BASN’s Boxing News N’ Notes

By Francis Walker
Updated: March 9, 2008

NEW YORK — WBA/WBC cruiserweight champion David “The Hayemaker” Haye (21-1, 20 KOs) has added the WBO championship to his collection following a spectacular KO of Enzo Maccarinelli (28-2, 21 KOs) at 2:04 seconds into round two.

The bout occurred in front of more than 20,000 onlookers in Haye’s hometown of London, England at the O2 Arena and was televised live on Showtime in the U.S. and Sentanta Sports in the U.K.

Haye-Maccarinelli, arguably the biggest fight in the U.K. since Nigel Benn’s two epic battles with Chris Eubank, was a contest between two of perhaps the strongest punchers in the cruiserweight division.

The fight was determined by the fighter that could land the first big bomb. When Haye landed first, the fight ended instantly.

Haye crushed Maccarinelli with a solid right hand upside his head the floored him in a corner. Maccarinelli was clearly out on his feet and could have been seriously hurt hand Haye been allowed to inflict more punishment.

“‘The Hayemaker’ doesn’t lie,” Haye said afterwards. “It is nice to know that the cruiserweight division is now cleaned up. It is time to move up to heavyweight and fix that disgraceful division.”

Haye will seek, but can he destroy Klitschko?

The 27 year-old Haye is very muscular at 6-feet-3 and is a natural heavyweight that shrinks himself from 235 pounds to make the 200-pound cruiserweight limit. Haye is simply too big and strong for the weight class and has vowed to move up to heavyweight in pursuit of a heavyweight championship fight with newly unified IBF/WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko.

“I’m going to do to him (Klitschko) what Corrie Sanders did to him with that speed and make him run like a bitch,” Haye said of Klitschko during fight week. “I’m going to go out there and knock him out. He’s my No. 1 target at the moment. People regard Klitschko as the No. 1 fighter in the world. He can try to hide as much as he wants, but I’m going to track him down and take him out.”

During fight-week Haye labeled Klitschko a coward and said that he can beat him. In reality, Klitschko isn’t invincible and can be beat. The question is, what heavyweight in the world can beat Klitschko by simply standing in front of his lengthy reach? To beat Klitschko, a fighter must pressure him and Haye has the style that can pressure Klitschko into fighting.

“I can’t wait to go up and knock that bum out,” Haye added.

A fight between the unified heavyweight and cruiserweight champions of the modern era? Should Haye continue to destroy his opponents as a heavyweight as he did at cruiserweight, then the public will demand Klitschko-Haye.

Peter KOs Maskaev, wins WBC heavyweight title

After nearly 1½ of waiting for an opportunity to fight for the WBC heavyweight champion, Samuel Peter (30-1, 23 KOs) took full advantage of the opportunity at Plaza de Toros, Cancun, Mexico on Saturday by knocking out Oleg Maskaev (34-6, 26 KOs) in the sixth round.

The victory officially made Peter the first Nigerian to win a world heavyweight championship. Some people were praying on the illusion that Maskev would beat Peter.

Maskaev, at age 39, was coming off “minor surgery” and hasn’t fought since December 2006. Although Peter didn’t look good against Jameel McCline, suffering three knockdowns in the first two rounds of their bout for the interim WBC title in October, the “Nigerian Nightmare” showed a lot of determination by fighting his way back into the fight to win a 12-round decision.

Peter-Maskaev was a tactical boxing match and the champion did well before getting caught with a barrage of punches. Peter must next face WBC “Champion Emeritus” Vitali Klitschko, the older brother of Wladimir.

Vitali retired in 2005 after suffering a number of injuries, but will be returning soon. Vitali was supposed to have fought last year, but a number of injuries and surgeries forced him out of action once again.

Vitali hasn’t fought since successfully defending the WBC heavyweight title on an eighth round KO of Danny Williams in December 2004.

Campbell upsets Diaz, lifts IBF/WBA & WBO lightweight titles

At age 36, Nate Campbell (31-5-1, 25 KOs), in an upset, lifted the IBF/WBA and WBO lightweight championships from previously undefeated Juan Diaz (33-1, 17 KOs), via 12-round split-decision.

The three judges score the bout 116-111 (Campbell), 114-113 (Diaz), and 115-112 (Campbell).

Campbell is clearly the man to beat at 135 pounds, as he ended Diaz’ near four-year reign as a world lightweight champion. Campbell threw the cleaner punches and backed Diaz up for twelve rounds with vicious body shots.

Diaz did suffer a cut above his left eye which was badly swollen. The cut may have been the result of a head butt that occurred in the sixth round. According to the WBC rules, Campbell has docked one point as a result.

The bout would have been more of a landslide on the cards had Campbell not been docked one point. Campbell’s road toward a championship shot was long, hard, and some observers would say overdue.

In Campbell’s only world title shot, he was stopped in the eighth round by Robbie Pendon in February 2005.

In 2004, he lost an IBF eliminator to unbeaten Isaac Hlatswayo (L 12), but won two consecutive IBF elimination bouts between 2006-07 and had to wait ore than one year to fight Diaz for the chance to become a world champion.

