The Finger Post Boxing: Denver’s Daniel Calzada comes up short in clash with undefeated Brian Ceballo (December 8, 2018)

The Finger Post Boxing (December 8, 2018)

Denver based welterweight Daniel Calzada ultimately came up short in his clash with the talented and undefeated Brian Ceballo tonight at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Calzada showed Ceballo early on why the New Mexican was widely regarded as one of the cagiest fighters in Colorado. Although Ceballo was winning the round with activity he still seemed to have trouble with the defense of Calzada. At times Calzada would successfully move his head to such effect that he had Ceballo throwing three-punch combinations that would hit nothing but air. But in the end the speed and strength of Ceballo was too much for Calzada. By round two Ceballo began to find a home for his right hand, although Calzada showed his toughness in standing his ground. By round three Ceballo was in total control and seemed to snap Calzada’s head back with right hands and left hooks. Still, the New Mexico born brawler refused to take a backward step and certainly impressed the capacity crowd with his grit and toughness. After four rounds of action all theee judges scored the fight 40-36. With the win Ceballo improves to 6-0, 3 KOs while Calzada slips to 16-20-3, 2 KOs. Calzada has only been stopped twice in his 39-fight career.

The Finger Post Boxing: Albuquerque’s Jason Sanchez enters WBO world ranking (November 27, 2018)

The Finger Post Boxing: November 27, 2018

 

New Mexico’s had no shortage of attractive prospects in boxing since the era of Danny Romero and Johnny Tapia…and for boxing fans in the Land of Enchantment Albuquerque’s undefeated featherweight Jason Sanchez (13-0, 6 KOs) was one of the best prospects the state had ever produced.

Well, it’s time to stop calling him a prospect.

Because now that the World Boxing Organization has released it’s November ratings earlier this week Sanchez graduated to something bigger.

Contender.

After stunning fellow undefeated prospect Jean Carlos Rivera on October 31 in Panama City, there was little doubt that Sanchez was going to make some noise in boxing.  After all, he had just beat one of the best featherweight prospects in the world in front of some of boxing’s biggest power brokers (the WBO annual Convention was taking place that week in Panama City at the same hotel where the fight card was held).  He also captured the WBO Youth belt in the process, a belt that often is a precursor to a world ranking.

Sanchez’s hard work and dominant title victory was more than enough in the eyes of the WBO to propel the Albuquerque native into the world rankings at #15.

So where does Sanchez go from here?  Well, he needs to continue to win if he is going to move into the top ten, but looking at some of the fighters ranked above him I have to admit, I like his chances against a few of them.  I for one think that a fight with California’s Erick Ituarte (20-1-1, 3 KOs) would be a very good match up for Sanchez.   Ituarte, the #5 ranked contender, struggled to beat Alberto Torres (11-1-3, 4 KOs) in an NABF Junior title fight back in August of 2017 (Ituarte won a split decision).  He also struggled to defeat Isaac Zarate (16-4-3, 2 KOs) by split decision in his only other NABF Junior title fight in May of 2017.  Sanchez may not be seen as a puncher but it was obvious that his had enough pop in his punches to give Jean Carlos Rivera a lot of trouble in Panama.  And I think he could find similar success against Ituarte, who only has three knockouts in his 22 fights.  In fact, one of the most impressive things about Sanchez’s performance in Panama was his relentless attack on Rivera…never letting up and never getting deterred.   Against the light punching Ituarte I could see Sanchez duplicate his winning strategy from Panama: walking through Ituarte and manhandling him with relentless pressure.  Ituarte was dropped by Zarate in their fight with a counter left cross in the third round, and although it was something of a flash knockdown it was clear after round three that the pressure of Zarate was giving Ituarte a lot of problems.  But the underdog simply couldn’t keep the pressure up.  By round five Ituarte was in control as the badly winded Zarate began to backpedal.

The thing is…I don’t think Sanchez would fade.  He certainly didn’t in Panama, where his relentless pressure was a thing of beauty.  Rivera tried to weather the storm but Sanchez never took his foot on the accelerator.  Ituarte simply lacks the power to frustrate a determined Sanchez in my opinion.  And unlike Zarate, who faded down the stretch, Sanchez will be in Ituarte’s face for all ten rounds.  If the same Jason Sanchez who who went to Panama were to head to California for a fight against Ituarte I believe that the New Mexican would come home with the win.

And that could propel Sanchez into a world title fight in 2019…something every fight fan in New Mexico would be excited to see.

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Boxing: Will Tatsuya Fukuhara be the latest to capitalize on the “Marciano jinx”?

The Finger Post Boxing (November 21, 2017)

Boxing, like life, is often about being at the right place at the right time. And for popular Japanese minimumweight Tatsuya Fukuhara (19-5-6, 7 KOs), he is now very much in the right place. Just three months after the former WBO champion dropped his belt to countryman Ryo Yamanaka, Fukuhara is set to take on the biggest name in the 105-pound division: Thailand’s Wanheng Menayothin. Fukuhara is slated to take on the undefeated Thai champion on November 25th in Nakhon Ratchasima Thailand in a fight that could propel Fukuhara back on top of the minimumweight division.

