WEIGHTS FROM LAS VEGAS

March 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Boxing News 

Miguel Cotto  154 – Ricardo Mayorga 154
(WBA Super Welterweight championship)
Yuri Foreman 155 – Pawel Wolak  154
Tommy Zbikowski  193  – Ricard Bryant 225
Miguel Vazquez  135 – Lenny Zappavigna 135
(IBF Lightweight Championship)

Q & A with Miguel “Titere” Vazquez

March 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Boxing News 

By Anson Wainwright

Like many boxers Miguel “Titere” Vazquez 27-3(12) had a tough upbringing, brought up in Guadalajara, Mexico, he turned to Boxing because his father had previously been a prize-fighter. After a tough start to his career in which he lost three times, before he met up with Javier Capetillo (Former Antonio Margarito trainer) who revitalized and transformed him. He quickly made a splash becoming the first man to beat Breidis Prescott, who has previously Knocked out Amir Khan is less than a minute, when he got off the canvas himself to post a split decision victory. That put him in line to fight for the vacant IBF Lightweight title against teak tough Ji Hoon Kim. Once again Vazquez used his sublime skills to outpoint the hard charging Korean. Since that win last August Vazquez 24, has defended his crown late last year when he outscored Ricardo Dominguez. Next up he faces rugged Australian mandatory challenger Lenny Zappavigna in chief support to Cotto-Mayorga on 12 March in Las Vegas. It pits the classic boxer verses the marauding power puncher and will allow the victor to really make a name for himself.

Hello Miguel, welcome to 15rounds.com

Anson Wainwright – Last year you won the IBF Lightweight title against Ji Hoon Kim and then defended the title against Ricardo Dominguez what can you tell us about those two fight and how happy were you with your performances?

Miguel Vazquez – I’m super happy. At this point of my career better things are coming. Next week there’s another opportunity to show the world the kind of fighter I am.

Anson Wainwright – How did you celebrate winning the title? Has it changed your life at all?

Miguel Vazquez – I celebrated with my family in Mexico. Now it’s just me who has to work hard. Because I have to make my dreams a reality, there’s only one way, just working hard. I’m still the same humble person. It’s changing a little, a lot of people know me and while I’m the champion the purses are changing the financial aspect. I know I have to work hard to be where I want to be.

Anson Wainwright – You will fight on the Cotto-Mayorga card on March 12 in Las Vegas against your mandatory challenger Lenny Zappavigna. What are your thoughts on fighting on such a big card & what do you know and think of Zappavigna?

Miguel Vazquez – It’s a great opportunity for me, lots of exposure, people who haven’t seen me will see me. I’m going to show the people Miguel Vazquez is one of the brightest stars in Boxing coming up. I know a bit about him. He’s a strong fighter, he’s the challenger, undefeated, he comes forward, he comes to win, he comes to fight, he’s very determined. But it’s going to be a good fight. It’s going to be power and will verses skill.

Anson Wainwright – Can you tell us about your team. Who is your manager, trainer & promoter? Also what gym do you use?

Miguel Vazquez – My manager/trainer is Javier Capetillo. Ricky Mota who manages Giovani (Segura) also helps me, he advises me, and helps with what I need. My Promoter is Zanfer and I train at Azteca Boxing Club in Bell, California.

Anson Wainwright – You were born in Guadalajara, Mexico can you tell us about your younger year?

Miguel Vazquez – It was very hard. I was thrown to the wolves at a young age when I turned pro. If you look at my record you can see I wasn’t managed right. Things happen for a reason, it’s helped me become a stronger and better fighter.

Anson Wainwright -You’ve lost three times twice to “Canelo” Alvarez & once to Tim Bradley. What can you tell us about these fights? How good do you think those guys are?

Miguel Vazquez – I can’t say anything bad about them; there both good fighters in there respective weight classes. I fought them in there respective weigh classes in a way I shouldn’t of, that counts for a lot.

Anson Wainwright – How did you first get into Boxing? Who was your inspiration?

Miguel Vazquez – My dad started me off. He was a former professional fighter too. He still co-trains me; he still plays a role in the camp, though Capetillo is the head trainer. I looked up to of course the legend Julio Cesar Chavez Snr and I really like Floyd Mayweather.

Anson Wainwright – What does you nickname Titere mean?

Miguel Vazquez – Titere is like puppet, I move but you can’t hit me. I got it when I was an amateur.

Anson Wainwright – Those fights like many of your fights took place up at Light Welterweight & even Welterweight. Can you tell us what that made you realise you would be better served getting down to Lightweight?

