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Pavlik stops Taylor for Middleweight Title!

Boxing drought ends with Fight of the Year Candidate!

Time has passed since I last posted on this site, but as we all know, the sport has been in a drought ever since August when HBO Boxing After Dark televised the Mexico/Philippines World Cup doubleheader. Last night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, undefeated Kelly "The Ghost" Pavlik rose from a second round knockdown to win the Middleweight Championship by pummeling defending champion Jermain "Bad Intentions" Taylor and stopping him in seven grueling rounds.

In the first round, both fighters came out guns blazing. Taylor came over the top with the right hand to start the round. Taylor was throwing combinations, but appeared to be using nervous energy. Pavlik finished the round much stronger by landing a series of straight right hands that forced Taylor to go backwards. The tide would change - albeit momentarily - in the second round when Taylor stunned Pavlik with a barrage of punches and dropped the challenger.

Pavlik showed outstanding heart and desire to rise from the canvas the way he did, because he was seriously hurt. At that moment, I thought the fight might've been over. However, Pavlik managed to survive the onslaught and make it out of the second round. In between rounds, Pavlik recovered beautifully because he was able to resume control immediately in the third round as he went back to being the effective agressor. Beating Taylor up on the ropes, Pavlik was once again in control of the fight. Pavlik's momentum continued in the fourth round, which was more of the same. Pavlik was landing jabs and right hands and Taylor was be forced to go backwards.

The major difference in the fight was not only Pavlik's physical strength and punching power, but the fact that he was firing straighter punches. Taylor, who was presumed to have the better hand speed, was throwing wider shots and Pavlik was landing his shots in between Taylor wider shots. Pavlik could not miss Taylor with his right hand. In the fifth round, Taylor would have his best round since the second round, as he was able to box effectively in the center of the ring and keep the stronger challenger at bay. Once again in the sixth round, Pavlik resumed control. The seventh round spelt Taylor's demise, as Pavlik knocked Taylor into a corner with a series of hard right hands and beat him down until Taylor inevitably crumbled in the corner and the referee waved it off.

No count on the referee's part was administered nor was one necessary, as Taylor was a beaten man. Taylor, himself, did not protest the stoppage and neither did his Hall of Fame trainer Manny Steward. The official scoring at the point of the knockout was complete and utter bullshit in my opinion - with the official scores reading 59-55, 58-55, and 59-54 all in favor of Taylor. The judges were scoring shots thrown by Taylor that were landing on Pavlik's gloves and arms. Pavlik was blocking like 80% of those blows. I gave Taylor no more than two rounds (rounds two and five), as Boxing Chronicles had Pavlik ahead 57-56 (same as HBO's unofficial score keeper Harold Lederman).

Thank God, the scoring was irrelevant in this case due to the knockout. Pavlik is now the new World Middleweight Champion. He emerged victorious in what was not only one of the most significant fights of the year, but also the best fight of the year in my estimation. We not only witnessed a great middleweight championship fight, but also a decisive conclusion unlike many fights. Pavlik's promoter Bob Arum was quoted as saying, "That was the second best middleweight fight of all time, behind only Hagler vs Hearns." I'm not sure I would go so far to make such a statement. One would really have dig through the archives of middleweight fight history to see the classic battles that have happened over the years.

At this point, what I will refer to it as is the Fight of the Year for 2007. We might also have a viable candidate for Fighter of the Year in Kelly Pavlik, who has fought Jose Luis Zertuche, Edison Miranda, and Jermain Taylor. In two of those fights, he was the betting underdog. Now, he is the World Middleweight Champion. This result produces three things. A Fight of the Year Candidate. A Fighter of the Year candidate. A new Pound for Pound entrant.

There is a rematch clause in the contract, but only for the fight to take place at 168lbs. Last night after the fight, Taylor expressed an interest in exercising the rematch clause immediately.

Dawson stops Mendoza in four rounds

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Sept. 29, 2007) – Boxing fans were treated to two thrilling and memorable fights on Saturday night as “Bad” Chad Dawson retained his World Boxing Council (WBC) light heavyweight belt with a flawless dismantling of Epifanio “Diamante” Mendoza Saturday, Sept. 29 on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING from the ARCO Arena. Referee Jon Schorle stopped the fight at 2:30 of the fourth round (KO). In the co-feature, Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko became boxing’s newest champion capturing the International Boxing Federation (IBF) 118-pound crown with a one-sided victory over Luis “El Demoledor” Perez. Referee Dan Stell stopped the fight on the recommendation of ringside physician Smith Ketchum immediately after the seventh round. Don King presented Saturday’s world title doubleheader in association with Maloof Sports and Entertainment and Gary Shaw Productions.Dawson, a speedy and powerful young southpaw, controlled the fight from the beginning, setting the pace with his rabbit-quick right hand jab.

