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Tuesday, February 28, 2023

The Promoters' Screwjob: Behind the Scenes of Shawn Sarembock's Last Fight

Boxing can be a dirty game. Shawn Sarembock found that out first hand before and during his last fight, which resulted in a majority draw. He recently revealed to The Jewish Boxing Blog just how promoters attempted to sabotage his career.

Sarembock and his dad Neil had a good relationship with a local Mexican promotional firm that gave them fight dates and found opponents for Shawn in exchange for a fee. A couple of weeks before this last fight, the company offered Shawn a contract, but he "politely refused" because he wanted to keep his options open. Sarembock said, "They must have taken it personally when I turned down their offer because that's when the problems started."


The Jewish Boxing Blog has decided not to name the promotional company, the location of the fight, or the opponent in this article because of the real possibility of retribution against Sarembock for speaking out. The promoters, who have a close relationship with the local commission, could still have the result of the fight changed. [For certain details about Sarembock's last fight view The JBB's recap or his BoxRec page.]

Retroactively changing a result out of spite has precedent. It's exactly what Israeli flyweight Mor Oknin says happened to him a year ago. He claims he won a fight by fourth round TKO in a locale in Mexico near where Sarembock fought, but Oknin's BoxRec page lists the result as a third round TKO loss. "I'm very sad about this. It's all about politics," Oknin told The JBB last fall. He added, "They cheated me out of money there."

BoxRec simply reports the results provided by the commissions. An editor at the self-described "official record keeper of the sport of boxing" told The JBB that BoxRec has "lots of problems with wrong reports" coming out out of many countries, including Mexico.


The trouble for Sarembock started immediately after his refusal. "Three or four opponents fell through," he said, "which never happened before." While multiple opponents do occasionally back out of fights, the promoters' actions allegedly became more nefarious with time. They claimed other fighters had missed their flights, and they needed to deduct that money from Sarembock's pay. "They squeezed us out of money," Shawn said.

On the day of the fight, Neil was told he was not allowed to work his son's corner. Shawn and Neil's relationship is such that it would be like telling a fighter pilot he wasn't allowed to wear his prescription aviator glasses into battle. Instead, the promotional company, which has its own gym and its own trainers, provided the cornermen at the last moment.

"We had watched footage of the opponent and we had a game plan," Shawn said. "The first two rounds, I was going to box because we noticed he lunged in when he came forward. The plan was to take little half steps back and counter, especially with uppercuts." After two, assuming the opponent remained standing, Neil would add his expert input, and Shawn would adjust accordingly. But without Neil in the corner, the game plan quickly went out the window.


The fight had been scheduled for 7pm local time. It was to be the second fight of the night. Shawn and Neil, who would still help wrap his son's hands, took the hotel's elevator down at 5:30pm. One of the promoters met them when they reached the ground floor and told them the card had been delayed two hours. Shawn's fight was now the opener because one of the fighters scheduled for the first bout had been in a car accident. So the Sarembocks went back to their hotel room for an hour since Shawn was now scheduled to open the card. He posted the two-hour delay as an Instagram story, not knowing it was all a lie.

When they came back down the elevator at 6:30, the stands were full and live banda music blared. They knew something was up. There were too many people in the crowd for an 8pm start. By the time Neil had wrapped only one of Shawn's hands a member of the local commission burst into the locker room to say Shawn had ten minutes to get ready.

A boxer's preparation in the moments before a fight is crucial to their success in the ring. Shawn says he typically needs a minimum of an hour to prepare. "It's not just getting physically ready. Getting mentally prepared for battle is even more important."

Shawn recounted what happened next, "The commission came in five times and began yelling, 'Get your ass out!' The ref even came back and threatened, 'If you don't come out in ten minutes, you're off the card.'"


Hands wrapped and his Winning gloves on, Shawn had been warming up for five minutes when he was notified it was time to make his ring walk or he'd be pulled out of the fight. He told officials that he needed to use the bathroom, but they didn't allow it. He hadn't yet stretched, which of course put him at an increased risk for injury, nor had he worked up a sweat. It's essential for boxers to warmup properly before a fight because it's far more likely for them to get knocked out early if they start the fight "cold."

