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Monday, January 30, 2023

CSAC Cancelled Cohen-Bradley Due to "Large Weight Disparity"

The Jewish Boxing Blog has learned that the Stefi Cohen/Kedra Bradley fight scheduled for this past Friday "was canceled due to a large weight disparity between the two fighters on the night of the event," according to a California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) official.

The CSAC official told The JBB that Cohen officially weighed 129.4 pounds on Friday, a gain of 11.8 pounds from Thursday's weigh-in. Bradley officially weighed 109.8 pounds on fight day, a loss of 4.2 pounds. The weight disparity on the day of the event was 19.6 pounds, or 17.9% of Bradley's bodyweight. Both had made the bantamweight limit at the weigh-in. The official confirmed, "Losing weight after the weigh-in isn’t very common," and there are no CSAC regulations on losing weight, only on gaining too much.

Bradley was four pounds below the contracted weight of 118 pounds during the weigh-in on Thursday and dropped to 8.2 pounds below the limit on the day of the fight. CSAC only has regulations in place to prevent too much weight gain because, with few exceptions, fighters add weight after the weigh-in. Being heavier is considered an advantage in boxing. Thus, they rarely lose weight.

"Our inspectors make sure the differences in weight between the fighters fall within the regulated weight spread both on the day of the weigh-in and on the event day," the CSAC official explained. "In cases like these, where the weight difference is larger than the limit, our executive officer and our Medical Advisory Committee doctors are called immediately to discuss the weight spread and cancellation of the bout."

Together, they decided the fight should be cancelled. While a frustrating decision for the fighters and the fans, it was the right decision for the safety of the lighter fighter.

After the cancellation, Cohen got into the ring to announce her next fight is scheduled for February 23.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

More Information on Cohen-Bradley Cancellation

The Stefi Cohen-Kedra Bradley fight, scheduled for last night in Montebello, California, was cancelled a short while before the fight was set to begin. Both fighters claim a large difference in weight on the day of the fight was the cause for the cancellation. Both Cohen and Bradley say their hands had been wrapped when they heard the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) had cancelled the bout. Both boxers are frustrated.

Cohen and Bradley both made the 118-pound bantamweight limit during Thursday's weigh-in. Bradley claims Cohen weighed 131 pounds during the day-of weigh-in. CSAC automatically cancels any bout in which a fighter is 15% above the contracted weight on the day of the fight. For bantamweights, a fighter would need to weigh 17.7 pounds more than the limit or 135.7 pounds. Even by Bradley's number, Cohen's weight-gain was within rules.

If Bradley's claim is correct, Cohen put on 13 pounds overnight which is within a normal range for bantamweights, albeit on the higher side of that range. Boxing is so decentralized that there is no sport-wide regulation for weigh-ins. California typically has a day-before weigh-in and then re-weighs the fighters the day of the fight. This is to prevent dramatic weight-cuts and mismatches based on weight differences.

Both fighters claim Bradley lost weight overnight. Cohen says Bradley weighed 109, or five pounds lighter than at Thursday's weigh-in. Bradley says she dropped to 110.8 pounds after losing 3.5 pounds. Dropping weight isn't against the rules or a breach of conduct, but it doesn't make much sense. Fighters lose weight for the weigh-in and then put on weight to give them the best chance to win.

A fighter losing weight after the weigh-in is highly unusual and can be a cause for concern. There's a reason for different weight classes: more weight is viewed as an advantage in boxing. So losing weight after the weigh-in can be an indication of a potentially dangerous issue.

Ultimately, the 20.2 pound difference, or 18% of Bradley's bodyweight, was reason enough to nix the fight. That a fighter was four pounds under the limit and then lost three and half more pounds, should be viewed as a red flag and cause to cancel the fight regardless of the opponent's weight gain.

Cohen announced that she is now scheduled to fight on February 23.

Update: CSAC's explanation of the cancellation with the fighter's official event-day weights.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Stefi Cohen's Fight against Kedra Bradley Cancelled

Dr. Stefi Cohen was scheduled to face Kedra Bradley tonight at the Quiet Cannon Country Club in Montebello, California, USA. That fight was cancelled today.

