Boxing


Boxing 2007 month by month – Part Two

26.12.07 - By Andrew Wake - July --- Wladimir Klitschko gained revenge on Lamon Brewster by dominating the six rounds that took place before the American former WBO king’s trainer Buddy McGirt decided to pull the plug.

British promoter Frank Warren grinned from ear to ear when he announced that the 168Ibs super fight between unbeaten champions Joe Calzaghe and Mikkel Kessler would take place at the Millenium Stadium on November 3rd..

A surprise victory was scored by Filipino Nonito Donaire when he scored a stunning knockout win over the previously untamed Vic Darchinyan. The fight would later go on to be named as “Upset of the year”.

As predicted, Fernando Vargas and Ricardo Mayorga ended up brawling at the press conference to confirm their September 8 match up.

Unbeaten southpaw Paul Williams ripped the WBO welter strap from Antonio Margarito with a unanimous, 116 – 112, 115 – 113, 115 – 113, verdict.

Roy Jones continued to revive his career by dominating Anthony Hanshaw. The win was Jones’ second on the spin since losing to Antonio Tarver in late 2005.

The human highlight reel that was Arturo Gatti called time on his glorious career after being smoked by Contender series one star Alfonso Gomez.

Bernard Hopkins called out Joe Calzaghe after beating Winky Wright in Las Vegas.

The stock of Michael Katsidis and Jorge Linares shot up when they scored wins over Czar Amonsot and Oscar Larios respectively, on the Hopkins – Wright undercard.

Gavin Rees made a mammoth leap into the world rankings when he outpointed WBA light welterweight belt holder Souleymane MBaye. Rees had previously been fighting six and eight round fights against limited opposition.

Former British heavyweight champion James Oyebola was shot dead in a London nightclub after asking someone to stop smoking.

August

David Diaz retained his WBC lightweight crown with a controversial decision over modern Mexican legend Erik Morales.

Super-bantamweights Rafael Marquez and Israel Vasquez fought another thriller. Vasquez came out on top this time with a sixth round stoppage, setting up potential for a 2008 rubber match.

Pound for pound head honcho Floyd Mayweather’s management team reached an agreement with Goldenboy Promotions for the prettyboy’s WBC welter defence to Ricky Hatton.

Anthony Mundine’s career hung in the balance after a he contracted a series eye infection from a dirty contact lens.

Flag waving promotional giant Don King announced his plans to pit faded legends Roy Jones and Felix Trinidad against each other in early 2008.

WBO super-bantamweight champ Daniel Ponce De Leon retained his crown by wiping out Rey Bautista on a Mexico versus The Phillipines bill at the Arco Arena in Sacramento.

Spain’s Kiko Martinez needed less than one and a half minutes to conquer the highly rated Bernard Dunne in Dublin.

September

There was controversy in Colombia as home favourite Ricardo Torres held onto his WBO light-welterweight title with an eleventh round stoppage of Kendall Holt. American challenger, Holt claimed that the stoppage was premature, he was struck in the face by a beer can thrown from the crowd and that one of Torres’ corner staff had reached through the ropes tried to stop his movement by grabbing his leg.

Vitali Klitschko was forced to pull out of his comeback bout with Jameel McCline after slipping a disc in training.

Junior Witter proved he can live with the top fighters in the 140Ibs division when he demolished former WBA titlist Vivian Harris in seven rounds.

A publishing firm, part of Oscar De La Hoya’s Goldenboy Promotions, purchased the bible of boxing, Ring magazine.

“Iron” Mike Tyson pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing drugs brought about when he was arrested in Arizona the previous December.

Oleg Maskaev pulled out of his October 6th WBC title defence to mandatory challenger Nigerian Sam Peter. The champion sited injuries to his back and ankle as the reason.

The third series of ESPN’s popular boxing show The Contender begun. The opening show featured a series of tests that whittled the sixteen combatants down to ten.

Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik became the WBC and WBO middleweight champion when he shook off a second round knock down and stormed back to stop Jermain Taylor at 2.14 of the seventh stanza.

October

Joe Calzaghe celebrated ten years as WBO super-middleweight champion.

Kendall Holt’s appeal for a rematch with Colombia’s Ricardo Torres was turned down by the WBO.