Shawn admits that he should have tried to ignore the commotion, but he let it get to him. After a slow start in the ring, Sarembock received poor guidance in the corner. "The corner is a vital part of a fight," he said. "I want calm and control in the corner. Take a deep breath and then it's time for strategy. Instead, I was coming back to a corner in panic mode." After every round, the promoters' handpicked cornermen kept telling Shawn he was losing. They wanted him to throw five-punch combinations, which would have opened him up for the opponent's dangerous left hook.

"Mentally, it was hard to put everything aside," Sarembock said. "I never even got ready. I got through the fight because of grit." Despite everything he endured, one judge agreed with The JBB and scored the bout for Sarembock 58-56. But the two other judges had it 57-57 for a majority draw. "It was the worst performance of my career," Shawn said. "Absolutely terrible." Sarembock's record of 8-0-1 (8 KOs) now carries a blemish.

And the fighter who was supposed to be in the opener, but had apparently been in a car accident so Sarembock had to open the show? He fought in the second bout of the night.


Shawn called the ordeal "a huge learning experience." It was really his first chance to see "the dirty politics, the dirty business side" of boxing up close. But his primary lesson from his experience was more practical. "I'm never fighting without my dad in my corner again," he declared.

After a week off, the Sarembocks are back in training. The plan is to move up to an eight-rounder, a fight somewhere closer to home for the still undefeated resident of Phoenix, Arizona. "I've accepted what happened," said Shawn, "and now it's time to move on." The dream of a world championship remains though the path to achieve it is never linear. It's often filled with pitfalls and screwjobs.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Stefi Cohen Earns Close Decision with Big Knockdown

Dr. Stefi Cohen beat Leanne Calderon Smith by close unanimous decision tonight at the Fantasy Sports Resort in Indio, California, USA. A big second round knockdown proved to be the difference between a win for Cohen and a draw.

Both Cohen, a 30 year old native of Venezuela, and Calderon, a 35 year old Texan, came out firing. When the fight settled down, Cohen landed several pretty jabs while responsibly keeping her right hand up to guard against the counter. Calderon connected with a good left hook and a couple of rights from the outside. It was a swing round.

In the second, Cohen showed a jab and came with an explosive right behind it. Calderon took it flush and fell to the canvas. She rose quickly with a sheepish smile across her lips and reddening around her left eye. Stefi shrewdly followed up with another big right that forced Calderon back. The powerlifting record-holder then took her foot off the gas and began boxing the rest of the round. Perhaps she sensed Calderon was still strong, but perhaps throwing those big shots had winded her.

Calderon showed tremendous fortitude and smacked Cohen with a couple of punishing rights of her own to finish the second. Calderon continued to connect with crunching rights in the third. Cohen boxed and countered, but her face quickly turned red amidst Leanne's onslaught. A tired Stefi did enough to stay in the fight, but by the end of the third, her condition appeared dire.

Mustering up both courage and grit, Cohen fought her way back in the fourth. She ate a jab and then landed her own. She scored with a big right, but Calderon came back to finish the final round strong. The final punch numbers showed that Calderon had thrown more, Cohen had landed slightly more, and Cohen had landed a greater percentage of her attempts.

All three judges scored the bout 38-37 for Cohen. The Jewish Boxing Blog scored it 38-37 for Calderon, but the fight could have gone either way. Cohen's record moves to 3-1-1 with one KO; Calderon is now 1-3-1.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Stefi Cohen and Leanne Calderon Make Weight

Dr. Stefanie Cohen and her opponent, Leanne Calderon Smith, both made the bantamweight limit ahead of their four round affair tomorrow at the Fantasy Springs Resort in Indio, California, USA. The event will be broadcast on DAZN.

Cohen (2-1-1, one KO) weighed in at 116.6 pounds, the lightest of her career. This is actually the fourth time Stefi has made the bantamweight limit as a pro. She came in under the 118-pound limit in January, but that fight was called off when her opponent lost weight after the weigh-in creating a gap that CSAC deemed too wide. Cohen's heaviest weight was 125.3 pounds in September of 2021.