Miguel Vazquez – Once I came to the U.S with my new team. Capetillo showed me how to work hard and I knew that wasn’t my weight class and I came down to Lightweight.

Anson Wainwright – You beat Breidis Prescott who had previously stopped Amir Khan in one round, you were also down in the first round, what can you tell us about that fight and how you managed to get back in the fight after such a difficult start?

Miguel Vazquez – He was a very good fighter, he hit tremendously hard. That was kind of the fight that opened the doors.

Anson Wainwright – What do you enjoy doing with your time when your not boxing or training?

Miguel Vazquez – I like to spend time with my family.

Anson Wainwright – What do you hope to achieve now that you have become a World champion?

Miguel Vazquez – Fight the best fighters in my weight class. Be one of the best Pound for Pound fighters in the world and defend my title against the best and move to another weight class.

Anson Wainwright – What do you think of the other champions like Juan Manuel Marquez, Humberto Soto & Brandon Rios?

Miguel Vazquez – He’s (Marquez) the best Lightweight he’s proved it. I would like to fight him down the line. He has a lot of experience.

I think Zorrita is a good fighter. I think his best days are behind him and he’s in decline.

I think Rios is a strong fighter. But I see a lot of things I can do (with him) still. I would love to fight him down the line.

Anson Wainwright – Finally do you have a message for the Boxing fans of the World?

Miguel Vazquez – Vazquez is the best Lightweight in the world. Stay tuned for next week with another performance by Miguel Vazquez.

Best Wishes

Anson Wainwright

15rounds.com

Midweek Thoughts – I got chance to speak to Brandon Rios and congratulate him on his title win the other week. He told me “I feel great. My hands fine, it was swollen after the fight” He added “I want to get back in the gym and fight soon. When I asked him about the possibility of fighting Marco Antonio Barrera he continued “It would be an honour”. It’s going to be a fun ride, I’m looking forward to seeing Rios all action style, it’s great news his hand isn’t as bad as first thought…I hear James Kirkland who won on his return Saturday will fight on the 25th March in Fairfield, Ca then again all being well on 9 April on the Maidana-Morlaes card in Las Vegas…Last week Puerto Rico Best Boxing headed up by Ivan Rivera who manage/co-promote most of the big name fighters in there homeland including JuanMa Lopez, Ivan Calderon etc announced they had signed amateur star Jonathan “Bomba” Gonzalez. I’m told that he debuts on April 1, in a TV Series named “A Puno Limpio” that they are starting Chanel 4 (WAPA TV and WAPA America). He will fight at a maximum 114 pounds no opponent has been annouced yet. It’s obviously very early, but Gonzalez could be the guy to replace Calderon…Just weeks before Michael Katsidis gallantly fought Juan Manuel Marquez his brother Stathi passed away. Over the past week it has been announced that on 31 March at a statue to comemerate him will but unveiled. For more details – http://toowoomba.finda.com.au/features/2011/03/03/stathi-katsidis-jockey-statue-clifford-park/…

Q & A with “Showtime” Paul Fleming

March 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Boxing News 

By Anson Wainwright

Australia has a rich recent tradition in the Super Featherweight & Lightweight divisions where both Robbie Pedan & Michael Katsidis won world titles respectively & and Lenny Zappavigna will challenge for one on 12 March. Next on the production line could well be “Showtime” Paul Fleming 8-0(5). The 22 year old represented his country in the 2008 Olympics having had a stellar amateur career before opting to turn professional. He hopes to fight in America in 2011 where he’s well aligned with manager Cameron Dunkin & promoter by Top Rank. Here’s what Fleming had to say about his life, his passion for tattoos and the recent flooding in his home state of Queensland.

Hello Paul, welcome to 15rounds.com

Anson Wainwright - What is your schedule for 2011? When are you next likely to fight?

Paul Fleming - I’m fighting in Perth on the 12th of March on a very good card against a Filipino. I’m very eager to get back inside the ropes and put on a good performance.

Anson Wainwright - You’re on record as saying you want to fight in America in 2011. Can you tell us how plans are coming along on this front & why you’d like to fight in America?

Paul Fleming - Yeah, things are coming along great. Looking to fight in late April hopefully on a big card. I want to fight in the USA because that’s where the best fighters are, that’s the measuring stick. Who in the world doesn’t want to fight at a Caesar’s Palace, Mandalay Bay, or an MGM Grand?!

Anson Wainwright - Could you describe your style of fighting?

Paul Fleming - I’m a flashy southpaw with fast hands and a bit of pop. I can fight on the inside if required, but have a good eye thanks to my Aboriginal genes. I’m a well-rounded fighter.

