Upon getting tagged, Mishaev immediately let his hands go. He soon landed another strong counter left hook. At the end of the round, he had Bat trapped in the corner. Mishaev started the second round with wide shots, exposing his chin, but he bullied Bat into a corner. Bat ducked and covered, but without any attack coming back, Mishaev was free to wail away. He caught Bat with a left hook to the body and Bat collapsed. He rose in time to beat the count, but didn't put his gloves up at the referee's request and the fight was stopped.

Mishaev moves his record to 2-0 with two KOs. Bat is now 1-2.

Mishaev lands against Bat

Also on the card, Ahmad Shtewe was explosive in scoring a first round stoppage over Nicolae Galben.

Many Jewish boxing luminaries- including Shlomo Niazov, Tony Milch, Igor Lazarev, and Mor Oknin among others- attended the the event promoted by Evgheni Boico's Arena Boxing - Israel. David Berlin, the former executive director of the New York State Athletic Commission, was also in attendance.
(Photos courtesy of Boico)