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Saturday, December 31, 2022

2022: Year in Review

Canceled fights and curious decisions defined the year in Jewish boxing. Sadly, there were more canceled or postponed fights this year than actual fights. The Jewish Boxing Blog summed up the frustratingly unfair outcomes in an article last month.

David Alaverdian went 2-0-1 with 2 KOs in the pro ranks. He deserved to win the draw. Shawn Sarembock improved his record to 8-0 with 8 KOs. Stefi Cohen and Isaac Chilemba each went 1-1 this year. Igor Lazarev lost both of his fights but deserved to win one of them.

On September 15, four Jewish boxers took part in three bouts in Ashdod, Israel. Kickboxing star Itay Gershon won his pro boxing debut. Prospect Sagiv Ismailov won his third fight, and Aki Mishaev scored a knockout in his second fight. Ismailov, Mishaev, and Lazarev are among the Jewish boxers scheduled to fight on a card in Bnei Ayish, Israel on February 9. The resurgence of pro boxing in Israel is a big development.

There were quite a few boxing exhibition events in Israel this year, a great way to grow the sport in the country. Former world champion Hagar Finer put on a couple of them. Mor Oknin, Mikhael Ostroumov, and Nikita Basin were among the Jewish pro boxers to take part in such shows.

Former world champion Robert Cohen Z"L and heavyweight contender Tim Puller Z"L passed away this year.

The JBB reviewed Holocaust Histories, a podcast about boxers victimized during the Shoah. The reviews of books published this year or late last year include Boxing in Atlantic City, Gangsters vs Nazis, and The Unexpected Danny Green.

Some noteworthy profiles of past Jewish boxers were of Charley Phil Rosenberg, Henry Nissen, Ray Miller, Jack "Kid" Berg, and Izzy Zerling. Then, there was a look back at the wild Israeli amateur boxing scandal in 1988 and the night in 1929 when five Jewish boxing stars fought to raise money for the Jews of British Palestine. Two articles examined the different brands of boxing gloves and the importance of pad work.

The JBB conducted interviews with a few Jewish boxers this year. The interview with Yuri Foreman became two articles, one on his ambitions and another on his reflections. There were two separate interviews with David Alaverdian, one in article form, and a different one in video form. Shawn Michael Sarembock told The JBB his inspiring story. And the two articles about Dmitriy Salita concentrated on his career as a boxer and his work as a promoter.

As for The Jewish Boxing Blog, this year was amazing! Two of the last four months have seen the most traffic in the nearly 13-year history of this site. The other two months were not far behind. The number of followers of the Jewish Boxing Instagram page has more than tripled in the past year, and Twitter followers have doubled in the past two years. A special shoutout to supporters of the Jewish Boxing BuyMeACoffee page ($3 for all newsletters). You are truly appreciated!

Next year looks like there will be a few pro debuts, which is exciting. And hopefully, there will be many more fights. All the best to you and yours.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Several Jewish Boxers in Action on Israel Card in February

A boxing show to be held on February 9 in Bnei Ayish, Israel will feature several Jewish boxers in action. Currently, Jewish boxers are scheduled to take part in four different fights.

Sagiv Ismailov (3-0, 2 KOs), a 20 year old Israeli, is scheduled to face Kristi Doni, (2-2, 2 KOs) a 19 year old from Albania, in a super middleweight affair. Ismailov last fought in September, earning a unanimous decision victory over fellow Jewish boxer Nikita Basin. Doni last fought in November. He was stopped in the fourth round against the undefeated Mohamed Elmaghraby.

Igor Lazarev is set to return against Vladislav Gaurec (0-3), a 20 year old from Moldova, in a lightweight contest. Lazarev, a 36 year old resident of Israel, is 8-4 with 3 KOs. Lazarev has dropped his last three fights to opponents who now boast a combined record of 21-0. Lazarev deserved to win one of those fights, a bout last March against Dominik Harwankowski. Lazarev was stopped in his last fight against Angelo Pena in April. Gaureac last fought on December 2, a unanimous decision loss.

