Boxing


Gatti - Damgaard Camp Notes

05.01.06 - On January 28 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, two-time world champion Arturo Gatti (39-7, 30 KO’s) will challenge Thomas Damgaard (37-0, 27 KO’s) for the IBA welterweight championship . . . Damgaard arrived at his Copenhagen training camp on Nov 15. Among those who are sparring with Damgaard is former European Champion Maxim Nesterenko. Trainer Poul Duvill expects Damgaard to spar at least 120 rounds by fight week . Damgaard has said that he doesn’t expect the fight to go the distance and that his greatest assets in this fight are his natural strength and the fact that he is a natural welterweight . . .

JANUARY 28 UNDERCARD: JASON LITZAU, FEMALE BOXER NORIKO KARIYA, AND A POLISH HEAVYWEIGHT NOT NAMED GOLOTA: Boxing fans who attend the Gatti- Damgaard Jan 28 bout will be treated to an eight-bout undercard.

Headlining the undercard will be undefeated featherweight Jason Litzau (16-0, 14 KO’s) who will face his toughest opposition yet as a pro when he challenges former world title challenger Carlos Contreras (20-11-3, 13 KO’s) in a 10 round bout. The Ciudad Juarez, Mexico native has gone the distance with world champions Johnny Tapia and Lehlo Ledwaba, and with world title challengers Art Simonyan and Adan Vargas . . .

Noriko Kariya (3-0) will compete in a four round bout against Houston, TX native Maria Lucy Contreras (1-2) . . . Kariya is the sister of NHL star Paul Kariya . . . Contreras is trained by Ray Ontiveros—head trainer of top-featherweight contender Rocky Juarez . . .

Mariusz Wach is a 6-4, 250 lb undefeated heavyweight from Krakow, Poland. His record is 6-0 and he has stopped two opponents. This will be Wach’s first bout outside of Poland. Wach will challenge Adele Olakanye (6-4-2, 4 KO’s) in a four round bout.

Also appearing on the card will be heavyweights Malik Scott (23-0, 10 KO’s) and BJ Flores (14-0-1, 10 KO’s), Paterson, NJ welterweight Henry Crawford (8-0-1, 3 KO’s), and Lyndhurst, NJ super middleweight Wayne Johnson (9-1, 5 KO’s) . . .

SHOBOX FOR JULIO AND MARTINEZ: On Jan 6 two Main Events prospects, Joel Julio (25-0, 22 KO’s) and Raul Martinez (12-0, 9 KO’s), will headline a SHOBOX: The Next Generation fight card from Cicero, IL . . . Julio will battle Ugandan Robert Kamya (15-5, 4 KO’s) in the 10 round main event. Kamya has won his last three bouts. In his last bout on August 13, 2005, Kamya decisioned Alex Bunema to win the WBC Continental Americas super welterweight championship . . . Martinez will challenge Andres Ledesma 13-1-1 (8 KO’s) in an eight round bantamweight bout. Ledesma has won eight consecutive bouts. On October 15, 2004, Ledesma defeated Arcelio Ibarra to win the Colombian super bantamweight championship (W 10) . . . Tickets, starting at $30, can be purchased by calling 312-226-5800 . . . Should Julio emerge victorious he will return to the ring on Feb 25 on the Vargas-Mosley undercard . . .

MAIN EVENTS BOXERS RECEIVE ACCOLADES: Below are a list of Main Events boxers and the 2005 year-end awards they earned:

ESPN.com selected Joel Julio as 2005’s “Prospect of the Year” . . . Maxboxing.com columnist Steve Kim also named Julio as “The Fighter Most Likely to Do Huge Things in 2006” . . .

The FIST magazine selected Joel Julio and Jason Litzau as 2005’s “Prospects of the Year”. . .

Round seven of the April 23 Calvin Brock-Jameel McCline battle was selected by ESPN.com and MaxBoxing.com (Steve Kim) as one of the best rounds of 2005.

Undefeated St Paul, MN featherweight Jason Litzau’s July 15 bout against John Nolasco was selected by ESPN.com as one of 12 “Unforgettable Bouts” from 2005.

Antonio Margarito’s stoppage of Sebastian Lujan on Feb 18 in Atlantic City, NJ was recognized by ESPN.com as one of the best knockouts of the year. Although neither boxer is under contract with Main Events, the NJ-based promotional firm did promote the bout. For those of you who don’t remember the ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” contest, Lujan nearly left half his ear in the ring at Boardwalk Hall following the battering he received from Margarito.

THE MAN IN THE MIRROR: A disturbing ESPN.com poll appeared on the network’s website last week entitled, “If your favorite team had a chance at the No. 1 pick and a potential superstar, would you want them to tank the game?” Out of the 36,382 votes received, an astounding 67% (24,376) said they would want their team to throw the game. It is interesting to compare these numbers with the results from the numerous surveys revealing that many people believe boxing is fixed. It has always been assumed that most people’s cynicism towards boxing stems from the sport’s sordid history. However, after reading the above results, one wonders how much of the cynicism is a result of boxing’s past, and how much of it is a result of people projecting their values (or lack thereof) onto the sport? . . .

A GOOD CAUSE: Long-time boxing photographer Teddy Blackburn has published, “In the Other Corner: A Tribute to Gerald McClellan”—a 90 page compilation of colorful boxing photos that he has taken over the years. The book costs $50 and all of the proceeds go to the Gerald McClellan Trust Fund. McClellan (34-3, 28 KO’s), the former WBC middleweight champion, was badly injured in his 1995 bout against Nigel Benn, and according to Blackburn, he is “100% blind and 80% deaf”. The number of boxers represented in the book is too numerous to list; however, there are some photos that you will probably never see anywhere else, such as Pernell Whitaker in the ring with Geraldo Rivera; Andrew Golota posing with Victoria Gotti; and Wilt Chamberlain feigning a left hook to Muhammad Ali’s jaw. Sports fans can purchase it by calling 914-263-8312 . . . .

DEAD MAN WALKING: There is a huge event scheduled for Jan 21 . . . and it’s not Pacquiao-Morales II. Main Events CFO Glenn Jones, a lifelong playboy—excuse me bachelor—will walk the last mile and marry Evelina Restifo. Word is that since he will no longer be allowed to use them, Jones is bequeathing his PING golf clubs to Main Events VP Carl Moretti . . . Latest Vegas odds predict that during the ceremony Jones will hit the canvas sooner than either Pacquiao or Morales do in their rematch . . .

Article posted on 05.01.2006



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