"I did what I had to do,” said Dawson, who improved to 25-0, 17 KOs. “I got him out of here fast. I know he came in on 12 days notice, but he didn't make any excuses. I was supposed to execute and I did.”

Mendoza looked confused and overmatched by Dawson’s hand speed and superior footwork, both of which made Dawson practically untouchable and reduced Mendoza to a sitting duck."I feel fine right now,” said Mendoza, who fell to 28-5-1, 24 KOs. “I am not hurt, just a little overwhelmed with how fast he was."SHOWTIME color analyst Al Bernstein mentioned on the broadcast that Dawson may have the best double right hook in all of boxing."

It is an honor and a pleasure,” said Dawson, who looked unbeatable in his second title defense. “I put the work in at the gym. We worked very hard on my body punches. We knew that against Mendoza—against anybody, body punches will wear you down.”

The end looked near for Mendoza after the end of the third round when Dawson connected with powerful combinations to Mendoza’s body.Dawson unleashed a torrent of punches to finish the round and it seemed like Mendoza was certain to fall in the ensuing round."

I didn't look for the knockout,” said Dawson, who said his dream fight is against Antonio Tarver. “I was patient. I let it come to me. We talked about this fight not going past five rounds, but I didn't force it."In the fourth, Dawson continued to stalk the slower Mendoza. Dawson trapped him against the ropes and unloaded a series of right hooks and jabs to the head forcing referee Jon Schorle to step in and halt the contest at the 2:30 mark.

The undercard provided plenty of fireworks as both fighters settled on a blistering pace.Agbeko, however, controlled the fight with straight rights and left hooks. He seemingly landed at will as Perez could not keep the Ghanaian off of him. "I thank God for my talent and allowing me to get to this point and I thank my opponent for giving me this world title shot,” said Agbeko, who improved to 25-1, 22 KOs. “I am presenting this win to my motherland Ghana for her 50th Anniversary.”

Agbeko, who looked in better shape than Perez, punished the former champion with a torrent of bunches. Perez tired as the fight wore on and Agbeko grew stronger with each passing round."

I was destined to be a world champion,” said Agbeko, who joins Azumah Nelson and Ike Quartey on the list of Ghanaians who have won world title. “I knew he was going to fight his best tonight, but there was no way he was going to stop me from achieving my dream.” Kendrick Garcia, Perez’ manager, said that Perez didn’t agree with the doctor’s decision to stop the fight.

"Perez was willing to continue,” Garcia said. “He is very upset with the doctor's decision. Agbeko is a strong puncher, but Perez was doing a great job of absorbing the hits. He doesn't agree with the doctor's decision to stop the fight. Like I said, he is very upset because he felt he could continue."Perez fell to 25-2, 21 KOs.

Are we going to see Wladimir Klitschko -vs- David Tua?

Cedric Kusher has agreed to drop lawsuit against Shelly Finkel if Tua gets titleshot at Klitschko.

In November of 2006, Shannon Briggs was supposed to get a title shot against Wladimir Klitschko at Madison Square Garden. Supposedly, Klitschko pulled out of his contracted defense against Briggs and opted to face Calvin Brock instead. Kusher sited a breach of contract on Klitschko's part and proceeded to sue his manager Shelley Finkel. Kusher, who also promotes David Tua, has agreed to drop the lawsuit if Klitschko gives Tua a title shot.

The fight is not yet made, but it could happen in Spring of 2008. It could be an interesting match up and chance for David Tua to re-surge as a viable heavyweight contender. Tua as of late appears to be in much better physical shape than he had been for fights against Lennox Lewis, Hasim Rahman, and the opponents he had faced after those fights. Perhaps he's finally starting to take this sport, his profession, more seriously now. In the event that Tua upset Klitschko, he would not only emerge as a contender, but as the number heavyweight in the world. Klitschko is currently the most established fighter in the heavyweight division, with wins over Peter, Byrd, Brock, Austin, and Brewster.