Aki Mishaev (2-0, 1 KOs), a 36 year old Israeli, is set to face debutant Andrey Bordyoug at welterweight. Mishaev scored a second round TKO in his last fight in September. BoxRec lists Bordyoug's home country as Israel, but nothing more is known about him at this time.

Alex Karchevski is slated to make his pro debut on the card. The 31 year old Israeli is an experienced amateur boxer. He is scheduled to face Leon Balandine, who is also making his debut. Baladine is a 21 year old from Israel.

All bouts are scheduled for four rounds. The Jewish Boxing Blog will have more information about and previews of these fights in the coming weeks. 

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Stefi Cohen to Face Kedra Bradley in January

Dr. Stefanie Cohen is scheduled to face Kedra Bradley on January 27 at Quiet Canyon Country Club in Montebello, California, USA . The two had been scheduled to face each other in October.

Cohen, a 30 year old is 2-1-1 with one KO. She has had to endure a number of cancellations during her brief pro boxing career. Stefi had been scheduled to fight Paola Ortiz in California on October 22. Ortiz backed out and Bradley, a 26 year old former college basketball player, was inserted as a late replacement, but the fight never happened. Cohen said at the time that Bradley backed out at the last second.

At the time, The Jewish Boxing Blog published a preview of the scheduled Cohen-Bradley fight, which can be found here. Since then, Bradley (1-5-1) has fought once. On November 19, Bradley gave up nearly five pounds to bantamweight Michelle Morales (4-0). They fought next door to Morales's hometown and yet, Bradley came away with a split draw, a very impressive showing against a heavier undefeated opponent.

Cohen-Bradley is scheduled for four rounds.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Top 5 Jewish North African Boxers

Ron Schneck's Top 5 Jewish North African Boxers

Ron Schneck has made invaluable contributions to the field of Jewish boxing history. An expert on the subject, there is likely no one alive who knows more about Jewish boxers from North Africa. Over the years, he has been very generous in sharing his knowledge with The Jewish Boxing Blog.

Ron acknowledges there are many great boxers who were considered for this list, which he was asked to limit only to Jewish boxers from North Africa. Boxers with North African heritage but who were born and raised in Europe such as Fabrice Benachou and Stephane Haccoun were not eligible. Even so, it's a very strong list.

1. Robert Cohen
2. Alphonse Halimi
3. Victor "Young" Perez
4. Felix Brami
T5. Nessin Max Cohen
T5. Emile Chemama



Other Top 5s
Jewish Canadian Boxers
Jewish British Boxers

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Shawn Sarembock to Fight in February

Junior middleweight Shawn Michael Sarembock is scheduled to fight on February 17 in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. Sarembock, a pro since 2019, is 8-0 with 8 KOs.

Sarembock has fought all of his pro bouts in Tijuana. "I love fighting in Tijuana," he told The Jewish Boxing Blog recently. "The crowd is amazing. They're very respectful. I have nothing but good things to say about fighting in Mexico," Shawn said. "Except cutting weight there."

Sarembock's last fight was March 25, a TKO victory over Miguel Reyes Gonzalez. That fight lasted a minute and 36 seconds into the fourth round, the deepest into a fight Shawn has gone as a prizefighter. He has only seen the fourth round in one other fight.

Check out The Jewish Boxing Blog's interview with Shawn Sarembock.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Alex Karchevski to Make Pro Debut in February

Light heavyweight Alex Karchevski is scheduled to make his professional debut on February 9, 2023 in Ashdod, Israel. Karchevski qualified for the 2022 European amateur championships but couldn't secure funding and was unable to participate.

Karchevski is a 31 year old father of two. He is from Ofakim, Israel which is just west of Be'er Sheva.  He moved to Ashdod as a youth and now lives in Lod. He fights out of HaPoel Bat Yam boxing club. Vitali Kaganov has been his trainer.

Alex's father forced him to box when the family lived in Ofakim. Alex didn't like it. After three years, the family moved to Ashdod and Karchevski continued boxing at HaPoel Bat Yam. That was the turning point in his career.

