Saturday, August 20, 2005

Vargas overtakes Castillejo, wins unanimous decision

Rosemont, Ill. (Allstate Arena) – In uncharacteristically workmanlike fashion, former world titleholder Fernando Vargas, 26-2 (22 KOs), Oxnard, Calif., 154, scored a clear ten round decision victory over former WBC belt holder Javier Castillejo, 58-6 (39 KOs), Madrid, Spain, 154. Scoring of the bout was 97-92, 97-92, and 98-91 all for Vargas.

Hatton eyeing management change

Ricky Hatton appears to at least be considering breaking free of the tight grip of promoter Frank Warren. If he successfully links with one of the big name firms in the U.S., such as Main Events, Don King, or Top Rank, we can expect to see some solid pay-per-view events.

Although Hatton can fill arenas in his hometown, it appears that without a change in his promotional team he may be relegated to fighting second-tier contenders despite his considerable talent and the clout that comes with holding the true world championship.

We’ll keep an eye on the developments.

Vargas-Castillejo Prediction

At 37, the former WBC titlist Javier Castillejo is engaging in his last hurrah. In virtually every department Fernando Vargas is better that Castillejo was at his peak. It is certainly the case that with a seven fight win streak Castillejo has rebuilt some confidence since being essentially shutout by Oscar De La Hoya. But, each of those wins came against nominal opposition at home in Spain. The central difference in this fight is that Vargas is faster, punches much harder, and even boxes better than Castillejo.

Other than that …

Vargas is simply a fighter in a different class than Castillejo, who is no doubt a skilled and able journeyman. Vargas will out-punch and outwork his Spanish opponent throughout and, in the end, overwhelm him. Vargas by KO in 8.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Calzaghe’s handlers say the Lacy bout is still on

Perhaps the pressure to fight Jeff Lacy is getting to Joe Calzaghe. His promoter says the bout will go on in November. Fight people can’t let off the pressure because Calzaghe has found more ways out of bouts than any top fighter in my memory. Lacy has agreed to fight in England. Now that’s confidence.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Is Calzaghe looking for a way out of Lacy unification?

As I suspected would be the case following the Jeff Lacy win over Robin Reid – in writing – Joe Calzaghe is now, according to a report published by the BBC, having second thoughts about meeting the rising star Lacy in what was supposed to be Calzaghe’s long-awaited, career-defining unification fight. The setting for a Calzaghe-Lacy showdown seemed in place. If Lacy could somehow get past Reid (and isn’t it humorous now to see Reid being labeled as shot, when before the bout many made it out to seem as if Lacy might be in real trouble?), he would face Calzaghe.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Mayorga nabs WBC super-welterweight belt

CHICAGO (United Center) -- Former welterweight world champion Ricardo Mayorga, 27-5-1 (23 KOs), Nicaragua, 154, captured the vacant WBC super-welterweight title Saturday night with a hard-fought 12 round decision over Michele Piccirillo, 44-2, 1 NC (28 KOs), Italy, 154. Scoring was 117-110, 117-108 and 120-105 (a score that was way off). Piccirillo was down twice in round two and once in round four. The bout was on the undercard of the Rahman-Barrett WBC “Interim” Heavyweight title match.

Rahman Decisions Barrett; Wins Right to Face Klitschko

CHICAGO (United Center) – Hasim Rahman, 41-5-1 (33 KOs), Baltimore, 236, won a clear-cut 12 round decision over Monte Barrett, 31-4 (17 KOs), New York, 224, and with it the WBC interim heavyweight title and the right to face titlist Vitali Klitschko. Scoring of the bout was 116-112, 118-110 and 118-110 for Rahman. There were no knockdowns.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Camarena Decisions Padilla in Denver

DENVER, Colo. (Pepsi Center) – Hometown prospect Donald Camarena, 16-1 (9 KOs), Denver, 140, successfully defended his WBC Continental Americas super lightweight title with a ten-round unanimous decision over a determined Jorge Alberto Padilla, Jr., 6-2 (1 KO), Mexico City, 138½, on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Rahman - Barrett Prediction

On August 13th former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman takes on Monte Barrett for something called the WBC "interim" title. Never mind about the sanctioning aspect to this tussle because what is important in this contest is that the winner goes on to face Vitali Klitschko, the WBC champion. Barrett is rated a bit high, but he's a well-conditioned and able fighter. Rahman is a mixed bag; brilliant in flashes, but inconsistent in an up-and-down career.