Ring announcer Joe Martinez described the reason for the cancellation as "an unforeseen weight issue." Cohen came in the lightest of her career while Bradley was the second lightest. Both made the bantamweight limit yesterday.

Cohen got into the ring to thank her fans for supporting her. "I was excited to put on an amazing performance for you guys," she told the crowd. A native of Venezuela, Stefi recently relocated to Los Angeles, California from Miami, Florida.

Cohen had been scheduled to face Bradley in October, but that fight was cancelled the day before. At the time, Cohen said Bradley backed out.

The California State Athletic Commission passed a law in 2019 that automatically cancelled any bout in which one competitor weighed 15% or more above the contracted weight at the time of the fight. For a bantamweight match, that's 17.7 pounds. This law was designed to prevent dramatic weight cutting. The exact "unforeseen weight issue" is unknown at this time though.

Stefi Cohen last fought in July. A world record holding powerlifted, she is 2-1-1 as a pro boxer and has shown tremendous improvement in a short period of time.

Update: fighter's takes on cancellation
Update: CSAC's explanation of cancellation

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Weights for Stefi Cohen-Kedra Bradley

Dr. Stefi Cohen (2-1-1, one KO) and Kedra Bradley (1-5-1) weighed in for their four-rounder tomorrow at Quiet Canyon Country Club in Montebello, California, USA. Cohen came in at 117.6 pounds while Bradley was 114.

By a fraction of a pound, this is the lightest weight of Cohen's career. She weighed 117.8 pounds against Karla Valenzuela last February. This is the third time Cohen has made the bantamweight limit of 118. Her heaviest weight happened in her second fight when she was 125.3 pounds.

Bradley came in the second lightest of her career. She weighed 112.5 pounds in her last fight back in November, which was called a split draw. It was an impressive showing against an undefeated fighter who outweighed Bradley by nearly five pounds. This is the sixth time she has made the bantamweight limit and the third time she has come under the super flyweight limit of 115. Bradley's heaviest weight was 122.5 pounds in her debut over two years ago.

Both women played other sports at a high level before becoming boxers. Cohen was a college soccer player and then a world record setting powerlifter while Bradley was a college basketball player. There have been a few basketball players to make the transition to boxing because a long lean frame can be an advantage in both sports. Soccer can help with boxing's footwork. For those new to following boxing, they might be surprised to learn that powerlifting experience doesn't translate particularly well to boxing except to learn how to cut weight. Boxers typically want fast-twitch muscular development, not bulky muscles.

As for her transition to boxing, Cohen wrote a few months back, "I never imagined I'd be doing this at 30 years old. At this rate I won't be surprised if I become like... a 52 year old carpenter living in Arkansas with 3 kids that aren't mine."

This fight is on the undercard of Bohachuck-Gallimore and will be aired on UFCFightPass. A preview of the fight can be found here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Sagiv Ismailov to Face Kristi Doni in February

Super middleweight Sagiv Ismailov is scheduled to face Kristi Doni on February 9 in Ashdod, Israel. This fight will be the main event of a card slated to feature five pro Jewish boxers.

Ismailov (3-0, 2 KOs) is a 20 year old Israeli. After scoring two quick knockouts in 2020, he last fought in September. Sagiv was very impressive in the first round of that fight against a tough veteran, Nikita Basin. He knocked down Basin with a picturesque right at the end of the round. But Ismailov became overeager to end the fight early. Loading up with overhand rights sapped his energy and, by the end of the third round, he was gassed. Sagiv showed the requisite guile and heart to earn a wide unanimous decision despite tiring late in the fight.

Doni (2-2, 2 KOs) is a tall southpaw from Tirana, Albania. As with tall southpaws like Paul Williams and Sebastian Fundora, Doni refuses to use his height advantage and box from the outside. Instead, he presses forward and lets his go. The counter-intuitive strategy worked for Williams and Fundora, but the jury is still out on the 19-year-old Doni.

