Oscar De La Hoya-Wilfredo Rivera Report
Herol Graham-Vinny Pazienza Report



by GorDoom

Once again, our stalwart staff of writers has come through with timely reports after a big fight. Besides our usual suspects, Joe Bruno, Pusboil, Derek Cusack & Thomas Gerbasi we welcome a new contributor to the fold: BoxngRules.

What's different about BoxngRules is that he's only 12 years old! But don't let his age fool you, this kid is a serious boxing fan. I knew he was for real when he mentioned that Art Aragon was the original "Golden Boy", not Oscar. Pretty good for a kid!

Anyway, here's the reports for our readers perusal, hope you enjoy them! Also, the next issue of the monthly CBZ Journal will be available next weekend ...


by Joe Bruno

Some observations on last night pay-per-view card promoted by Bob Arum:

1. Oscar de la Hoya proved beyond a shadow of a doubt he’s the best pound for pound fight in the world today with an impressive eighth round stoppage of tough, but foolish Wilfredo Rivera. The handsome de la Hoya dominated the fight from the outset, cutting Rivera over the right eye in the second round, and knocking the challenger to the canvas with a straight right in the fourth.

Every time De la Hoya landed a barrage of punches, Rivera dropped his hands to his side and mugged for the crowd, pretending he was not hurt. De la Hoya immediately flurried with more blows, and by the fight’s end at 2:48 of the eighth round, Rivera’s face looked like it had a run-on collision with a Mack truck.

With “Really Terrible” Terry Norris surprisingly being KO’d My Keith Mullings, the proposed De la Hoya-Norris fight is down the crapper. The best fight out there is De la Hoya versus Felix Trinidad, who is managed by Dung King. Trinidad said he would fight De la Hoya, but only at 154 pounds, not 147. Obviously, King had been feeding Trinidad more than weak competition, but in the interest of fairness, King and Arum should come to an agreement for both fighters to weigh in the neighborhood of 150 pounds instead.

Both are two unscrupulous and man-eating promoters, yet King and Arum have done business together before, so the fight is not likely, but still possible. If this fight isn’t made, look for a De la Hoya-Ike Quartey bout, which De la Hoya would win in a breeze.

2. Former New York Post boxing writer Mike Marley made the worst career move in his life when he quit as the attorney and right hand man for Dung King Promotions, in order to jump into the Bob Arum camp as the new manager of “Really Terrible” Terry Morris. Keith Mullings, who had lost five of his last six fights, battered Norris to the canvas with a straight right hand in the eight round, then battered Norris from pillar to post in the next round before the referee stopped the fight at :41 of round nine.

Marley probably switched ships in anticipation of the proposed Oscar De la Hoya-Terry Norris fight, in which Marley would garner the managerial end of a multi-million dollar payday for Norris. But Norris’ loss drops “Terrible Terry” from the big fight picture and Marley from the big-bucks paydays. The next sound you hear in Marley crawling on his knees back to Dung King. Only In America.

3. In the best fight of the night, Yory Boy Campas of Mexico upset American Raul Marquez to seize his International Boxing Federation junior middleweight title. Truthfully, both fighters are nothing more than exciting punching bags, and would be fodder for De la Hoya, Ike Quartey, or Felix Trinidad. Marquez especially should seek another line of work, lest his face be permanently shaped in the gargoyle-like mess he was in after last night’s fight.

4. I purposely missed Butterbean’s card-opening fight. The fat man is an amiable, untalented, boxing embarrassment and he belongs either in world wide wrestling, or a hot dog eating contest. There’s not a heavyweight in the top 50 in the world who would not have an easy time carving up this “Butterball” turkey. Enough already

De La Hoya- Rivera

by Pusboil

Oscar De La Hoya fought what was probably his most difficult fight this year. Wilfredo Rivera gave his all in a very gutsy performance. Simply said, this was a better fight than I expected.

Oscar retained his WBC welterweight title with an 8th round KO of Wilfredo Rivera. But it just wasn’t that simple. Rivera fought a good fight against what was supposed to be a much better fighter in DLH. Rivera definitely came into this fight believing he could beat DLH and on my card he was down 67-65 at the time of the stoppage.