Stefi is now fighting out of the Churchill Boing Club in Santa Monica, California. Her new coach is Pedro Santiago Jr. Her old coach, Pedro Diaz, is a masterful teacher of the sweet science, but in retrospect, probably wasn't the best fit for Cohen. As a short and strong newcomer to the sport, a mauling, in-fighting style seems to best suit her physical attributes. She fought that way in her debut; the only time she earned a KO victory. Under Diaz, Cohen's boxing ability improved tremendously, but the results didn't correlate with her new skills.

Ahead of tomorrow's bout, Cohen sparred with undefeated prospect Bree Howling of Canada.  A 24 year old with lofty ambitions, Howling is getting ready for fight a next month. In 2021, she told Jamie Rebner of The Fight City, "I do plan to bring a world title to Canada. I don’t want my career to be easy. I don’t want a padded record." Like Howling, Cohen had no amateur boxing experience, but has not had an easy road as a professional.

Leanne Calderon Smith's 1-2-1 record is not impressive on paper, but she beat the only woman to beat Cohen. Calderon is in better shape than she has ever been as a pro boxer. She weighed in at 117.2 pounds, the lightest of her career. Her heaviest weight came in her last fight back in November when she was 121 pounds. This is the first time Calderon has made the bantamweight limit.

If tomorrow's fight is a boxing match, Calderon has a good shot, but if it's a brawl, bet on Cohen.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Obituary: Kenny "Bang Bang" Bogner

Kenny "Bang Bang" Bogner passed away at his home on February 14, 2023 at the age of 62.

Born on January 9, 1961, Bogner grew up in Trenton, New Jersey. Overcoming a serious ankle injury as a youth, he became a decorated amateur boxer. He won the New Jersey Golden Gloves in 1977, medaled in the '77 Maccabiah Games, and participated in the 1980 National Golden Gloves.

Less than a year into his pro career, Kenny had won eleven fights with one draw. He then fell to future world champion Livingston Bramble by seventh round stoppage. Bogner won his next eleven fights, including a sensational fight against Cato Wilson in 1982.

After a ninth round TKO victory over Edwin Curet, it seemed as if Bogner would finally cash in, but potential fights against Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini and Hector "Macho" Camacho fell through. Instead, Bogner's aspirations to win the lightweight title slowly faded because of trouble with the law.

Muggsy Episcopo, a longtime trainer and manager, said of Kenny, "He was a good fighter, a gutsy fighter. If it wasn’t for trouble, he would have been a champion." Further mucking up his career, Bogner's contract was owned by mob associate Arthur Pelullo.

Bogner came back in 1987 after three and half years of inaction and lost to Remi Di Carlo by sixth round TKO. Bang Bang notched three more wins scattered over the next six years and completed his career 25-2-1 with 16 KOs.

Legal troubles continued. In 2011, he was arrested for stealing groceries, just one of his many unfortunate transgressions. After his arrest, Kenny claimed he simply forgot to pay and then made a telling remark, "I didn't even realize it! I'm a fighter; I'm a little stupid sometimes. The punches did it." Twelve years later, with an increased understanding of CTE, we now understand his comments in a new sympathetic light.

Bogner, who was inducted into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame in 2017, seemed to have stayed out of trouble in the last decade of his life. While he made many mistakes in his 62 years, it's clear his loved ones cared for Kenny and are heartbroken by his passing. As one friend commented years ago, "What a good guy he is. Yeah he was involved in some stupid stuff, but hey, it's life. It doesn't mean he's a bad guy!"

Kenny once said of his complicated legacy, "I mean, I did handicapped benefits, muscular dystrophy benefits, a marathon run for disabled people, and so forth. They don't remember all the good things."

His funeral will be held on Sunday, March 5 from 4-6pm at Brenna Funeral Home at 1799 Klockner Road, Hamilton, NJ.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Odelia Ben Ephraim Scheduled to Fight on March 3

Odelia "Thunder" Ben Ephraim is scheduled to fight on Friday, March 3 at the Salle des Ramiers in Blagnac, France. Ben Ephraim is the first female member of the Blagnac Boxing Club.