Back in 2021, Doni won his first fight in a cavernous ring in Istanbul. He felt so comfortable against Sabri Altok that he kept his hands by his knees and poked out his chin daring Altok to hit it. Doni landed enough to convince Altok not to come out for the second round. A year ago, he faced Sayed Khalid Sadat in a ring the size of an Istanbul Starbucks. Sadat's arms and legs were all over the place, but found Doni's face far too often. Doni's head was exposed and his hands were low, but he stood up to a lot of hard punches. Sneaky body shots and swirling right hooks scored knockdowns and ultimately the KO for Kristi.

The class of Doni's opponents rose over his next two fights. His bad habit of keep his hands low and eating- rather than avoiding or blocking- punches caught up with him against Santeri Laine in Finland last September and in his November bout against Momo Elmaghraby in Italy. Doni retired on the stool against Laine and was stopped in the fourth against Momo.

The key to this fight will be Ismailov's conditioning. If he tires, Doni will take advantage by whipping punches to the body and searching for an opportunity to unleash his concussive right hook. Sagiv will likely find the target early and often, because he's as skilled as the Albanian is hittable. But the Israeli can't rush the knockout or it might turn out to be a very competitive fight.

This contest is scheduled for four rounds.

Monday, January 23, 2023

David Alaverdian to Fight in Vegas in March

Undefeated pro boxer David Alaverdian is scheduled to fight on March 18 in his adopted hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Reid Boxing teammates Lester Martinez, an undefeated super middleweight from Guatemala, and Britton Norwood, a veteran light heavyweight and promotor from Mississippi, are slated to appear as well.

Alaverdian is 7-0-1 with 6 KOs. In his last fight, Alaverdian stopped Edgar Mendoza in the second round. The lone draw, which came against local prospect Angel "Rayito" Meza in Mexico last November, was a terrible decision. Alaverdian's activity and accuracy carried five of the six rounds while Meza spent most of the fight hesitant to let his hands go. Only judge Carlos Parra, who scored the bout 59-55 for the Israeli, seemed to acknowledge David's dominate jab. Jorge Luis Romero inexplicably scored the fight a draw (57-57) and Gary Eder Lopez, who improbably gave Meza the fight 58-56, is either incompetent or corrupt.

After that horrible bit of  judging, Alaverdian will be happy to fight in the United States for the second time as a pro. In April, he stole the show with a second round demolition of veteran Jeno Tonte in Dearborn, Michigan. Alaverdian is a native of Netanya, Israel but relocated to Las Vegas a few years ago. "This is Sin City, " David told The Jewish Boxing Blog. "In Sin City, I stay far away from sin.

"I'm such a boring person. I don't party, I don't smoke, I don't drink," he said. "I just train, train, stay fit, and watch my diet." This will be David's first fight in the Las Vegas area. The bout is scheduled for six rounds in the flyweight division.

poster courtesy of Fighter Branding

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Venue Announced for Shawn Michael Sarembock's Fight

Junior middleweight Shawn Michael Sarembock (8-0, 8 KO) is scheduled to fight on Friday, February 17 in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. That isn't news to fans of The Jewish Boxing Blog, but Shawn has now announced a venue for the fight on his Instagram page. Though this will be his ninth time fighting in Tijuana, it'll be his first time fighting at the Grand Hotel Tijuana. His last four bouts were at Big Punch Arena.

"I love fighting in Tijuana," Shawn told The JBB 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."

When The JBB interviewed Shawn in October, he was getting ready for a December fight. That got pushed back to January, which then became February. The delays are an unfortunately common reality for up-and-coming boxers. Sarembock, who turned pro in 2019, last fought in March.

After Shawn announced the venue, former WBA junior middleweight world champion Rabbi Yuri Foreman voiced his support for the 32 year old Arizona resident. More information on this fight as it becomes available.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Debutants Alex Karchevski and Leon Balandine to Fight in February

Alex Karchevski and Leon Balandine are scheduled to face off in Ashdod, Israel on February 9. This will be only the second time The Jewish Boxing Blog has covered two Jewish boxers battling one another in a prizefight. Both are making their pro debut.

Karchevski, a 31 year old from Lod, Israel, is the more experienced man. He has been a finalist in the Israeli amateur champions almost every year since 2016. He also made the finals in 2013. He won his weight class in '18 and '22 and has fought as a middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight.