Karchevski is an experienced boxer who can fight in a variety of styles. He has sparred with pro boxer Nikita Basin among many others. Karchevsky recently fought Duncan Nwaoha in an exhibition match late last month. Alex controlled center ring and press forward against the taller slick southpaw.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Dmitriy Salita: The Promoter

On a typical Friday in the fall of 2016, before the sun sets to mark the beginning of Shabbos, Dmitriy Salita purchases The Wall Street Journal to read over the weekend. A brief article about a two-time Olympic gold medalist catches his eye. In many ways, that moment has not only shaped Salita's post-fighting career but also the trajectory of women's boxing.
Dmitriy Salita
After a pro boxing career that lasted from 2001-2013, Dmitriy Salita (35-2-1, 18 KOs) needed to find something new. After reading that article about Claressa Shields, Salita tells The Jewish Boxing Blog, "As they say, the rest is history."

If the 27 year old Shields retired today, the 13-0 "GWOAT" is a surefire Hall of Famer. In addition to her two Olympic gold medals, she has held world title belts in three weight divisions and has become the undisputed world champion in the junior middleweight and middleweight divisions.

In her second pro fight, Shields became the first woman to headline a premium television card when she was featured in the main event of a 2017 Showtime show. She hasn't been the last. Salita believes, "She is the right woman at the right time."

*****

"The Good Lord gives us talent. I love boxing. I love every aspect of being a promoter," Salita declares. 

His first promoter was Bob Arum, for whom Salita has tremendous respect. "I was exposed to the highest level early in my career," Dmitriy says. "Being a wondrous kid, I wanted to know how everything works." After studying Top Rank's operation, he would promote some of his own later fights.

Salita says his experience as a professional boxer has helped his work as a promoter tremendously. "There is often a disconnect between the business side and the athletics side. Many smart businessmen have come into boxing and failed. There are many details they don't take the time to learn. Boxing is a unique business."

When asked for the toughest part about being a promoter, he responds with a chuckle, "Most of it is tough." It's a hard business. Those who have done it for many years have an advantage because they possess the necessary connections.

"I'm knocking on the door. I'm getting a seat at the table," Salita says before pausing for a beat and continuing with bemusement, "But I'm not invited!" He's quick to add, "I have a good working relationship with the other promoters."

He is very confident in his new profession. "I have an eye and an ability to identify talent," he says.  "Of all the top promoters, I have the most talent [for this]."

Dmitriy understands how far he has come and just how improbable his story is. "I grew up in Odessa in the Soviet Union. I came to this great country; I was on welfare, food stamps. And here I am now."

*****

In addition to Shields, Salita has helped bring heavyweight Otto Wallin to world level thanks to a tough fight with heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in 2019. He has also guided the career of heavyweight Jarrell Miller, who had been set to challenge Anthony Joshua for the heavyweight title before failed PED tests halted his progression. Developing fighters is the most satisfying part of the job for Salita.

Another heavyweight in his stable is Jermaine Franklin, who recently traveled to England to fight former world title beltholder Dillian Whyte on November 26. Two days before, Salita made headlines at the press conference.

During the staredown between Whyte and Franklin, Dmitriy stood to Franklin's right. Franklin, Whyte, and Whyte's promoter Eddie Hearn looked like giant skyscrapers while Dmitriy resembled something like a single family home.

Salita told SecondsOut, "Dillian was trying to intimidate Jermaine, and I said, 'He's staring right back at you.'" Whyte then pushed Dmitriy, and Dmitriy pushed him right back. In many ways, that moment has best represented Salita's career as a promoter. He may get pushed by the big guys, but he'll push right back.

"I'm allergic to being bullied," Salita tells The JBB. "And Whyte tried to bully me when he pushed me."

Video of the exchange went viral. But instead of focusing on Dmitriy's feisty courage, the social media trolls, bots, and bigots peddled in the old anti-Semitic tropes of supposed Jewish wealth and power. The hateful comments masqueraded as "jokes," although one wonders if those claiming comedy understand the concept of a joke.

A religious Jew, Dmitriy proudly wears a kippah in public. It's a source of strength, but can also make him a target.

At the fight, in Wembley Arena, Dmitriy says a man in the third row yelled threatening anti-Jewish comments at him. Dmitriy noticed that security soon ejected the man, a step in the right direction. "It shows that kind of thing isn't accepted," he notes.