Ben Ephraim is a 23 year old featherweight with roots in France and Israel. She has a 3-2 record as a pro. Both losses came at the hands of Anaelle Angerville, a former world champion Muay Thai fighter. In Ben Ephraim's last fight, she lost a close split decision to Angerville on February 4 in an eight-rounder for the French featherweight title.

By fighting a month after her last bout, Ben Ephraim is displaying an old school mentality.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Dr. Stefi Cohen to Face Leanne Calderon on Thursday

Dr. Stefanie Cohen is scheduled to face Leanne Calderon Smith on Thursday, February 23 at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California, USA. Calderon Smith will pose a tough test for Cohen.

Cohen (2-1-1, one KO) is a world record-breaking powerlifter, entrepreneur, and social media star. The 30 year old native of Venezuela earned a PhD and has been a professional boxer for just under two years. She's only had four fights because of bad luck. Quite a few of her scheduled bouts have fallen through. Most recently, two potential fights with Kedra Bradley were cancelled. The latest one, scheduled for late last month, was scrapped because of a bizarre weight issue.

As a result of the cancellations, Cohen last fought eight and half months ago when she lost a unanimous decision to Devany Cuevas Torres.

Calderon Smith (1-2-1) is a 35 year old from Texas. On paper she doesn't look like much of a match for Cohen, but Calderon Smith's lone win came over Cuevas Torres, the woman responsible for Cohen's lone loss. Calderon is 1-1 against Cuevas, and both fights resulted in majority decisions last summer. Calderon drew with an experienced fighter with an even record in her debut and lost her last fight to Shurretta Metcalf, a solid boxer with a winning record. Leanne also has amateur MMA experience.

BoxRec lists Cohen and Calderon as an inch apart in height, but in reality, Calderon will enjoy a wider advantage. Cuevas towered over Cohen while Calderon wasn't that much shorter than their common opponent. Calderon has a good jab, pretty quick hands, and solid fundamentals. She has no knockouts, so Cohen will want to jab her way inside and then use her strength. Cohen has improved tremendously in a short period of time, but perhaps she tries to box too much instead of finding her way in close and mauling her opponents.

This bout is scheduled for four two-minute rounds. The event will be shown on DAZN.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Sarembock and Villa Fight to a Draw

Shawn Michael Sarembock and Jesus Emmanuel "Morgan" Villa fought to a draw tonight at the Grand Hotel in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. Both fighters had their moments in a close fight.

Sarembock, a 32 year old from Arizona, focused on defense in the opening round. He spent most of the first three minutes figuring out proper distance. Villa, a 29 year old from Mexico City, didn't do much more offensively, but enough to take the round.

In the second, Sarembock discovered two important tactics. He began targeting Villa's body and he made sure to keep his right up to block Villa's dangerous left hook. But Villa continuously landed a sneaky counter jab and found success with his own body work.

Shawn, who one announcer repeatedly called "Michael Sarenbrook," came out for the third far more aggressively. He landed picturesque left hooks to the body and then to the head. He trapped Villa in the corner and unloaded on the Mexican warrior. Midway through the round, Villa came back and connected with his best combination of the night. Sarembock stumbled back but stayed on his feet. Villa's left hook did the damage.

With the seconds ticking down in the third, Shawn cracked Villa's body with a right, which served two purposes. It hurt Villa, but it also set up a beautiful right uppercut that snapped back Morgan's head. With that final combination, Sarembock had snatched back the round. He continued the body work in the fourth, a round that saw Villa mostly retreating.

Sarembock, with a mouse growing under each eye, stalked his prey in the fifth, but didn't let his hands go until the round was half over. In the meantime, Villa jabbed and landed enough body work to put him ahead. With the round almost complete, Shawn corralled Villa into the corner and unleashed a round-winning combination that brought audible gasps from the ringside commentators.