With so much experience, Karchevski can adapt and fight in different styles, but he seems to prefer to be on the front-foot pressing forward. He keeps a high guard in close and can crack with either hand. Rangy southpaws who prefer to fight at distance have given him some trouble in the past, but they are a rare breed in the pros.

Balandine is a 21 year old Israeli from Ashkelon, a city located on the Mediterranean coast south of Tel Aviv. He's boxed since he was a kid, but has no experience on the senior amateur level. For the past four months, while finishing up his IDF commitment, Leon has trained in Evgheni Boico's gym in Ashdod with pro boxers Sagiv Ismailov and Igor Lazarev, kickboxing star Itay Gershon, and amateur boxing standout Chananya Davids.

While sparring doesn't always give the best picture of how a fighter will perform on fight night, Balandine showed a good ability to box behind the jab in a recent open sparring session. Though he was susceptible to the counter right, he finished the session with a perfectly placed body shot that put his opponent down for the count.

Balandine will want to use the jab and go to the body to thwart Karchevski's pressure. Karchevski can box, but pressuring Balandine could wear down the younger man and create more openings. Alex will look to counter Balandine's jab with rights. Because of his experience, Karchevski must be viewed as the favorite.

This bout is scheduled for four rounds in the super middleweight divsion.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Odelia Ben Ephraim to Fight Anaelle Angerville

Featherweight Odelia "Thunder" Ben Ephraim is scheduled to face Anaelle Angerville on February 4 at Gymnase les iris in Loemont, France on the outskirts of Bordeaux. This is a rematch of an April 2021 fight.

"Thunder" Ben Ephraim is a 23 year old from Toulouse, France. She won Israel amateur titles in 2018 in the featherweight division and 2019 as a lightweight. She turned pro in 2021 and dropped a points decision to Angerville in her debut. Since then, Odelia has won three fights including a decision victory last June over Karla Merida, who is currently 4-1-1.

Angerville (4-1-1) is a 33 year old from Vaulx-en-Velin, France. After winning her debut against Ben Ephraim in a close fight, she drew with her next opponent and then lost a bid for the French junior lightweight belt. Angerville came back with a win over 5-0 Amy Naert this past April. In her last fight, Angerville beat Eva Cantos a month ago.

Expect this fight to go the full eight-round distance. Both fighters have gone the distance in all of their pro bouts thus far.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Top 5 Jewish British Boxers

Tony Milch's Top 5 Jewish British Boxers

Tony Milch is a former pro boxer from Edgware, England. Fighting professionally from 2013-2018, he amassed a record of 14-2. Tony now runs Gloves and Doves, an admirable initiative that promotes peace in the Middle East through boxing and aims to develop the sport in Israel. The next Gloves and Doves event is scheduled for March 23 in London, England. For more on Gloves and Doves, visit its website and follow on Instagram.

Tony has shared his immense boxing knowledge with The Jewish Boxing Blog on countless occasions over the years. This great list only focuses on boxers who used gloves in the ring, and thus bareknuckle boxers such as Daniel Mendoza aren't included.

1. Ted "Kid" Lewis
2. Jack "Kid " Berg
3. Al Phillips
4. Harry Mizler
5. Gary Jacobs

Other Top 5s
Jewish North African Boxers
Jewish Canadian Boxers
Jewish Israeli Boxers
Jewish Female Boxers
Jewish French Boxers
Jewish Dutch Boxers
Jewish Londoner Boxers
Jewish South African Boxers
Jewish Boxers since 1960
Jewish Bareknuckle Boxers

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Igor Lazarev to Fight Vladislav Gauteac

Lightweight Igor Lazarev is scheduled to fight Vladislav Gauteac in Ashdod, Israel on February 9. Lazarev has technically lost his last three fights to opponents who now have a combined record of 21-0. Gauteac is the right opponent for Lazarev to stop his losing streak.

Lazarev (8-4, 3 KOs), a 36 year old Israeli, is a five year pro. After beginning his career 8-1, he has lost his last three, but he deserved to win one of those contests. Last March, Igor dominated local prospect Dominik Harwankowski in Poland, but the judges, one of which was Harwankowski's mentor, incredibly scored the fight for the local man. Against another undefeated local prospect, Greg McGuinness of England, Lazarev fought valiantly. In the fourth round of that 2021 fight, Igor landed incredible no-look punches but lost by decision.