After all, Menayouthin is arguably the most recognizable champion in boxing smallest weight division since Ricardo Lopez…thanks in part to a former heavyweight champion from Brockton, Massachusetts. Rocky Marciano’s record of 49-0 was thrust back into the spotlight when Floyd Meaweather took on Conor McGregor in a glorified exhibition match that saw “Money” improve his record to 50-0. It was enough to create interest in the little known Thai champion who himself was inching towards tying Marciano’s mythical record. But unlike Mayweather, who broke the record against a fighter making his professional debut, or even the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez (whose 50th fight was a non-title affair against a fighter with a 1-15 record) Menayothin seems determined to take on the toughest opponent out there for his 49th fight. Fukuhara is widely seen as one of the most dangerous fighters in the WBC rankings and although he will be stepping into hostile territory he nonetheless is regarded as a tough fighter who has the tools to give the Thai champion problems.

He also is keenly aware of the history of Japanese boxers stepping into the ring against Thai champions in Thailand.

“I’m aware of the situation, but I’m not worried about it.” Fukuhara said of fighting in Thailand. “I’m fighting to win. Out of the 22 times Japanese have fought in Thailand for world titles, we’ve got one win, one draw and 20 losses. My record in Thailand is one win, one draw.”

Nonetheless Fukuhara recognizes that there are some factors that may actually work in his favor.

“The matchmaker for this bout is the same one who matched the one world title bout when the Japanese boxer won,” Fukuhara added. “I have heard that the supervisor and one judge will also be coming from Japan. This is a big chance for me, so I’m going to put it all on the line. I’ve been training hard, and I’m excited. This is a big chance for me, and I’m going to win.”

Fukuhara may also have one other interesting historic factor working in his favor as well. When champions close in on the Marciano record, more often then not they stumble. Former heavyweight champion Larry Holmes ran into Michael Spinks in his 49th fight. Former light heavyweight champion Dariusz Michalczewski was derailed by Julio Cesar Gonzalez in his 49th fight. Even former IBO champion Brian Nielsen stumbled in his quest to break Marciano’s record, getting stopped by Dickie Ryan in fight number 50. For world champions with 48 or 49 wins, unless they are fighting a journeyman with a 1-15 record or a debuting MMA fighter, they tend to stumble just as they close in on 50-0.

Still, titles are won in the ring and Fukuhara knows he will have his work cut out for him on November 25th.

“He’s a fighter, a slugger, so this is going to be a brawl.” Fukuhara added. “We are going to go at it. I’ve been training to increase my punching power.”

As Fukuhara showed in his WBO world title winning performance against Moises Calleros, a brawl is something that would suit him just fine…and more than likely it would suit boxing fans as well. After all, if a record of Marciano’s is going to be broken or derailed, it is just appropriate for it to be decided in a Rocky-esque slugfest.

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Boxing: Could Dogboe or Tapales be in line for an “interim” title fight against Juarez?

The Finger Post Boxing (October 9, 2017)

 

Some of you may have heard the reports that WBO junior featherweight champion Jessie Magdaleno has pulled out of his November 11th title fight against #1 contender Cesar Juarez.   Well, Jose Luis Camarillo with notifight.com has added an interesting twist to this story.  He is reporting that Juarez and his team are looking to approach WBO President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel about fighting the next available contender on November 11th…for the interim title.   The #2 contender is Marlon Tapales (30-2, 13 KOs) from the Philippines, a former bantamweight champion.  Juarez-Tapales would normally be seen as a pick ’em fight, but the likelihood of Tapalas being able to properly prepare for a title fight against Cesar Juarez on such short notice seems slim.  Unlike with what we saw in New Zealand earlier this year (when Razvan Cojanu filled in for Hughie Fury at the last minute in a WBO title fight against Joseph Parker) there is the consideration of if Tapales has enough time to make weight as well.  I am assuming that any decision on the 122-pound title would not be finalized until the 2017 WBO Congress, which will take place from October 23-26.  If they agreed with Juarez, that would give Tapalas just over two weeks to get ready for a world title fight on the 11th.  But that is assuming they try and keep the November 11th fight date.

And herein lies the real drama, because most likely the October rankings will be decided during the Congress, and nipping at the heels of Tapalas is the WBO #3 ranked contender, undefeated Isaac Dogboe from Ghana.

Isaac Dogboe before his fight with Argentina’s Javier Chacon

If the WBO concurs with Cesar Juarez and decides to allow Juarez to fight the next available contender for the interim title (and that’s a big if) they could end up going with Dogboe, who last fought for the WBO International Title back in July (Tapales has not fought since April in a defense of his WBO bantamweight title, as has yet to fight at 122-pounds).  This in turn could force Tapales to take an ill-advised November 11th fight…if he thinks Dogboe may leapfrog over him in the world rankings during the WBO Congress.

Now Tapales is a road warrior (his last three fights were in hostile territory, and two of them were world title fights) so I am sure if anyone in boxing could and would take a world title fight on two weeks notice against a Cesar Juarez, it is Tapales.  But don’t rule out Team Dogboe just yet.

Regardless of how things pan out, the last day of the WBO Congress will undoubtedly be a nail-biter for boxing fans in the Philippines and Ghana both.

 

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Boxing: WBO says Jeff Horn won the fight.

Finger Post Boxing (July 11, 2017)

Photo by David Finger

The WBO’s review of the Horn-Pacquiao fight is in, and for the second time this month Jeff Horn is declared the winner over Manny Pacquiao after a five judge panel reviewed the fight.

Read my report here on Fightnews.com on the WBO’s announcement.

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