Anson Wainwright - Can you tell us about team Fleming, who is your manager, trainer & promoter? Also what gym do you regularly train at?

Paul Fleming - I have two managers. Cameron Dunkin in Las Vegas, who of course is very well known and respected in the boxing world, and Australian manager Mike Altamura. He is a younger guy but has some good up and coming boxers and if everything goes according to plan, we will put him on the map. My trainer is Billy Hussein. I moved states just to train with him. He’s a very well-known in Australia and around the world and it is such an honour to train with him. It honestly feels like we’ve been together for years. I’m learning so much from him.

My promoter is Top Rank. Not much has to be said if you’re in the boxing world about them. They are the biggest and most successful promoters in boxing, they’ve started and promoted everyone… Ali, De La Hoya, Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, to name a few, and it’s a privilege to be signed to them.

Anson Wainwright - What was it like growing up in Tully when you were young? And how did you first become interested in and take up Boxing?

Paul Fleming - Tully is such a small town, everyone knows everyone. I was a lonely kid, I grew up in the bush on the farms riding motorbikes, climbing trees, bushwalking. It’s an amazing place, and when my boxing career is finished, I want to move back there again and live a quiet life, grow vegetables, very simple you know!

I was always into fighting, karate, boxing, etc. All that I used to watch was Karate Kid, Ninja Turtles, and my dad used to teach me how to punch. He would get on his knees and spar with me when I was around four. I’ve always seemed to have a set of boxing gloves and it was either football or boxing, and when I remained small, I decided to take boxing seriously.

Anson Wainwright - You had a good amateur career and fought for Australia in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing where you lost to the eventual Silver medallist. What can you tell us about your experience of the Olympics? Also what other tournaments did you win? What was your final record?

Paul Fleming - My final amateur record was 83-17. The best I fought was Khedafi Djelkhir at the Olympics, he won the Silver medal. It was a close fight. I lost by four points. I won the National titles quite a few times (Both Junior and Senior), Oceania, the Chemistry Cup, and also won a bronze at the 2006 World Juniors.

Anson Wainwright - What top amateurs did you fight and how did you get on? Also what current pros have you trained with? Any sparring or training with Michael Katsidis or Lenny Zappavigna?

Paul Fleming - I Fought a lot of the top amateurs in the world. Djelkhir as mentioned, Stephen Smith, Idel Torriente, Joel Brunker, Luke Jackson, and many others.

I currently train with Billy Dib, a top contender in the featherweight division.  I haven’t sparred with Michael or Lenny yet, but have sparred with Vic Darchinyan and Chris John.

Anson Wainwright - Your home state of Queensland was recently hit very badly by both flooding and later a cyclone. What impact has it had on your friends and family?

Paul Fleming – Tully was the worst place hit by the cyclones, and sadly a lot of our friend’s houses were destroyed. Thankfully my family house was okay, and my mum and sister were okay, and that’s the most important thing. The flooding hit further down south so I don’t know anyone affected by it, but I really feel for those that were.

Anson Wainwright - You’re obviously a big fan of tattoos and have covered your body in them. Many times when people have tattoos there is a reason behind certain ones. What can you tell us about that?

Paul Fleming - It’s a passion of mine. I guess it’s like a hobby for both me and my girlfriend, and some of our closest friends. Everything on my body has a meaning to me, mostly family and also to resemble times and thing I’ve endured throughout my life. I have plans for many more but just have to find the time and money!

Anson Wainwright - Can you tell us about yourself as a person away from Boxing, what do you enjoy doing with your spare time? Do you have a hobbies or Interests of note? Do you follow other sports, if so what ones and what teams do you support?

Paul Fleming - I’m a simple person. Give me a TV and some movies, and I’ll be right for days. I’m lazy when not training. I love just hanging out with my close friends and going to dinner. My hobby is tattoos. I love going to tattoo shows and helping mates design their tattoos. Strange, I know, but it’s what I love. Also love chilling with my girlfriend. We have the same kinda mindset and she is one of my best friends.

Anson Wainwright - What fighters did you look up to when you grew up & who do you like to see fight today?

Paul Fleming - Huge fan of Sweet Pea, Pernell Whitaker, Manny Pacquiao. Love smart, fast-moving southpaws. Love Sugar Ray Robinson. I try to take the good things out of every boxer. There is so much to learn from just watching fight footage of the best. My problem is that I don’t probably watch enough as I love my movies too much (Laughs).

Anson Wainwright - Finally do you have a message for your fans?