Lazarev has been stopped twice in his pro career. Against Binal Shakhmandarov in 2019, Igor was simply caught early and never got into the fight. In his last bout, Lazarev was pulled out after the second round against hot prospect Angelo Peña this past April.

Gauteac is a tall southpaw from Moldova. The 20 year old is 0-3. He can take a punch, has good upper-body movement, and is willing to let his hands go. In clinches, he throws a sneaky behind-the-back punch. But Gauteac has his shortcomings. He doesn't possess the sharpest punch technique, and he brings his hands back low. Vladislav has a beginner's habit of lifting his chin and leaning his head back in exchanges.

After being stopped in the second round of his first fight against Christopher Mouafo last July, Gauteac lost a decision to Alessandro Fersula in November. Fersula pressed forward and took advantage of Guateac's exposed chin. He landed straight rights all fight long. Guateac used his feet to try to keep distance, but he typically moved straight back with his hands down.

In his last fight, a contest last month against Anatoli Conopliov, Guateac showed improvement. He snapped his jab and connected with an ill-intentioned left hook in the third round. The fight could have been called a draw, though he was tagged in the fourth round. In a fight refereed by former pro boxer Shlomo Niazov who represented Israel in the 1984 Olympics, Guateac lost by unanimous decision.

Lazarev can box, but he's effective on the front-foot as well. Because Guateac keeps his hands low, Lazarev may not have the same success to the body as usual, but he should be able to land the straight right up top regularly.

This affair is scheduled for four rounds.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Seldin-Mati Off

Cletus Seldin had been scheduled to fight undefeated prospect Reshat Mati on February 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York, but the fight is off.

Cletus has fought once since March of 2020. In September of 2021, Victor Vazquez was brought in as an opponent for Seldin. Vazquez, who would've been overmatched had they fought, failed the physical and the fight was called off. Last June, Seldin was scheduled to fight the undefeated Rachid Jkitou, but Jkitou had to pull out late due to a medical issue.

It has all amounted to lost time for the 36 year old Seldin, who hasn't been able to build on an eleventh round TKO victory over Zab Judah in 2019 to win the vacant NABA junior welterweight belt. A victory over William Silvca is his only notable win since.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Cletus Seldin to Fight Reshat Mati at MSG

Junior welterweight Cletus "Hebrew Hammer" Seldin is scheduled to face Reshat "The Albanian Bear" Mati in a ten-round fight at Madison Square Garden, in New York, New York, USA on Saturday, February 4. While Seldin is a step up for the undefeated Mati, this is a crossroads fight for Cletus.

A 36 year old from Long Island, New York, Seldin is an eleven-year pro with a record of 26-1 and 22 KOs. He possesses a wrecking ball overhand right but has been inactive in recent years. In the past 35 months, he has fought only once. While Seldin has registered six first-round KOs and four second-round KOs, he can be outboxed.

In 2017, Yves Ulysses Jr. did just that on route to scoring three knockdowns and winning a wide unanimous decision. In Seldin's last fight, which was 15 months ago, William Silva used purposeful movement to lure Cletus into his punches for the first four rounds before Seldin switched tactics. In the seventh, Seldin scored a stunning knockout with two overhand rights.

Mati (13-0, 7 KOs), a 24 year old from Staten Island, New York, has the skills and speed to outbox Seldin, but he may not possess the necessary temperament or in-ring discipline to do so. Though Mati has faced some guys with good records, Seldin signifies his toughest opponent to date by far. Reshat's hands and feet are fast. His lefts, in the form of a jab and left hooks to the head and body, are his best punches. He typically lands one flashy shot at a time, which is why his last four fights have gone the distance. Mati keeps his left low and is susceptible to the overhand right.