When you sit back and and analyze that level opposition, Austin (the weakest name in that list) drew with Ibragimov - also a current titlist - prior to his shot against Klitschko. As we all know, Klitschko destroyed him in two rounds. Can Tua seriously derail the Klitschko express? Let's talk about the match up.

Klitschko has been knocked on his rear end by all the big punchers he's faced. However, he's gradually adapting to those big punchers and he has improved significantly as a boxer. While he was embarrassed by Corrie Sanders (March 2003) and Lamon Brewster (April 2004), the fact remains that Klitschko is getting up and winning his fights against these big punchers now (Williamson, Peter), whereas he wasn't a few years ago, because he was not as developed or fundamentally sound at that time as he is now.

His boxing skills, through the teachings of Manny Steward, have improved immensely. As he gets better, his boxing ability will make up for the inability to take a good punch on the chin. Klitschko possesses all the same tools that Lennox Lewis had when he was champion. I remind you all that Lewis, a great fighter and the last Undisputed Champion that this sport has seen, has never gotten up from a knockdown. Everytime he was put down, he stayed down. The fact that Klitschko has gotten up off the canvas to win fights says something about his durability and heart during those fights.

Klitschko isn't exactly a light puncher himself and Tua was unofficially knocked down by Rahman in the closing seconds of the final round of their rematch. It took almost 11.5 rounds to do it, but Klitschko also managed to hurt and wobble Peter who is also known for having a rock-solid chin.

Anything is possible, but this spectator currently believes that Tua is in for a one-sided boxing lesson and MAYBE a late stoppage, if his durability has slipped at all with age.

Marquez -vs- Juarez rescheduled for November 3!

WBC Super Featherweight Champion Juan Manuel Marquez, who withdrew from his title defense originally scheduled for this Saturday due to an infection in his knuckle, is rescheduled to defend his title against Rocky Juarez on November 3. Their fight, originally scheduled for this Saturday, was scheduled to be televised on HBO Pay Per View. On November 3, however, the fight will be televised on a Showtime Championship Boxing. Thanks for tip, Boxingtalk.

How the hell does Rocky Juarez get so many title shots???? He gets a shot at Barrera in May 2006 - loses a controversial decision. Fine, he gets his rematch in September 2006 and loses decisively. All is settled. Juarez then gets a shot at IBF Featherweight Champion Robert Guerrero, on what was supposed to be the televised PPV under card to the originally scheduled Marquez/Jorge Barrios title fight. Barrios pulls out due to issues of getting into the country. Juarez automatically gets the shot at Marquez, the man who defeated the man who just defeated him TWICE.

Signing with Golden Boy, immediately following the consecutive losses to Barrera, was the best thing that ever could have happened to Juarez. I'm glad the fight was AT LEAST moved to Showtime because it certainly does NOT belong on Pay Per View. Not at all.

Mayweather -vs- Hatton Press Tour begins next week!

PRESS RELEASE: Helping to promote their upcoming “UNDEFEATED” welterweight championship, “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather and Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton will pack their bags and take off on a five-city global media tour which marks the first time since the days of Muhammad Ali that a press tour has traveled across the seas. The two champions own a combined record of 81-0 and will collide in the ring December 8 at MGM Grand, live on HBO Pay-Per-View.

The first city on the historic trip will be in Los Angeles, followed by stops across the globe including Mayweather’s hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich. as well as New York City, before crossing the Atlantic for stops in London, England and Hatton’s hometown of Manchester. The Mayweather vs. Hatton press tour dates and cities are:

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 — LOS ANGELES, CityWalk at Universal Studios Hollywood TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 — GRAND RAPIDS, Ottawa Hills High School
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 — NEW YORK CITY, Rockefeller Plaza, Center Garden THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 — LONDON, ENGLAND, O2 Arena, Vue Theater

“UNDEFEATED,” featuring Mayweather’s defense of his world welterweight championship against the universally recognized world junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton, will be promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Tickets for “UNDEFEATED,” priced at $1,000, $750, $600, $300 and $150, go on sale Monday, Sept. 17 at 10 am PT Tickets will be available for purchase by visiting or to charge by phone with a major credit card call (702) 474-4000. Ticket sales will be limited to two (2) per person.