Shawn was like a bull in the sixth and final round. He charged after Villa, eating some punches for his trouble, but cornering Villa and battering his body enough to win the round. Both men let their hands go in an exciting final ten seconds of the fight.

The Jewish Boxing Blog scored the bout 58-56 for Sarembock. The judges, however called it a majority draw. Ivan Velasco agreed with The JBB, but the other two judges had the fight even at 57 apiece.

Sarembock is now 8-0-1 with 8 KOs. Though the result was likely disappointing, he put up a good fight and it was a great learning experience in the ring. Villa (5-8-3, one KO) picked up his third straight draw against an undefeated opponent. He is now 2-0-3 in his last five fight against opponents with a combined record of 32-1-3 and once again proved that he is a very tough opponent.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Shawn Sarembock and Jesus Emmanuel Villa Weigh In

Shawn Sarembock and Jesus Emmanuel Villa weighed in ahead of their bout tomorrow at the Grand Hotel in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. This fight is a scheduled six-rounder.

Sarembock (8-0, 8 KOs) weighed in at 151 pounds, comfortably below the junior middleweight limit. His range has been between 145.5 and 152.3 pounds. This is the sixth time Shawn has weighed in between 150 and 152.3 pounds. At the weigh-in, he wore a necklace with the Star of David dangling from it. During the stare down, Shawn glared intensely at Villa. He was all business.

Villa (5-8-2, one KO) came in at 154.8 pounds, which is over the junior middleweight limit and the second heaviest of his career. Villa's lightest weight was 139 which came back in 2017. His heaviest was 158.5 pounds, which he weighed for his upset victory over Brian Landeros Juarez last May. Villa has appeared to miss weight twice before. In 2016, he was 0.8 pounds over the welterweight limit while his opponent came in under the 147 limit. In 2018, Villa held a four pound advantage over one opponent; Villa and the opponent again straddled the welterweight limit.

After the stare down, the two men acted professionally. They shook hands and gave each other a bro hug. Showing good sportsmanship, Villa then came over to Shawn's dad and trainer, Neil, and they shook each hands and nodded respectfully to each other.

Sarembock has a KO streak to uphold while Villa has greatly improved in recent fights. Check out The Jewish Boxing Blog's preview of the fight

Monday, February 13, 2023

Shawn Sarembock to Face Jesus Villa Friday

Junior middleweight Shawn Michael Sarembock is scheduled to face Jesus Emmanuel Villa on Friday at the Grand Hotel in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. Villa is a tough experienced opponent.

Sarembock, a 32 year old from Arizona, boasts a record of 8-0 with 8 KOs. A poised and patient fighter, Shawn has fought all of his bouts in Tijuana. He earns most of his knockouts with precise punch placement and timing. He last fought this past March scoring a fourth round TKO against Miguel Reyes.

Villa (5-8-2, one KO) is much better than his record suggests. The 29 year old from Mexico City started his career 1-4 but has greatly improved since. He is 2-0-2 in his last four fights against opponents with a combined record of 24-1-3. Villa is three years younger, but has more pro experience than Sarembock, has been more active, and has faced the better opposition.

A man of many names, Jesus often fights under the name of Emmanuel Villa. He had gone by the nickname "Jaguar" when he landed a stunning knockout with a left hook during an exchange in the third round of his debut against Brian Perez in 2013. Incidentally, Perez won his next eight fights. Villa, however, lost his next four.

The low point likely came against Isaac Rivas in 2017. Villa never got into the fight against the 2-6 Rivas and ate combinations until the fight was stopped a minute and half after it began. Villa complained about the stoppage, but he had performed poorly.

Villa then beat a 3-0 guy and a 1-0 foe before dropping a decision in Canada to Montreal's Hamza Khabbaz. In the second round of Villa's next fight, Diego Carmona landed a picture perfect uppercut that momentarily froze the "Jaguar" before he fell backwards to the canvas for a spectacular knockout.