Paul Fleming - Firstly, thanks for the interview Anson. As for my fans, I just want them to stay tuned as this year is going to be really exciting. I’ll put on a show every time I get in the ring, and I’m planning to show every aspect of boxing. I’ll fight, box, move, do everything that my ring name suggests I’ll do. I’ll live up to the “Showtime” Paul Fleming name. Also, check out my website: http://www.paulfleming.net.au

Anson Wainwright

15rounds.com

Thursday Thoughts – I spoke to Nonito Donaire on Monday night, he told me he’s heading back to The Philippines at the end of the week for around 3 weeks. He’s said Brandon Rios winning felt like him winning all over again and that he’s pleased for the whole team. He hopes to fight 2 more times this year and wants to be undisputed champion before moving up in weight. He views the Agbeko-Mares fight as 50-50…Yesterday David Haye told Sky Sports that negotiations with Wladimir Klitschko are once again taking place. He went on to add that he is quietly confident that the fight will happen later this year & that he believed that it was 90% done. Can’t help but think we’ve heard this before, we all continue to hope…Tony Sims Darren Barker’s manager/trainer confirmed to me that Barker will face Domenico Spada at Earls Court, Olympia, London on 30 April.

LENNY ZAPPA DESTROYS TOP-RATED JI HOON KIM IN 101 SECONDS TO EARN IBF LIGHTWEIGHT WORLD TITLE SHOT!

October 31, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Boxing News 

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (October 31, 2010) – LENNY ZAPPAVIGNA, aka LENNY ZAPPA, needed just 101 seconds to transform himself from undefeated Top-10 contender to International Boxing Federation (IBF) mandatory lightweight challenger when he blasted out top-rated Jin Hoon Kim last night in their IBF-sanctioned lightweight title elimination bout.  The fight took place last night at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Center.

(Link to international broadcast:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsSrwn4HazA)

“Lenny looked spectacular in knocking Kim out in first round. He is the Australian version of Arturo Gatti His fighting style is that exciting!” said promoter Gary Shaw.

Lenny Zappa (25-0, 17 KOs), of Sydney, scored two vicious knockdowns of Kim inside the first 90 seconds of the fight.  Referee Wayne Kelly stopped it at 1:41 with a defenseless Kim on the ropes and on the receiving end of a vicious ZappAssault.  Kim (21-7, 18 KOs), of Goyang, South Korea, a one-time world championship challenger, suffered just his second loss over the past four years and 17 bouts.

“Bring on Miguel Vazquez,” exclaimed Lenny Zappa, referring to the IBF lightweight champion.  “It’s time to bring another world title belt back to Australia.”

“I’m going to work hard to make his world title challenge of Vazquez in U.S.  It would be perfect in Texas or Southern California,” said Shaw.

Australian by birth and Italian by descent, Lenny Zappa established himself as a prospect as an amateur.  The four-time national amateur champion fashioned a 72-9 record which culminated with a Bronze Medal in the lightweight class at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, where he represented Australia.

Q & A with Lenny Zappavigna

October 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Boxing News 

By Anson Wainwright

Hours from now Lenny Zappavigna will be fighting Ji Hoon Kim in an IBF Lightweight eliminator. It’s a huge fight for both men Zappavigna will put his unbeaten record of 24-0(16) on the line against the more experienced Kim 21-6(18) with the winner getting a shot at Miguel Vazquez. Zappavigna 23, who resides in Sydney Australia will have home court advantage fighting at the Olympic Park Sports Centre in Homebush as part of a double header with fellow Australian Daniel Geale against Roman Karmazin in an IBF Middleweight title eliminator. Having gone pro in 2006 on the back of winning a bronze medal at the Commonwealth games Zappavigna impressively went about his work, honing his skills before Gary Shaw noticed him in 2009 and brought him to America where “Zappa” has since fought twice winning both. It promises to be a war of attrition between the hard hitters, neither who take a backward step.

Hello Lenny, welcome to 15rounds.com

Anson Wainwright - You have the biggest fight of your career on 31 October against Ji-Hoon Kim, what are your thoughts on the fight and what do you expect from him?
Lenny Zappavigna – I think it will be a good fight because we both come to fight, but I think I will be the stronger fighter because he is a natural junior lightweight and I am a natural lightweight, but no matter what the outcome, points or knockout, I will win, no doubt about it.

Anson Wainwright - In his last fight Kim lost to Miguel Vazquez in an IBF title fight what did you think of that fight?

Lenny Zappavigna - Vazquez boxed well and smart, I think he is a good champion and be looking forward to fighting him for the title.