Stark avenges loss with one eye

Gary Stark Jr. (21-2, 8 KOs), with his right eye swollen shut, avenged a shocking KO loss to Andres Ledemsa (14-8-1, 9 KOs) last year by winning a close 10-round unanimous decision in a rematch last Wednesday at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.

“I wanted this bad,” Stark said in his dressing room after the bout. “I came out like a soldier. I always knew I had a lot of heart. I should have boxed a little more.”

Stark, not recognized for having punching power, fought off pure emotion. The 28-year-old from Staten Island, N.Y., attacked Ledemsa aggressively from the opening bell hoping to knock him out.

However, after the second round, Ledemsa was still there and the fight became difficult for Stark. — jabbed Stark to a pulp. Starks had a laceration below his right eye, as the swelling rapidly closed his eye.

Starks maintained his aggression with the fight up for grabs in the final round to pull out a narrow victory as the three official ringsider judges scored the bout 97-93 and 96-94 (twice). This was perhaps the finest bout of Stark’s career.

“Of course it’s the best fight (of my career),” Stark said. “I thought the Nike Oliver fight was the best of my career, but I lost. Tonight, I fought with an injury.”

“My friends in Staten Island said ‘look at Gary Stark, he got KO’d’. Nobody can say that anymore,” Stark added. Stark impressed a lot of ringside observers including promoter Lou DiBella.

“Whenever a guy has been knocked out cold that rematch is a test of will,” DiBella stated. “I couldn’t have imagined he would fight like that — like a legend.”

Stark-Ledemsa Undercard

Edgar Santana (22-2, 14 KOs) scored a knockdown in each round of his junior welterweight fight with Grover Wiley (30-11-1, 14 KOs) before bout was stopped at 1:27 of round three.

Unbeaten junior middleweight prospect Raymond Briggs (8-0, 7 KOs) survived a flash knockdown late his bout with Chris Gray (8-7, 1 KO) to win a 6-round split decision.

Unbeaten junior welterweight prospect Joel Torres (9-0, 5 KOs) won an 8-round unanimous decision over Mike Gonzalez (10-4-1, 9 KOs). The three judges scored the bout 80-72, 78-74, and 77-75.

Israel Garcia (19-1, 11 KOs) defeated Innocent Otukwu (14-12, 2 KOs) after he quit on his stool after the first round of a scheduled 8-round heavyweight bout.

Middleweights Ariel Espinal (6-2-2-, 2 KOs) and Ray Darden (10-11, 4 KOs) fought to a draw.

Lindsay Garbatt (1-1, 1 KO) knocked out Tracey Hutt (0-1) in the fourth and final round of a very competitive women’s featherweight contest.

Super bantamweight Joselito Collado (2-0) shutout Vineash Rungea (2-9-2) after four rounds on all three judges scorecards (40-36) to win a unanimous decision.

Star Boxing Rocks Hammerstein Too

In a rare occurrence when two local boxing promoters stage fight cards at the same venue on consecutive weeknights, both DiBella and Joe DeGuardia proved that New York City is definitely a fight town. Both promoters produced standing-room only shows and were successful in showcasing local talent in their hometown.

DeGuardia’s Star Boxing produced an evening of knockouts last week Thursday at the Hammerstein just one night after Gary Stark’s dramatic 10-round performance.

In the main event, however, junior welterweight Mike Arnaoutis (18-2, 9 KOs) won a 12-round unanimous decision against Harrison Cuello (15-6-2, 11 KOs). All three judges scored the bout 119-109.

Super middleweight Curtis Stevens (18-2, 13 KOs) survived a second round knockdown during a dramatic eight-round contest with Thomas Reid (35-21-1, 13 KOs). Stevens scored a dramatic knockout in the final five seconds of the contest to escape what could have been a potential upset.

Heavyweight Vinny Maddalone (29-20, 4 KOs) TKO’d overmatched Jeff Yeoman (21-9, 8 KOs) in round two.

Heavyweight Tim Skolnick (1-0, 1 KO), making his professional boxing debut, survived a late knockdown to brutally KO Sean McClain (2-2, 1 KO) off a booming right hand during the fourth and final round.

Undefeated Nagy Aguilera (7-0, 5 KOs) knocked out Mike Jones (6-14, 2 KOs) in the first round of a scheduled four-round heavyweight bout.

Unbeaten welterweight Raymond Serrano (4-0, 3 KOs) knocked out Abraham Bruno (6-11-4, 3 KOs) in round one.

Pacquiao returns to pay-per-view

Many Pacquiao (45-3-2, 35 KOs) looks to continue his Hall of Fame career as one of the best fighters in the world pound-for-pound when he returns to HBO Pay-Per-View on March 15, at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas to challenge WBC super featherweight champion, Juan Manuel Marquez (48-3-1, 35 KOs) in a rematch from their first fight four years ago.

In May 2004, Marquez was floored three times in the first round against Pacquiao. Marquez, an excellent fighter himself, boxed well enough to escape with a draw after twelve rounds.

Since then, both fighters have fought a combined 15 times with each having lost just once with Pacquiao losing to Erik Morales; Marquez losing to Chris John.

Pacquiao-Marquez II should be an exciting between two very exciting fighters with Pacquiao, the younger and more exciting fighter coming out on top.