Villa, who now uses the less terrifying nickname "Morgan," came back to give Albert "Suavecito" Paredes and Luis "Cotto" Vidales two competitive fights. Morgan Villa's left hook continued to be his best punch. His hands were active if not always purposeful. A headhunter, Villa throws away several punches just to land the right. Paredes and Vidales both thrived when they forced Villa to fight off the backfoot. Those fights were eight and ten rounds respectively, so both Paredes and Vidales slowed in the middle rounds allowing for Villa to come forward and successfully bang.

Dariniel Sanchez, 8-1 at the time, tried to box "Morgan" in their November, 2021 fight. That strategy played right into Villa's hands as he controlled center ring and threw power shots while Sanchez mostly jabbed. Though Villa was the underdog, the judges in Mexico rewarded his activity. Villa's last three fights were all against undefeated opponents and have all taken place since Sarembock last fought.

Defensively, Sarembock is far superior. Villa is quite hittable, but while his chin is not quite made of granite, it's likely made of some slightly less indestructible rock, something along the lines of basalt. He'll rely on that basalt chin because he doesn't concern himself much with blocking or slipping incoming fire. Villa's height has never been listed, but he's always the shorter man, so Shawn will have the height and reach advantage. Sarembock also possesses the better skills, technique, and ring IQ.

Sarembock-Villa is scheduled for six rounds.

Friday, February 10, 2023

2023 Israeli Amateur Championships

Several pro boxers took part in the Israeli national amateur championships last week. Pros have been allowed to take part in amateur boxing tournaments for several years now. Some weight classes in Israel have enough fighters to have a quarterfinal round while other divisions have fewer competitors.

David Alaverdian (7-0-1, 6 KOs) won the bantamweight (119-pound) title when his opponent didn't come out for the third round. There aren't many Israeli bantamweights, so David only needed one win to capture the title. He had announced his retirement from amateur boxing last May after a head-scratching decision went against him in the European championships. David has a pro fight scheduled for April 10 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Miroslav Kapuler (3-0, one KO) won the junior middleweight (156.5-pound) title. He advanced on a walkover in the quarterfinals and then beat his next two opponents 5-0 on points. Kapuler last fought as a pro in September 2021. The 25 year old is a skilled southpaw.

Alex Karchevski dropped a decision to David Bazov in the light heavyweight (176.4-pound) final. Karchevski won his pro debut yesterday. He beat his semifinal opponent 3-2 on February 3, lost to Bazov 5-0 on the 4th, and won his pro debut on the 9th, a truly old school schedule. Bazov was scheduled to go pro last fall but his transition to prizefighting has since been delayed.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Ismailov, Lazarev, and Karchevski All Win

Sagiv Ismailov, Igor Lazarev, and Alex Karchevski all won today in Ashdod, Israel. Ismailov took on Kristi Doni in a super middleweight bout, lightweight Lazarev fought Vladislav Gaureac, and Karchveski battled Cvintilian Lisii in another super middleweight contest.

Ismailov, a 20 year old, showed good discipline by working off the jab. His jab also helped to disguise his overhand right and lead left hook. Doni, a tall 19 year old southpaw, was more tentative than usual because of Ismailov's hard shots. Ismailov bent down to his left too often, exposing his right side, but Doni wasn't able to capitalize.

The Albanian landed the occasional straight left, but he spent too much of the fight shaking his head after Ismailov connected with his overhand rights. Doni was game, but Ismailov maintained pressure throughout the fight. The JBB scored the contest 40-36 for Ismailov. 

Sagiv won with two scores of 40-36 and a third of 40-37. He is now 4-0 with 2 KOs. Doni falls to 2-3 with 2 KOs.

In the first round of his bout, Lazarev controlled center ring and then rocketed forward forcing Gaureac back into a corner where Igor unloaded on the 20-year old Moldovan. Lazarev, 36, was best when he was aggressive but in control. While many rights landed later in the first with Gaureac in the corner, Igor missed a wild overhand right when the Moldovan ducked.

Gaureac had success in the second round by touching Lazarev and then moving. He had the more eye-catching shots in the round connecting with a 1-2 and a straight left-right hook combo. Lazarev's primary joy in the round came in clinches; he fired away at the body with his free right hand. But it wasn't enough to win the round.