*****

Despite the obstacles and the odds, Dmitriy Salita continues to make a name in boxing. He's banging on the door, bringing his own chair, and forging his own spot at the sport's proverbial table. 

Monday, December 12, 2022

The Long, Eventful Life of Izzy Zerling

Izzy Zerling, born Srol Tzerlin on November 22, 1914 in Valga, Russian Empire, lived a long, eventful life. Valga, called Walk in German, remained under the talons of the Russian czar until Estonia declared independence in February of 1918. After the Bolshevik takeover of Russia, Estonians fought the Reds from 1918 until 1920 for their independence.

Leaving from Libau, Latvia on the aptly named SS Estonia, nine-year old Srol set foot on Ellis Island in New York on December 1, 1923. He arrived with his mother Lea, a 36 year old housewife who could read and write in German, and his seven year old brother, Elie. Their closest relative in the U.S. was Lea's sister Sara Pavlovsky.

Srol grew up in New York's Lower East Side. At some point he changed his name to Isidore, Izzy for short, and the family's surname became Zerling. The change would have happened while the family had been living in New York, because names were not changed at Ellis Island. According to esteemed historian Henry Louis Gates Jr., the notion that any names were changed upon arrival at Ellis Island is a myth. Immigrants Americanized their own names.

At 16 years old, Izzy applied to become an amateur boxer. He had been training at Stillman's Gym since he was ten. The doctor found a heart murmur and rejected his application. Over the next two years, Zerling returned frequently, over a dozen times, and each time the doctor refused him. Izzy participated in over fifty bootleg bouts before finally gaining an amateur license around 1932.

Sporting blond hair and blue eyes, Zerling stood 5' 6.5" and began as a flyweight before moving up to the bantamweight division. "My first fight, I lost a close fight," Izzy said of his amateur career. "My seventh fight, I had a winning streak. I fought the [future New York] Golden Gloves champion, Johnny Cabello."

Against Cabello, Zerling shook hands and then went back to his corner. When it was time to fight, he inexplicably tried to shake hands with Cabello again and got hit for his trouble. He lost that fight by first round KO but won the rematch convincingly. As an amateur, Zerling twice beat another New York Golden Gloves champion, Davy Crawford.

Izzy turned pro in 1934 and fought mostly as a featherweight. He was knocked out in the third round of his debut. "I forgot to duck," he joked. His heaviest weight for a fight was just over the lightweight limit. BoxRec lists 22 fights during his three-and-a-half year career. Elsewhere, he's given credit for "around 37 fights."

Zerling fought in four and six round affairs as a pro. He lost all his six-rounders. Izzy fought in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx in such venues as St. Nicolas Arena, New York Coliseum, and Broadway Arena. BoxRec lists his record as 14-6-2 with 3 KOs.

Izzy Zerling in 1936

Zerling applied for American citizenship in 1936. He lived at 216 Clinton St. in Manhattan at the time. The following year, he founded G&S Sporting Goods, which was located at 43 Essex St., less than a half mile from his home. He manufactured and sold boxing equipment and other sporting goods.

In 1940, Zerling married Rebecca "Betty" Seidenberg, a 20 year old immigrant from Poland. The couple lived in an apartment above Zerling's store with Betty's dad, mom, and younger sister. His citizenship application was approved shortly after his wedding. The couple would have two daughters and a son.

When the United States entered World War II, Zerling hoped to join the Army. He tried to enlist, but Betty wouldn't sign the papers. So he waited until he was drafted. "I wanted to be in the Army because [heavyweight champion] Joe Louis and all of my friends who were fighting, they were all in the Army."

Instead, Izzy served in the Navy aboard the USS Booth beginning in the middle of 1942. Zerling was the fitness coordinator on the ship. It was his job to whip the sailors into shape. The Booth docked in Casablanca and Italy during the war. Zerling was occasionally challenged to a boxing match by unsuspecting sailors who didn't know he was a former pro. He decided to show up his challengers by utilizing his defensive skills rather than hurting the poor saps. Eventually, Zerling was asked to represent the Booth in boxing matches for the enjoyment of the sailors. Weighing 160 pounds at the time, he fought bigger men. Izzy was honorably discharged at the end of the war with a bad back. His brother, who served in the Army, spent a year as a prisoner of war in Germany.