When at his best, the Albanian Bear is able to maintain distance with precise footwork. His hands are faster than Seldin's, so if he keeps distance and uses his jab regularly, he should coast to a wide unanimous decision victory. But Mati, who has been ten rounds only once, hasn't shown he can stay poised. He seems to get frustrated easily. Against an overmatched Vladyslav Baranov in '21, Mati became disgusted by Baranov's movement. Mati fought with his hands down in stretches, a recipe for disaster against the Hebrew Hammer.

Mati often taunts his opponents, which shows he can be distracted. Whenever fouled, he emphatically complains instead of focusing on his opponent. In his last fight, he impressively outboxed Eduardo Rodriguez in Mexico City until the middle rounds when Mati complained of altitude sickness. He got hit often down the stretch but managed to crawl to a lackluster unanimous decision win.

Mati has a three-inch height advantage, a 12-year age advantage, and has been the far more active fighter. Since March 1, 2020, Mati has fought seven times while Seldin has fought once. Mati is the naturally bigger man. He's only made 140 pounds once while Cletus has made the weight in eight of his last 13 bouts. Since this is for Seldin's NABA 140-pound title, trimming down to junior welter could drain Mati. Seldin should have the advantage if it goes to the later rounds; he's a fitness freak who has gone past eight rounds four times to Mati's once. Cletus has twice the experience in terms of professional rounds as the Bear.

Seldin will want to make it a rough fight to disrupt Mati's game plan, which happens to be the way Cletus fights anyway. If Mati can maintain discipline and distance for thirty minutes, it'll show meaningful improvement. He might look very good early, but based on his past performances, he's likely to slip up mentally, and he's never faced anything like Seldin's hammer.

This fight really only has two likely outcomes: Mati boxing his way to a wide unanimous decision or  Seldin by devastating knockout. If boxing ability were the only criterion, Mati should be the favorite, but since the mental aspects of the sport must be considered, Seldin by KO is the way it'll go. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Top 5 Jewish Canadian Boxers

Jamie Rebner's Top 5 Jewish Canadian Boxers

Jamie Rebner is a fantastic writer whose work has been featured in The Ring, Ringside Seat, Fight City, and Queensberry Rules. A member of the BWAA and IBRO, he recently started a highly recommended Substack called Fight Fundamental. It's extremely interesting- and free- so check it out and sign up. Jamie writes about a variety of topics relating to combat sports, including Canadian boxing history, Jewish boxing history, and, of course, Jewish Canadian boxing history. His profiles of Abe Attell, Maxie Berger, Joe Choynski, Maxie Rosenbloom, and his review of Harry Haft's biography are all riveting portrayals of these great Jewish boxers.

This well-considered list takes into account the boxers' amateur and professional careers.

1. Maxie Berger
2. Al Foreman
3. Sammy Luftspring
4. Harry Hurst
5. Norman "Baby" Yack

Other Top 5s
Jewish North African Boxers
Jewish British Boxers
Jewish Israeli Boxers
Jewish Female Boxers
Jewish French Boxers
Jewish Dutch Boxers
Jewish Londoner Boxers
Jewish South African Boxers
Jewish Boxers since 1960
Jewish Bareknuckle Boxers

Monday, January 2, 2023

Dmitriy Salita Elected to New York State Boxing Hall of Fame

Dmitriy Salita will enter the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame with the class of 2023. Born in the Soviet Union on April 4, 1982, Salita immigrated to Brooklyn, New York as a youth. He discovered a love of boxing when he joined the Starrett City Boxing Club at the age of 13.

After impressive amateur success, Salita fought professionally from 2001-2013. As a pro, he amassed a record of 35-2-1 with 18 KOs while challenging Amir Khan for the WBA junior welterweight world title and winning the WBF 140-pound world title. After his fighting career ended, Salita embarked on a new path as a promoter, a position in which he's helping to make boxing history as he guides the career of Claressa Shields.

Last month, Salita reflected on his boxing career and his work as a promoter with The Jewish Boxing Blog.

Salita will join fellow Jewish boxers Benny Leonard, Maxie Rosenbloom, Leach Cross, Al Singer, Al "Bummy" Davis, Sid Terris, Soldier Bartfield, Solly Krieger, Herb Kronowitz,  and Saoul Mamby in the New York State Hall of Fame on April 30, 2023.