The fight was stopped due to a very large cut over Rivera’s right eye which opened in the second round. DLH had landed a left uppercut right on the ridge over the eye and this opened the gash. The fight was almost stopped right after that round. But Percy Richardson, Rivera’s veteran cutman, managed to get the fighter ready to return to action. A damn fine job he did too, because that was one hell of a cut over his eye.

Rivera’s corner managed to keep the cut under control. It really didn’t come into play until the end of the fight. In the fourth round De La Hoya knocked down Rivera with a right hand that was right on the button. Rivera was able to get up and make it out of the round.

From this point on it seemed that De La Hoya was not concerned with getting punches in on his opponent. It seemed that most of the time he threw one punch at a time and if that punch landed solidly, then and only then did he follow it up with combinations, some pretty wildly thrown.

The cut finally proved to be the deciding factor in the fight when at 2:48 of the eighth round Joe Cortez stopped the fight at the suggestion of the ringside physician. Rivera seems to be the type of fighter who keeps proving more in his losses than in his wins. Don’t know whether to wish him well or not on that note.

De La Hoya now faces a questionable future. He was supposed to fight Terry Norris after tonight’s fight, but Norris spoiled that plan by getting TKO’D by Keith Mullings of all people. Hate to say this but, Terry it’s time to hang ‘em up. Norris just doesn’t seem to be able to take a punch anymore. He never had a great chin but now he looks weird when he gets hit with a jab.

Norris was going to come down in weight to fight De La Hoya. Now Oscar may have to move up to fight Trinidad or fight Quartey or someone else for that matter. Who knows. Trinidad is the biggest fight for De La Hoya right now, but the move up in weight may be premature. We’ll just have to wait and see.

De La Hoya-Rivera

by BoxngRules

Oscar De La Hoya survived a night of upsets to retain his WBC welterweight title in knocking out Wilfredo Rivera. De La Hoya, who knocked down Rivera in the fourth, opened a cut over Rivera's eye, referee Joe Cortez stopped the fight at 2:51 of the eigth round.

De La Hoya, who was making the third defense of his title and fifth fight this year, improved to 27-0, with his 22nd knockout. Rivera, in his third title shot, fell to 27-3-1.

In other bouts: Keith Mullings became the new WBC Super Welterweight Champion when he stopped legendary champ Terry Norris in the ninth round. Norris was controlling a slow bout through seven rounds, but late in the eigth, Mullings poured it on, and referee Tony Perez stopped it 51 seconds into the ninth. Mullings surprisingly improved to 15-4-1, with his 10th KO. The former 4-time champion Norris' record went to 47-7.

In another title bout, Yori Boy Campas won his second world title when he knocked out formerly unbeaten Raul Marquez. Campas won the IBF Jr. Middleweight title and upped his record to 69-2 when he stopped Marquez at 2:29 of the eigth round. Marquez, who caught up with the night of upsets, fell to 28-1.

Campas is a former WBO Welterweight Champion and his only 2 losses were to Felix Trinidad and Jose Luis Lopez. Marquez, whose last bout was a controversial win over Keith Mullings, won the title by KO'ing Anthony Stephens, and defended it twice against Mullings and Romallis Ellis. This was his third defense.

Another $39.95 another Oscar win.

by Thomas Gerbasi

While I question the judgement of giving up a nice dinner with the wife to watch the Golden Boy win again, my boxing jones keeps dragging me back. I didn't doubt the outcome of this one since it was announced, nor did 99% of boxing "experts" around the globe. So why do we keep buying it? Shouldn't we watch Hulk Hogan and the wrestling boys if we want to see a pre-determined outcome? But I'm ranting and raving here. Bear with me, it's late.

We watch Oscar DeLa Hoya because he has been handed the crown of greatness...and we're waiting for him to drop it. Be honest. We would have loved to have seen that gash of Wilfredo Rivera's on the eye of the Golden Boy. Why? We want to see him handle adversity. This kid has not been touched by a quality fighter in years.

Could he have risen from the straight right that cost Terry Norris a million dollar payday? I hate to admit it, but I'm starting to believe that DeLa Hoya is as good as Bob Arum tells us he is. From the opening bell, DeLa Hoya was in control. While Rivera had received this title shot based largely on two losses to Pernell Whitaker, I still consider him to be a quality fighter. And while it was nice to see the post-fight love fest between the two, the fact remains. DeLa Hoya dominated.