The Mayweather vs. Hatton pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT, will be produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to more than 61 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For your Mayweather vs. Hatton fight week updates, log on to

Golden Boy Enterprises buys Ring Magazine!

PRESS RELEASE: Sports and Entertainment Publications, LLC, is extremely pleased to announce the acquisition of the following titles from Kappa Publishing Group, Inc.: The Ring magazine, KO, World Boxing and Pro Wrestling Illustrated, which are the leading periodicals in the boxing and wrestling industry. Sports and Entertainment Publications, LLC, is an autonomous member of Golden Boy Enterprises family of companies.

The Ring was founded in 1922 and is known in the industry as “The Bible of Boxing.” It pioneered the concept of boxing rankings and has been awarding the prestigious Ring championship belt to genuine world champions since then-heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey was the first recipient. Pro Wrestling Illustrated was launched in 1979 by Stanley Weston and is acknowledged as the number one independently published pro wrestling magazine in the world.

“We have a very skilled and capable team at The Ring, headed by Publisher Stu Saks and Editor-in-Chief Nigel Collins, and I have all the confidence that these magazines will not only continue to prosper, but in fact grow globally,” said Oscar de la Hoya, president of Golden Boy Enterprises. “These magazines will be held in an editorial trust where they will be operating totally independent of any influence from me or others from the Golden Boy Companies as it relates to editorial direction or content.”

“This is the kind of asset you never really own, but rather safeguard for the next generation,” said Golden Boy Chief Executive Officer Richard Schaefer. “We are proud and honored to be part of this next generation and are mindful of the responsibility trusted upon us.”

“The Ring and Pro Wrestling Illustrated brands are, in our opinion, two of the strongest and most recognized brands in their respective fields,” said Schaefer. “We are looking forward to being part of the next chapter of these great titles and are very respectful of the deep history of each.”

“Oscar and I would like to thank Nick Karabots and Despina McNulty of Kappa Publishing for giving us this opportunity as well as all fight fans for all they have done for these great magazines during their ownership,” said Schaefer.

De La Hoya continued, “As a young kid growing up I was always waiting
with anticipation to get the new issue of The Ring. To be here now and
actually own the title is truly a dream come true. We encourage fight
fans, fighters, and promoters to rally together and continue in the
impressive resurgence our beloved sport of boxing has experienced this

Duva supports Holt's protest

Despite their current contract dispute, promoter Dino Duva is sending his support to junior welterweight contender Kendall “Rated R” Holt and his quest to secure a rematch against WBO boxing Champion Ricardo Torres. Holt (22-2, 12 KOs) suffered a controversial eleventh-round stoppage during his challenge of Torres last week at Salon Jumbo del Country Club in Barranquilla, Colombia.

Allegations have been leveled of bottles being thrown, ringside personnel grabbing Holt, an early stoppage by the referee, and a dangerous lack of order during the fight.

“After reviewing some highlights from the fight, I just want to say that I support Kendall’s bid for an immediate rematch. I think it’s warranted and the right thing for the WBO to do. There were a number of improprieties evident to me in watching the tape.”

Despite the fighter’s injuries and setbacks, Duva has skillfully guided the career of Holt since 2001. Shortly before he received his dream of a title shot, however, the 28-year-old suddenly declared his promotional contract void -- a claim that Duva strongly disagrees with.

“Kendall and I are in court regarding my contract and that’s disappointing to me, but regardless of our differences, what happened to him in Colombia isn’t right. I think the WBO should do the right thing and correct this mistake by giving him another shot at a safer location. We can’t allow young men who work so hard to make a living suffer injustices like this without taking corrective action. Things like this are not good for the sport of boxing. It must be corrected, and the only fair way is to order an immediate rematch.”

Roy Jones Jr is all wrong for Felix Trinidad!

On January 26, 2008, Former Pound for Pound King Roy Jones Jr is scheduled to face off against Former Three division Champion Felix "Tito" Trinidad in a battle of legends.

Jones was last seen in action on July 14, 2007, when he outpointed the younger and previously undefeated Anthony Hanshaw by unanimous decision. Trinidad has not seen action since May of 2005, when he was simply outclassed and whitewashed for twelve rounds by Winky Wright. These stats should only begin to tell a tale of what is to come in January.