33 year old Marco Antonio Barrera bowed out of the sport gracefully after dropping a twelve round decision to Manny Pacquiao. Many had expected the “Pac Man” to blow away Barrera in a similar fashion to their meeting four years earlier but the “Baby Faced Assassin” battled bravely and at the final bell was able to hold his head high.

Samuel Peter was decked three times by Jameel McCline but recovered well enough to clinch a twelve round unanimous decision and take home the WBC’s interim heavyweight title.

Floyd Mayweather and his dance partner Karin Smirnoff strutted their stuff for the final time on Dancing with the Stars.

Evander Holyfield’s recent run of wins came to an end when he was unanimously outpointed by Sultan Ibragimov in Moscow.

Juan Diaz proved himself to be the best lightweight in the world when he put in a faultless display against the unrelated Julio Diaz. Julio was pummelled until he quit after eight rounds.

Promoter Dino Duva was fined $10,000 and suspended for six months after being caught attempting to look at the judge’s scorecards during the Sam Peter – Jameel McCline fight.

Canada based Romanian Lucian Bute ripped the IBF super-middleweight from Colombia’s Alejandro Berrio in Montreal with an eleventh round knockout.

Alfonso Gomez continued to add better names to his résumé as he picked up a ten round decision over granite chinned veteran Ben Tackie. On the undercard former Gomez conqueror and Contender series one winner Sergio Mora looked rusty as he struggled to get a draw against Elvin Ayala.

November

Joe Calzaghe becomes the first man to fully unify the 168Ibs division when he defeated the “Viking Warrior” Mikkel Kessler in front of 50,000 fans at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

Juan Manuel Marquez held on to his WBC super-featherweight championship when he beat the game and badly cut Rocky Juarez by unanimous decision.

World middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik smashed his fist through a window and required over a 100 stitches.

Jermain Taylor and legendary trainer Emanuel Steward agreed to go their separate ways. It had earlier be announced that Taylor would enforce his rematch clause and meet Kelly Pavlik again in 2008.

David Haye became the top man at cruiserweight when he came back from a fourth round knockdown to stop rugged Frenchman Jean-Mark Mormeck in the seventh.

Puerto Rican superstar Miguel Cotto proved to be sweeter than sugar when retained his WBA welterweight bauble with a twelve round decision over Shane Mosley at a packed Madison Square Garden.

There was controversy on the Cotto – Mosley undercard as Cuban southpaw Joel Casamayor retained his Ring magazine and interim WBC titles with a questionable decision over Jose Armando Santa Cruz.

Cameroon’s Sakio Bika became the third winner of the popular television series The Contender when he stopped Jaidon Codrington in the eighth of what was a thrilling match.

Mike Tyson spent one day in prison, was fined $3,600 and ordered to do 360 hours of community service for drug possession and driving while under the influence.

“Ferocious” Fernando Vargas ended his career with a loss when he dropped a majority decision to Nicaraguan wild man Ricardo Mayorga at the Staples centre in LA.

December

Goldenboy and Top Rank announced that the long awaited rematch between Manny Pacquaio and Juan Manuel Marquez will take place in Las Vegas on March 15th.

On a Showtime triple header, Antonio Tarver disposed of Danny Santiago in four rounds, WBC light-middle titlist Vernon Forrest scored an eleventh round stoppage of Michele Piccirillo and Nonito Donaire moved to 19 – 1 with a TKO of Luis Maldonado.

Floyd Mayweather proved that he can still KO his opponents when he stopped Britain’s Ricky Hatton in the tenth frame of their world welterweight clash at the MGM Grand. Like with the Castillo fight six months earlier, Hatton’s fans turned out in force again.

Sections of the boxing world were up in arms after Bernard Hopkins allegedly said “I would never let a white boy beat me” to Joe Calzaghe at the Mayweather versus Hatton weigh in.

The International Boxing Hall of Fame named its newest inductees. Larry Holmes, Eddie Perkins, Mogens Palle, Frank Warren, and writers Joe Koizumi and Dave Anderson getting the nod, among others.

“King” Arthur Abraham made a successful sixth defence of his 160Ibs middle title by blasting Wayne Elcock in five rounds.

Boxing historian Hank Kaplan passed away, aged 88.

Venezuelan belt holders Edwin Valero and Jorge Linares both impressed in Cancun on a bill called “Night of the Champions” as they stopped Zaid Zavaleta and Gamaliel Diaz.

That 2007 in a nutshell.

Let’s now raise a glass to 2008.

Article posted on 27.12.2007



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