So where does he go now? Terry Norris is out of the picture, and I now consider Bob Arum to be a promoting genius. Before Keith Mullings shocked Norris, "Terrible Terry" was handily winning the fight. Arum was grooming Norris to be disposed of by the Golden Boy in one round. That damn Mullings. So expect Bobby to start trying to coax Ike Quartey out of "retirement. We all know how good Ike looked in his last bout. So now Oscar, the ball's in your court. We've sat through fights with Kamau, Camacho, and Rivera. Now it's time to step up to the plate and defend your oft-repeated mantra of "nothing but big fights". When DeLa Hoya first said that he wanted to fight only the best, I believed him.

He cleared his weight class with victories over Molina, Ruelas, Leija, Hernandez, and Chavez. These were the best the division had to offer. But after a lackluster decision win over Pernell Whitaker, the Golden Boy has decided to take a step backwards.

Now don't get me wrong, Sugar Ray Leonard (the fighter whose development most closely mirrors Oscar's) had a couple of "easy" ones in his reign as champion (Davey Green, Larry Bonds), but these fights were sandwiched in between epics with Hall of Famers present and future like Benitez, Hearns, Duran, and Hagler. You can even toss in a fine Junior Middleweight champion, the tough Ayub Kalule.

DeLa Hoya's last three fights have padded his wallet but softened his reputation. And he doesn't have the Roy Jones excuse of having no one to fight. Quartey and Felix Trinidad await (I don't even want to see Whitaker in there again). These are the two fights that may determine DeLa Hoya's place among the greats.

Are Quartey and Trinidad hall of famers? Not yet, but they are the best fights available, the "big fights" Oscar keeps telling us he wants more than anything.

By the way, am I the only one annoyed by the pay per view promotion of this fight? If you didn't see it, it goes something like this: darkly lit shots of Oscar, with a voiceover of a woman seductively cooing : "Oh, Oscar, those eyes, those hands, etc, etc". Who are they selling this fight to?

Fight Report

by Derek Cusack

Herol Graham v Vinny Pazienza
12 Rounds, Super Middleweights
Wembley Arena, London
6th December, 1997
Herol Graham continued to roll back the years tonight by winning a unanimous decision over the eternally game Vinny Pazienza.

Graham was not as sharp tonight as in his last performance (a flawless eight round stoppage win over Chris Johnson), but pulled enough old tricks out of the hat to outclass his understandably frustrated opponent. Graham is not a fun guy to fight.

Rounds 1 to 4 were dominated by Herol with neither man taking risks. In fact the first round I scored to Pazienza was the seventh when he began to capitalise on Graham's perennial hesitancy and low work - rate.

Although Vinny had minor successes throughout the fight, the only real scare for Graham came in the tenth. Pazienza was on him like a rabid pit bull for two - thirds of the round, and the Englishman needed to use all his experience to survive.

Pazienza seemed drained following his efforts in this round, and couldn't summon up enough energy to prevent Graham from winning the final two stanzas.

This fight was a classic case of the bull and the matador, and the matador just about prevailed. As Graham himself said afterwards: "Pazienza's a hard man, and I won a lot of the fight by running away."

Unusually honest words you may think, but these men are class acts. How this fight ever happened is a mystery. Why? Firstly, Graham became established as a middleweight while Pazienza operated at a weight division 25 pounds lighter. Secondly, Pazienza has sustained, and recovered from, horrendous car crash injuries which came just after his second world title win. Thirdly, the age factor: Pazienza hits thirty five next week while Graham - who was retired from 1992 to '96 - is 38 years young. Both intend to continue boxing.

Whether Graham can beat one of the current world champions in this quality weight division is a moot point. However he has upset the applecart in his last two fights and cannot be dismissed.

Interestingly, an old training mate of Graham's also takes part in a big December fight. Graham left the gym they had shared for years when his companion was just 13 years old, but by then the boy had learned enough from Herol to fashion his own, similar style. So remember - when watching Hamed beat Kevin Kelley on December 19 - that Naseem's old schoolteacher is also back in the big time!


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