A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Wilder brings WBC heavyweight title back to U.S.
Deontay Wilder became the first African-American since Shannon Briggs (2007) to win a world heavyweight title. On Saturday, January 17, Wilder (33-0, 32 KOs) impressed the entire boxing community by outlasting Bermane Stiverne (24-2-1, 21 KOs) to capture the WBC heavyweight championship at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV.
Wilder, winner of all 32 professional contests by knockout within the first four rounds, dominated the more seasoned and accomplished Stiverne for twelve rounds. The judges scored the bout 120-107, 119-108, 118-109, as Stiverne, simply couldn’t surpass the lengthy left-jab of the 6’ 7,” Wilder.
“I’m just excited and happy to bring this belt back to America,” Wilder said. “I think I answered a lot of questions tonight. We knew we could go twelve rounds. We knew we could take a punch. We knew we could do it.”
A lot of people were skeptical of Wilder since he never fought anyone on Stiverne’s level. Stiverne, battle tested in fights against Ray Austin and a pair of victories against Chris Arreola, appeared to have the experience to compete with Wilder. However, Wilder’s speed, power, and distance proved to be too much for Stiverne to overcome. He was outmatched.
“It wasn’t my night,” Stiverne said. “I felt 100 percent before the fight but once I got in the ring I couldn’t cut the ring. I couldn’t move my head like I usually do. What can I say? Congrats to him.”
Stiverne added that we knew he needed to throw more punches, but appeared flat.
“I knew I was trying to throw combos of four, or five punches and could only throw two of them. I just felt like I was flat in the ring.”
For the first time in many years, there is a world heavyweight champion that doesn’t have the name Klitschko. Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, the only brothers to simultaneously hold world heavyweight title, dominated the championship landscape for years. They defeated every top heavyweight contender on the planet. Last year, Vitali retired to pursue a career in politics.
Don’t be in a rush to see a unification bout between Wladimir and Wilder. Klitschko is returning to fight here in the U.S. on April 25th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Wilder, in order to celebrate him as the first American champion, will have routine showcase defenses in attempt to further boost his profile.
In other bouts: Undefeated WBC super-bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (29-0-1, 17 KOs) stopped Jesus Ruiz (32-6-5, 21 KOs) in the eighth round.
Undefeated super lightweight contender Amir Imam (16-0, 14 KOs) KO’d Fidel Maldonado (19-3, 16 KOs) in the fifth round of an action-filled bout that featured five knockdowns.
PHOTO CREDIT: HOGANPHOTOS
Travis Peterkin headlines Broadway Boxing (DiBella Entertainment Release)
DiBella Entertainment’s (DBE) popular and longstandingBroadway Boxing series returns on Thursday, January 29, with a thrilling nine-bout card held at NYC’s famed B.B. King Blues Club & Grill. Headlining the event will be Brooklyn’s talented and charismatic light heavyweight prospect “Notorious” Travis Peterkin (13-0, 5 KOs), who has been a fixture on the series since signing with DBE in 2012.
Peterkin began boxing at age 11 and was an outstanding amateur, compiling a record of 95-7, while winning the New York Golden Gloves prior to turning pro in 2011. Behind a thudding jab and stiff straight right hand, the now-24-year-old southpaw dominated Otis Griffin, winner of The Next Great Champ reality show, via unanimous decision, in his last bout on October 15. It was Peterkin’s first contest scheduled for eight rounds and his biggest victory to date. On January 29, the highly touted Peterkin will be determined to continue to build on that momentum as he is poised to make the move from prospect to contender.
The event on January 29 is sponsored by Manfredi Auto Group and Everlast. Tickets are currently on sale and are priced at $125, $100, $75 and $55. Tables are also available for purchase for this event, with VIP tables going for $1,000 per table (5 seats at $200 per seat), Ringside tables for $500 (5 seats at $100), and $375 tables (5 seats at $75). Tickets are available for purchase by calling the DiBella Entertainment office at (212) 947-2577. Doors open at 6:30pm with the first bout scheduled for 7:00pm.
Cruiserweight Junior Wright to honor NYPD (Dimitry Salita, Star of David Boxing)
Boxing and law enforcement working in tandem have a long and admirable history. Police Athletic Leagues have provided a haven for wayward youths, and allowed at-risk youth and law enforcement personnel to interact and form bonds which prove personally beneficial, and also help strengthen fragile communities. With that in mind, promoter Dmitriy Salita and his headliner on the Thursday, Jan. 22 pro boxing card at Webster Hall in Manhattan are teaming up to honor the memories of the two NYPD officers slain last month in a tragic incident.
Junior Wright is a 12-0 cruiserweight, with 10 KOs, who fights tough Texan Rayford Johnson on the Salita show. He stepped up and decided he wanted to do his part to honor the cops’ memory, and also smooth out the trauma in the community, perhaps aid in minimizing the friction between cops and youth in some disadvantaged neighborhoods.
“I heard about the two New York City police officers that were ambushed in December and all the trouble that’s been going on,” Wright said. “I grew up in Chicago and all that comes with it. All my dealings with the police have been above board. They’ve helped me a lot with my career.” His manager Steve Clemente is a 25 year veteran of the Illinois State Police while co-trainer Pete George recently retired after nearly 30 years as a suburban Chicago police officer. With that, Junior has dedicated this fight to the memory of N.Y.P.D. officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.
When Salita heard the plan, he was more than happy to come on board. “Junior is a great role model,” Salita said. “He is hard-working, determined and focused on making a positive influence through boxing.”
N.Y.P.D. officers who attend Thursday night will receive a half-price ticket.
“We will also have a ceremonial 10 count for the fallen heroes before the main event,” said Salita.
Webster Hall is located at 125 East 11th Street, New York, NY 10003.
Doors open for the 10-bout card at 7 PM ET, with ticket prices starting at $40