Lazarev mauled Guateac in the third forcing more clinches and allowing for more of Lazarev's free hand beating the body. At one point, the Moldovan went for a walk and Igor changed after him landing some hard blows in the process, especially the overhand right. The Israeli won the fourth round with sustained aggression to take the fight by majority decision. Two judges scored the bout 39-37 and another had it even. The JBB scored it 39-37 for Lazarev. Igor is now 9-4 with 3 KOs. Gaureac's record falls to 0-4.

Karchevski won his debut by decision. Lisii, a 23 year old from Moldova, showed some slick defense and counters on the ropes in the first. He went to the body effectively and threw straight combos to down the middle. Karchevski, a 31-year old, completely swung the fight in the second. Out of a high guard and pressing forward, he savagely assaulted Lisii's body. At one point, Karchevski landed a beautiful right uppercut off of a combination to the body. The highlight of the round came when both men unleashed huge left hooks at the same time; Karchevski's landed spectacularly while Lisii's came up short.

Karchevski stalked his opponent in the third and landed the right hand at will. Lisii resorted to taunting most of the round, a sure sign of frustration. Karchevski remained composed, continuously punctuating his combinations with one final blow. Lisii turned to southpaw at times, but that didn't work for him.

In the fourth, Karchevski was steady and solid. He walked in behind his jab. As Lisii kept his hands low looking to load up from weird angles, Karchevski refused to fall for the bait. Alex finished a successful debut with an impressive right-left uppercut-right combo.

Though Karchevski doesn't possess the fastest hands, his timing and technique made up for it. Many debutants become anxious and lose their form in their first pro fight, but Alex maintained it throughout. The judges saw the bout for Karchevski 40-36 (twice), 40-37. The JBB scored the bout 39-37 for Alex. He is now 1-0 while Lisii is 1-2 with one KO.

Pro boxers Mikhael Ostroumov, Itay Gershon, and Aki Mishaev watched the action from ringside. Former Olympian and ex-pro boxer Shlomo Niazov was the referee for Lazarev-Gauteac.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Weights from Ashdod

Three pro Jewish boxers are taking part in tomorrow's event in Ashdod, Israel. Sagiv Ismailov, Igor Lazarev, and Alex Karchevski all weighed in today ahead of their separate matches.

Ismailov (3-0, 2 KOs), a 20 year old Israeli super middleweight, came in at 167.8 pounds. This is the heaviest of his pro career by a slim margin: 0.2 pounds. His lightest was 163.5 two years ago. Kristi Doni (2-2, 2 KOs), a 19 year old Albanian, also weighed in at 167.8 pounds, which is under the 168-pound super middleweight limit. We have weights for three of Doni's past fights and they range from 164.5 pounds to 170.  For The JBB's preview of this match, click here.
Doni and Ismailov (courtesy of Evgheni Boico)

Lightweight Lazarev came in at 132.5 pounds. This is a typical weight for the 36 year old veteran who sports a record of 8-4 with 3 KOs. His lightest for a pro bout came in his last fight when Igor weighed 131 pounds. He came in a quarter pound over 135 twice in his career, the heaviest he has tipped the scales for a fight. Vladislav Gauteac (0-3), a 20 year old from Moldova, has two recorded weights: 132.8 and 139.3 pounds. His weight for this fight was in the middle at 134.9 pounds. For a preview of this bout, click here.

Karchevski, a super middleweight trained by Vitali Kaganov, is making his pro debut tomorrow. The 31 year old weighed in at 168 pounds. Last week, he made the finals of the Israeli national amateur championships, which was fought over the weekend. In the tournament, he fought in the 80 KG division or about 176 pounds. Cvintilian Lisii (1-1 one KO), a 23 year old from Moldova, has one recorded weight of 157.5 pounds. In the other bout, he did fight a super middleweight. Lisii was 167.6 pounds for this contest. For a preview, click here.
Alex Karchevski (courtesy of his IG page)

All three bouts are scheduled for four rounds.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Odelia Ben Ephraim Drops Split Decision to Angerville

Odelia Ben Ephraim lost by split decision in her bid to become the French featherweight champion tonight at Salle les Iris in Lormont, France against Annaelle Angerville. Angerville captured the vacant title with the win.