While Jones is clearly in the twilight of his career, following three defeats (Tarver by KO2, Johnson by KO9, Tarver L12), he has somewhat re surged his career with wins over Prince Badi Ajamu and Hanshaw. Trinidad doesn't appear to have the physical size or skill to duplicate what Tarver and Johnson were able to do to Jones a couple years ago.

Jones has been fighting at or above 175lbs for almost eleven years now, beginning with his victory over Mike McCallum in November of 1996. He has even gone up as high as 200lbs to take on and defeat John Ruiz for the WBA Heavyweight Title in March of 2003. Trinidad, on the other hand, has not fought beyond the class of 160lbs. Jones has the advantage over Trinidad in speed, size, and skill. Wright was too fast and elusive for Trinidad and was more less the same size as the Puerto Rican superstar.

What happens when the naturally bigger Jones, who pound for pound probably has more speed and is more athletically gifted than Wright, gets his hands on Trinidad? Trinidad is coming up to 170lbs (the agreed upon weight for this match up) and he has never previously fought at that weight before in his career. He is doing so after what will be a two and a half year layoff come fight time.

When a fighter is naturally smaller and slower than his opponent, and he's coming off such a long layoff, it spells trouble for that fighter and that trouble would appear to be evident for Trinidad. Roy Jones Jr is all wrong for Felix Trinidad. Expect Jones to lay down an old fashioned, Roy Jones, Jr - "yall mustve forgot" - type, ass whooping on Trinidad, probably stopping him in the middle rounds and sending him right back into retirement. Although we must be reminded that the fight is still months away from happening and postponements and cancellations happen in boxing. Ask Vitali Klitschko.

Witter crushes Harris in seven!

In Doncaster, England this past weekend, WBC Super Lightweight Champion Junior Witter successfully made the 2nd defense of his title with a crushing 7th round knockout of Former Champion Vivian Harris.

In the preview post, I noted that Harris' chin has failed him before in the past; it failed him again against a man who is not known for his punching power. Nonetheless, Witter got the job done emphatically and remains a player in the 140lb weight division. His stock probably goes up a bit after his victory over Harris, which is probably the biggest victory of his career to date.

Harris, on the other hand, sees his stock go down as one must question where the Brooklyn native goes from here. In an interview at Boxingtalk, conducted with Harris by Greg Leon, Harris insinuated that Witter was injected with something and that was the reason for the greater than expected punching power from Witter.

The fact of the matter remains that it was a world championship fight Vivian. Coming off a three fight winning streak, this was your chance to redeem yourself after your title-losing debacle against Carlos Maussa in 2005 and regain a title to gain back a foothold in your weight class. Did you not agree to take the fight in England? You state that you realize what happens when you go to England for a fight. Fighters get hurt. The point of the matter is, anybody can get hurt in any place at any time when they don't block the punches of their opponents.

More importantly, you signed a contract to face this man in his home country of England, and you are a former World Champion much less a world class fighter. A veteran of your caliber should've been ready to rise to the occasion. These days, fighters seem to be making every excuse in the book for their defeats. Once in a blue moon, you see a controversial situation like the Torres vs Holt fight that happened in Columbia. Other fighters, who just happen to lose fights, begin to make excuses for their own defeats.

This was not a case of the crowd interfering with your performance by chucking loaded beer cans at your head, throwing ice into the ring, or a referee stopping a fight too soon while you're still on your feet. No, this was not Torres vs Holt by any means. You got hit with a shot, you went down, you didn't beat the count, and the referee stopped the fight for your safety. Done deal!

Go back to the drawing board, Vivian. When you don't block your opponent's punches, and they hit you and you go down without beating the count, you have nobody to blame but yourself. You got knocked out.

WBO considering Team Holt's protest!

As well they should!

As noted here at Boxing Chronicles earlier, Team Holt lodged a protest to the victory of WBO Jr Welterweight Champion Ricardo Torres from their controversial title fight that took place last weekend in Columbia.

The WBO Complaints and Grievance Committee is requesting tapes/DVDs of the fight, affidavits, reports, summaries, and other vital information relevant to the decision making process from both the Torres and Holt camps.

From what I've read, fans were launching loaded beer cans and soda cans at Holt during the fight, particularly at the moment during which Holt dropped and hurt Torres in round six. Torres fought on wobbly legs for a few rounds after that, but the fans saw fit to enter the drama with their hostile ways and interfere by tossing objects at their home country hero's opponent. As far as I'm concerned, that's a terrible interference to Holt and the event as a whole.