After the war, Izzy continued to train fighters while running G&S. He was one of the first coaches to work with female fighters, and trained young kids throughout the rest of his life. In 1954, Zerling was the guest of honor at the Children's Aid Society Banquet. His son Lenard took over G&S in 1957. Izzy opened the Izzy Zerling Youth Recreation Center in 1966, a non-profit designed to serve socio-economically disadvantaged children. It was located in Brooklyn on Church Avenue.

Dione Warwick once did a benefit show for the center in the early 1970s. By the late 1970s and early 1980s, the center produced quality amateur boxers. Among the more colorful people Zerling trained were Flory "Non-stop" Goldberg and David Ruggerio, a famous chef who used to work for the mob. In a 2003 interview, Zerling boasted that, at nearly 90 years old, he weighed a svelte 140 pounds.

On September 10, 2011 at the age of 96, Izzy Zerling died. He is buried at Montefiori Cemetery in Queens, New York. G&S, still owned by his descendants, closed its physical store in 2014 but continues to operate online. It's just the most tangible legacy of the long, eventful life of a true mensch, Izzy Zerling.


Sources
G&SFightSupply.com
Interview with Izzy Zerling. Randal Library Oral History Collection. April 22, 2003.
New York Amsterdam News. 30 Jan 1971: 20. (Warwick benefit)
On Essex. Vimeo. Jan 28, 2010.
Sherman, Gabriel.  Vanity Fair; New York Vol. 64, Iss. 5, May 2022.
Star in the Ring. YouTube. Mar 1, 2011.
Other sources include his immigration record, his naturalization records, the 1940 U.S. census, and Find a Grave.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Dmitriy Salita: The Boxer

In preparing for the last fight of his career, Dmitriy Salita experienced a profound realization. "I didn't want to die in the ring."

Salita, a former boxer with a 35-2-1 record  (18 KOs) and now a respected promoter, tells The Jewish Boxing Blog in an interview that throughout his career, "I was so focused on winning even if it meant dying in the ring." But in the run-up to that final fight in 2013, he recalls, "I began to find value in other areas of life. I didn't want to die in the ring."

Born on April 4, 1982, Dmitriy immigrated to Brooklyn from the Soviet Union as a kid. He found a home in the Starrett City Boxing Club and a mentor in Jimmy O'Pharrow. "He taught me about boxing, how to be a leader, and about life," Salita says of the late Jimmy O. "He would explain situations in life to me. He was like a prophet."

Salita describes the Starrett City Boxing Club as an intense place filled with aggression and a lot of egos. He still marvels at Jimmy O.'s leadership in running the club. Dmitriy often felt judged in boxing circles because of his appearance and his status as an immigrant, which in part fueled his success.

As a teenager, he fought in the New York Golden Gloves at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, an experience that filled him with "inspiration and aspiration." As part of a decorated amateur career, Salita won the 2000 under-19 U.S. national championships. After winning the 2001 New York Golden Gloves in the 139-pound division, he earned the Sugar Ray Robinson Award as the best boxer in the tournament. Those were two of his proudest moments as a fighter.

*****

As Dmitriy took off his shirt and had those small gloves taped up before his pro debut in 2001, the magnitude of the moment struck him. "It was a strong moment. I realized I'm putting it all on the line," he remembers. "I might die. Of course there was no real risk, but that was my mentality."

Asked for his best win, Salita responds, "Most people think the toughest fights are when you reach the top. But the toughest fights are often early in your career."

He recalls his fifth pro fight. He took on a tough journeyman named Rashaan Abdul Blackburn at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas back in 2002. "I was a 19 year old kid, and he was a 28 year old grown man. That man was strong, muscular," Salita says. "We both had small eight-ounce Reyes gloves, the ones with the horsehair padding. He jabbed me in the first round, and I could feel his knuckles on my teeth. The pain was quite significant. Even after all these years, I still remember that feeling."

Not only does he remember that feeling, but after twenty years and nearly forty fights, he correctly remembers the opponent's age. Incidentally, Salita, who scored two knockdowns and won by unanimous decision, and Blackburn share the same birthday, nine years apart.