Hasim Rahman comes into an arena in one of two states: 1. overweight and unmotivated or 2. fit and sharp. Lately it’s been the latter.

Rahman at around 230 is a powerful hunter who operates behind a punishing and accurate left jab. His jab, reminiscent of a peak Sonny Liston’s primary weapon, can befuddle an opponent and reduce his will.

The other, fatter version of Rahman reduces him to a very ordinary heavyweight fighter. If there is one glaring weakness of Rahman – even in his best form – it’s his chin.

It has let him down against David Tua (though in disputed fashion), Oleg Maskaev, and Lennox Lewis.

Monte Barrett is always fit and makes the most of his abilities. He's riding high with wins over fringe contenders Dominick Guinn and Owen Beck. He also fought well while losing against former contender Joe Mesi.

His one major loss, a blow-out against Wladimir Klitschko, however, may be the most telling about what we may expect in his match with Rahman. He couldn’t punch hard enough to unhinge the big man and he couldn’t really get past Klitschko’s jab (or anything else).

Assuming Rahman is motivated for this one, he will crack his jab into Barrett’s face early and often. Look for Barrett to fade badly around round five. Look for a stoppage shortly thereafter. Rahman by KO in 7.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Top 25 Heavyweights (As of August 2005)

My third monthly edition of the Grant Top 25 Heavyweights is now available. I am a somewhat reluctant warrior in attempting to put words on a page this month because so many of the rated heavyweights are fighting in August. Almost without doubt we are in for some serious changes next month. Changes this month are listed by each name. I’ve also added some names at the bottom of fighters who are hovering around the fringes of the ratings.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Lacy Destroys Reid in Tampa; Calzaghe Next?

TAMPA, Fla. (St Pete Times Forum) – Jeff “Left Hook’’ Lacy, 20-0, 1 NC, (16 KOs), Tampa, 167, won a brutal and convincing 7th round stoppage of Robin “The Grim Reaper’’ Reid (38-5-1, 27 KOs), Bolton, England, 167½, a fighter never before down or stopped.

Clay-Bey and Bryant grind to a draw

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. – Former Olympian Lawrence Clay-Bey, 21-3-1 (16 KOs), Bloomfield, Conn., 258, managed to eke out a hard-fought ten round draw with scrappy southpaw Derek Bryant, 18-4-1 (15 KOs), Philadelphia, 212, at Foxwoods as the headliner of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights. Clay-Bey, clearly overweight and unable to fight with consistency, was nevertheless able to fight in spurts that allowed him to steal rounds from the more active, though light-punching, Bryant.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


CHICAGO, IL (August 3, 2005) – WBC #1 ranked contender Rocky Juarez will challenge WBC #2 ranked contender Humberto Soto for the WBC-Interim Featherweight Championship on August 20 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL, it was announced today by Main Events CEO Kathy Duva. Both the Juarez-Soto 12 round co-feature bout and the Fernando Vargas-Javier Castillejo 12 round main event bout will be broadcast live on HBO's "Boxing After Dark" series, beginning at 10:15 P.M. ET and 9:15 pm. CT.

Juarez was originally scheduled to battle WBC champion In Jin Chi; however, Chi was forced to pull out of the bout after spraining his right ankle while jogging on July 28.

Vargas (26-2, 23 KO’s) is a two-time jr. middleweight champion. The 27-year-old Oxnard, CA native became the youngest jr. middleweight world champion in boxing history (21 years and 5 days old) on December 12, 1998, when he dismantled defending IBF champion Yory Boy Campas in seven rounds (TKO 7). Vargas regained a world jr. middleweight crown on September 22, 2001, when he stopped Jose “Shibata” Flores to earn the WBA jr. middleweight championship (KO 7). Vargas, one of the sport’s most popular boxers, has won his last three bouts. In his last bout on March 26, 2005, Vargas decisioned Raymond Joval (W 10).

Soto (36-5-2, 21 KO’s) has won 13 of his last 14 bouts. The sole blemish on the 25-year-old Los Mochis, Mexico native’s record during this span was a no-decision against Jorge Solis on September 17, 2004 (ND 3). In his last bout on December 10, 2004, Soto stopped Ismael Gonzalez (TKO 5).

The evening of boxing is being promoted by Main Events in association with Rimer Box, Miller Lite,, and 8 Count Productions.

For more info: Main Events (973) 893-9100
Donald Tremblay
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