Holt was not just battling Torres, he was also battling the crowd at hand. It requires enough focus and discipline to concentrate on what your opponent is throwing at you. When fans start throwing objects as well, it interferes with the fighter's concentration and that is not right.

It would be an injustice to Kendall Holt if the WBO didn't grant him an immediate and automatic rematch.

Jr Welterweight buzz: Witter -vs- Harris, Holt & Torres, etc

Witter faces Harris tonight in UK! Torres stops Holt in controversial title fight in Columbia last weekend - appeal logged by Holt and considered by WBO.

Tonight at the Doncaster Dome in Doncaster, Yorkshire, United Kingdom, WBC Super Lightweight Champion Junior Witter squares off with Former WBA Super Lightweight Champion Vicious Vivian Harris. This is a good fight for both of these two combatants to make a statement and steak their claim as the best fighter in the division. Titleholders Paulie Malignaggi and Ricardo Torres might have something to say about that, but we'll get to them later.

This is Harris's first title fight since losing his title by knockout to Carlos Maussa back in June of 2005. Since then, Harris has rebounded for that loss with three wins, two of which came against former lightweight champion Stevie Johnston and Juan Lazcano. Witter won the vacant title with a unanimous decision over former WBO Jr Welterweight Champion DeMarcus Corley and successfully defended that title with a 9th round TKO over Arturo Morua.

Harris is a devastating puncher. He's a great pitcher, but as shown in the Maussa fight, he's not always the greatest catcher. Even against Johnston, a fighter Harris dropped like 10 times, Johnston still managed to get up from those knockdowns to come back and momentarily stun Harris from time to time. Johnston is not a puncher by any means. Neither is Witter, but he is a mover and one can expect Witter to use those legs and keep the powerful Harris at distance.

American television viewers last saw Witter years ago on Showtime Championship Boxing in his unsuccessful title challenge to then IBF Jr Welterweight Champion Zab Judah in June 2000. He was a lot younger and significantly less experienced and seasoned at that time than he is now, but the fact remains that he stunk out the joint that night with his retreating style. Perhaps that has something to do with tonight's significant title fight not being televised in the United States? It should AT LEAST be on ESPN2 or Fox Sports Network.

Harris can punch, and he may even be able to hurt to Witter, but Witter has to be there in front of Harris for him to be able to hurt him. Being that this fight is staged in Witter's home country England, and given the styles of the two fighters, I expect Witter to win on points over Harris - perhaps even a controversial decision. Harris is stepping into foreign territory for this title challenge.

Speaking of title challengers stepping into foreign territory, a fellow by the name of Kendall Holt attempted such a feat last weekend and unfortunately came up rather short against WBO Jr Welterweight Titlist Ricardo Torres. The fight happened in Columbia, which is Torres's country, and ended somewhat controversially. Absolute pandemonium! I did not see the fight for myself, but I read that Holt was controlling the fight for the first ten rounds, and even managed to drop and hurt the champion in the sixth round.

The crowd was heated, impassioned, and totally out of control, as one of the fans presumably launched a loaded beer can at Holt's head. That's totally uncalled for! I mean, that is what you call hostile territory! I did manage to catch the end of the fight on Youtube. In the 11th round, Holt was on the move for the most part when Torres launched a left hook that almost knocked Holt through the ropes. Holt clearly beat the count, implying to the referee that he was alright, and resumed fighting. Torres jumped on him with some shots and the fight was stopped.

It would appear to me that the fight was stopped prematurely as well. When you have a world title fight, and a challenger has fought his heart out for ten plus rounds and is winning the fight, you have to give him the benefit of the doubt under fire. Nonetheless, we must remember that this fight was in hostile territory in the champion's home country and these things happen in boxing. In any case, the Holt camp has logged an appeal to the WBO and the WBO is considering that appeal.

Expect a rematch to happen sometime next year, and hopefully in the United States. Holt was ahead on points on two of the three scorecards, which says alot when one acknowledges where the fight was happening.

Zab Judah returns to action tonight!

against Edwin Vasquez on ESPN2.

Former Undisputed Welterweight Champion Zab "Super" Judah returns to action tonight against the unknown Edwin Vasquez. If Vasquez was laying down on the sidewalk in front of your house, and you stepped over him walking to your car, you probably wouldn't even know who he was.