Two judges gave the bout to Angerville 79-73 and 78-74. The third judge saw Ben Ephraim as the winner, 77-75. This was a rematch; Angerville scored a points victory in the first one when the referee scored the bout 39-37 for her. 

Ben Ephraim is now 3-2. Both of her losses have been close and come against the more experienced Angerville, a former Muay Thai world champion and successful kickboxer. Angerville is now 5-1-1 as a pro boxer. More details to come...

Friday, February 3, 2023

Odelia Ben Ephraim and Annaelle Angerville Make Weight

Odelia "Thunder" Ben Ephraim and Annaelle Angerville both made the featherweight limit ahead of their fight for the French title tomorrow at Salle les Iris in Lormont, France. This is a rematch of a 2021 bout in which both boxers were making their pro debuts. Angerville won the decision that night.

Ben Ephraim (3-1) is a 23 year old from France. In her last fight on June 18 against Karla Merida, Odelia pressed forward and showed impressive infighting on route to a points victory. In addition to her boxing career, she is also a talented artist. For this fight, Ben Ephraim weighed in at 123.5 pounds, the lightest of her career. Her heaviest is 126. She has to be considered the underdog in this fight, but she is very much a live dog.

Angerville (4-1-1) is a 33 year old from France. Of Haitian heritage, she is a former Muay Thai world champion and a successful kickboxer. Many Muay Thai fighters and kickboxers use a squared-up stance and throw lopping shots, but Angerville has shown good balance and the ability to throw straight shots in her fights. She has adapted well to pro boxing. Angerville weighed in at 125.7 pounds, which is comfortably within her usual range. Her lightest for a pro boxing bout was 123 while her heaviest was 129.5 pounds.

Regardless of the outcome, both fighters must be commended for taking on such tough opponents early in their pro boxing careers. This contest is scheduled for eight two-minute rounds.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Alex Karchevski to Face Cvintilian Lisii Next Week

Super middleweight Alex Karchevski is scheduled to make his pro debut next Thursday, February 9, in Ashdod, Israel against Cvintilian Lisii. Karchevsky was originally scheduled to face Leon Balandine, who pulled out with an injury. Though Lisii is a replacement, he's more experienced than Balandine, and it should be a more competitive match.

Karchevski is a 31 year old from Lod, Israel. A decorated amateur, he can fight in different styles but prefers to fight on the front foot. As an amateur, he has fought in the heavyweight division on down, so he's the naturally bigger man.

Lisii (1-1, one KO), a 23 year old from Moldova, is an experienced kickboxer. He fought well in his pro boxing debut against Roberto Tranquillo, who was 4-0, on November 5 in Italy. Lisii throws a powerful right. Against Tranquillo, he dipped his left shoulder and landed a big overhand right, good straight rights, and a couple of right uppercuts. Defensively, he covered up and used upper-body movement.

In the third round, Tranquillo reddened the Moldovan's face and backed him into a corner before scoring a knockdown. Tranquillo then landed a right to the body while Lisii was down, but the Italian received no admonishment from the ref. Lisii showed perseverance when he rose, landed two hard rights, and scored a flash knockdown. He was put down for the count in the fifth, though.

Lisii won his first pro fight on December 2 when he stopped Ion Marius Tanca, a southpaw cutie making his debut. Lisii's right again did all the work. A right to the body put Tanca down in the second for the count.

Lisii was less effective when he switched to southpaw in both fights. Typically boxers want to circle away from an opponent's backhand, which is usually the stronger hand, but Karchevski will want to circle away from the right regardless of Lisii's stance. That is if Karchevski, who may pressure, does any circling at all. Lisii's technique lost quality as the fight against Tranquillo progressed and he's hittable, but his right is dangerous.

One weird thing to watch for: Lisii's shoe has come untied in both of his fights. Will he make it three in a row? This bout is scheduled for four rounds.