*****

Jimmy O. once told Dmitriy, "If you ever see three guys out there, hit the one in the middle." Dmitriy laughed, but Jimmy O. said he was serious. Early in his pro career Salita was thumbed in the eye. "And it happened. I saw three guys!" he says.

"So you hit the one in the middle?" he is asked.
"I hit the one in the middle and dropped him!"

Dmitriy Salita, photo courtesy of The Times of Israel

Salita believes his best attributes as a fighter were hard work and mental strength." He notes, "The toughest opponent is yourself. The mental aspect is very important in boxing." In the ring, his jab, body punches, and left hook were his best weapons.

His 2005 TKO win over Shawn Gallegos to snag the NABA 140-pound title and his 2008 unanimous decision victory over Raul Munoz at Madison Square Garden to win the IBF international and WBF world junior welterweight titles were among his proudest achievements as a pro. So was the fact that he refused to fight on Shabbos.

In this moment of increased attention on anti-Semitism in the United States, Salita explains that he was often the target of anti-Semitic heckles throughout his career. It's important to remember: anti-Semitism has been an unfortunately persistent phenomenon, not merely a recent problem.

*****

On December 5, 2009, Salita traveled to Newcastle, England to take on WBA junior welterweight world champion, Amir Khan. Khan scored three knockdowns and the fight was stopped in the first round. "I was stunned, but I wasn't hurt," Salita says.

Dmitriy calls the Khan fight his most disappointing moment as a fighter, but it wasn't all negative. "It was a great experience. It opened a lot of doors for me." Salita saw Khan at a recent event in England and the two reconnected. "He told me, 'That fight doesn't count. I think I would've beaten you anyway, but the fight doesn't count.'"

When Khan's first round defeat to Breidis Prescott is brought up, ever the proud competitor, Salita draws a distinction. "He was knocked out in the Prescott fight. I wasn't knocked out."

After the Khan fight, Jimmy O. wanted legendary trainer Emmanuel Steward brought onto the team. Another of Jimmy O.'s great qualities was his ability to delegate and bring in help. The late Oscar Suarez and the late Francisco Guzman had contributed to Dmitriy's development. So too had the knowledgeable Hector Rocha, who in his 90s still goes to the gym every day. "He's one of those young old guys," Dmitriy jokes.

Steward's nephew Sugar Hill did most of the training of Dmitriy at that time. "I was already a developed fighter, but they could see little things that made a big difference." The Kronk Gym in Detroit possessed the same atmosphere of intensity as the Starrett City Boxing Club had years earlier. Dmitriy felt at home there.

After the Khan loss, Salita notched five straight wins. Then came his last fight, a 2013 showdown against Gabriel Bracero. He shuts down any talk about the knockdown the ref overlooked or that he made many of Bracero's punches miss. "That wasn't me," Dmitriy says simply, "I didn't want to die in the ring."

He then knew it was time to retire. Soon after, Dmitriy Salita began a new endeavor as a promoter. But that's a story for next time.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

David Alaverdian Wins By TKO

David Alaverdian beat Edgar Mendoza at Auditorio Ernesto Rufo in Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico tonight. Alaverdian's body assault led to a second round TKO.

In that second round, Mendoza let his hands go. Alaverdian blocked and landed his patented left hook to the body. As Mendoza fell to the canvas in pain, David pounded his gloves together in satisfaction.

Whatever chance the taller man from Mexico City had to win, he gave it away by fighting the wrong fight. He tried to trade with the Israeli instead of utilizing his reach advantage. Alaverdian has said, "For myself, it has always been easier to fight taller guys on the outside and counter them rathar walking them down." Mendoza played right into David's fists.

Mendoza showed guts to beat the count. After a clinch, Alaverdian landed a smooth combination that included left hook to the body and another to the head. Mendoza continued to return fire and ate a straight right for his trouble. Another left hook to the body put Mendoza down again and the referee immediately waved off the fight.

Alaverdian is now 7-0-1 with 6 KOs. Mendoza is now 3-9 with one KO. This is the third time he has been stopped.

courtesy of La Voz del Boxeo

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.