But you know what they say about the unknown and unlikely tuneup: sometimes he or she can tune you up. However, I do not see that happening tonight against Judah, but who knows. As long as Judah is focused on the task at hand, and no black cats have crossed his path, he should be able to deal with Vasquez and move on to bigger things.

Judah is coming off an exciting but punishing 11th round TKO loss at the hands of current WBA Welterweight Champion Miguel Cotto. Hopefully Judah can stay busy from here on out and fight durable opponents to get some rounds in and keep himself sharp. Judah has made a name for himself, so he's the type of prizefighter who can fight a stay busy fight or two and then climb right back into a big fight. We saw that, after a year of inactivity due to his suspension, when Judah fought Cotto for the title after a short and sweet one round no-contest against Ruban Galvan.

Chances are, should Judah emerge victorious tonight, we could find him in a match against Antonio Margarito, Kermit Cintron, or possibly even Joshua Clottey later this year.

Ibragimov -vs- Holyfield: Is Holyfield the modern day Cinderella Man?

With these four Russian titlists locking down a once glamourous heavyweight division, can a 44 year old Holyfield in fact be the hero that the people and fans of the United States are looking for?

On October 13, undefeated WBO Heavyweight Champion Sultan Ibragimov will defend his title against Former Four Time Heavyweight Champion and recently re-surging legend Evander "The Real Deal" Holyfield at the Khodynka Ice Palace in Moscow, Russia. In this title match, Holyfield assumes the role of the re surging yet unlikely challenger.

This marks Holyfield's first title fight in almost five years, the last one coming in December of 2002 when he lost a unanimous decision to Chris Byrd for the vacant IBF title. Ibragimov, one of the four titlists, is coming off an uninspiring title winning victory over Shannon Briggs this past June. He's likely to be the betting favorite going into the fight, but look at where Holyfield has come from and where he's at.

After his three consecutive losses to Chris Byrd, James Toney, and Larry Donald (talk about the icing on the cake of a sad losing streak), commissioners in NY tried to ban Holyfield from ever fighting again. From November 2004 until August 2006, Holyfield would remain inactive and was presumed to be finished goods following the one sided decision loss to Donald. However, The Real Deal returned to action in August of 2006 when he stopped Jeremy Bates in two easy rounds. When asked about the losses he had suffered leading up to his latest comeback, Holyfield cited shoulder injuries for the reason behind his losing streak.

Following the victory over Bates, Holyfield posted wins against the likes of Fres Oquendo, Vinny Madalone, and Lou Saverese. Whether or not Holyfield should still be fighting, the fact remains that Holyfield's form in the ring looks better than it ever has in the last five or six years. Taking into account the state of heavyweight division, and what these four Russian titlists have accomplished in recent history, Holyfield has probably accomplished more in the ring in the last 13 months than the titlists have in the last two or three years.

Wladimir Klitschko is really the only titlist who makes a solid claim to posting more impressive wins, with victories over Sam Peter, Chris Byrd, Calvin Brock, Ray Austin, and a revenge victory over Lamon Brewster this past July. Other than Klitschko, the other titlists have done very little to steak their claim as true champions and represent the heavyweight division the way it should be represented to the general public.

The question is, can Holyfield, who was presumed to be a shot fighter after some poor performances in the ring, cap off his latest comeback by adding a record breaking fifth title to his collection on October 13 in Russia??? Should Holyfield emerge victorious against Ibragimov, it would signify an inspiring success story not unlike that of Jimmy Braddock's comeback from poverty during The Great Depression to World Champion status.

Let's face it folks, this is a man (really a legend), much like Braddock, who was told he couldn't fight again after giving accounts of himself that reflected that of a shot fighter. Since that time Holyfield is on a four fight winning streak and he's not looking back. He's been kicking ass and taking names. We should note that he's doing so at a time when the heavyweight division is not exactly at it's peak in terms of talent. If an aging Holyfield is going to make history and win another title, this is the ideal time for him to do so. Still, if Holyfield upsets Ibragimov next month, there could be a at least a few people calling him the modern day Cinderella Man.

Originally it was planned for ESPN Classic to show the fight, but ESPN supposedly couldn't come up with the money, so it's being televised on an American Pay Per View network. Go figure.