Anson Wainwright - For those who perhaps haven’t seen you could you descrivbe your style?

Lenny Zappavigna – I’m a boxer puncher. I can brawl if I have to or box. I’m trying to settle a little with every fight that comes along.

Anson Wainwright - Can you tell us about your team who is your manager, trainer & promoter? Also what gym do you train at in Australia & when your in America?

Lenny Zappavigna – My trainer is Tommy Mercuri. I have been with him since I was a kid and I have trained at Westside Boxing Gym ever since. My manager is Tony Lacastro, who has been a great help with my career and marketing terms. My promoter is Gary Shaw from America who also is a great help to us and has a great stable of champions and I hope to be one of them in the future.

Anson Wainwright - What were your early years like, was it tough growing up? You were born in Australia but presumably your parents are from Italy?

Lenny Zappavigna – My early years were great; my parents have been really supportive with my career and we live in the luckiest country in the world. There is no hard ship growing up in Australia. Being Italian background is fantastic. We eat the best food in the world and I am proud of my Italian heritage and I look forward to my mum’s cooking after the weigh-ins.

Anson Wainwright - How did you get into Boxing?

Lenny Zappavigna – I was a fat little kid and just wanted to lose weight when I met Tommy in the gym and he told me I had a lot of talent to pursue the sport because I would be a world champion one day and my dream came true, so I fell in love with the sport and hoped to become a multiple champion one day.

Anson Wainwright - You had a good amateur career you won bronze at the 2006 Commonwealth games, can you tell us about that and what other tournaments you won and what your final record was?

Lenny Zappavigna – I really enjoyed the Commonwealth Games, it gave me a lot of worldwide experience and I also fought overseas a lot of times and I won bronze at the Junior World Games. I also won all my national titles. My final record was 105 fights with 95 wins.

Anson Wainwright - Did you fight any fighters who are doing well in the pro’s today? If so who and how did it go?

Lenny Zappavigna – I fought Frankie Gavin in the Commonwealth Games, who went on to win gold and the world titles, but I am not sure if he has turned pro. Editors Note. He has an is currently 8-0(7).

Anson Wainwright - Who was your Boxing hero growing up & what fighters do you enjoy watching now?

Lenny Zappavigna – Mike Tyson was my hero as I was growing up. Now, I enjoy watching Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

Anson Wainwright - What are your thoughts on the current Lightweight division? Who do you think are the top guys at 135?

Lenny Zappavigna – It’s a great division, one of the best and of course I think I am one of the best, haha. Guys like Juan Manuel Marquez, Juan Diaz and Humberto Soto which I would love to fight for the WBC championship belt.

Anson Wainwright - Your countryman Michael Katsidis will fight Juan Manuel Marquez what are your thoughts on that fight?

Lenny Zappavigna – I think it will be a very great fight. I would really like to see Michael win the fight, for it will be great to have two Australian lightweight champions and I think he has a very good chance of winning.

Anson Wainwright - Is a fight with Katsidis possible or are you good friends? How big do you think that fight would be?

Lenny Zappavigna – No, we’ve chosen our path and he’s got his. It would be a shame to destroy two great Australian fighters like they did with Lester Ellis and Barry Michaels. Why destroy two great Australian fighters?

Anson Wainwright - Finally do you have a message for your fans?

Lenny Zappavigna – Just like to thank all my fans for supporting me after all these years, and keep supporting me because I promise all of Australia after Sunday I will become a champion and go on to unify the lightweight division.

Best Wishes Lenny, keep up the good work.

Anson Wainwright
15rounds.com

Special thanks to Brad Arnold for helping to arrange this interview.

Vic Darchinyan retained the WBA/WBC Super Flyweight championship

March 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Boxing News 

Vic Darchinyan retained the WBA/WBC Super Flyweight championships with a twelve round unanimous decision over game Rodrigo Guerrero at The Agua Caliente Hotel and Resort in Palm Spring, California.

Drachinyan started early by showing some decent boxing skills by deviating from his usual “Seek and Destroy” style by landing shome nice body shots and right hooks.  In round five, the effects of Darchinyan’s shots were showing as a small cut opened around the left eye of Guerrero.

In round seven, Darchinyan really turned up the gas as he landed several thudding left hands that would have knockoed most men out but Guerrero showed a granite chin and continued in attempt to come forward.  In round, eight Darchinyan landed several more shots that drove Guerrero back for just a moment.  Guerrero showed Grade A toughness as he ate shot after shot from the heavy handed Darchinyan.  For good measure, Darchinyan landed four more big shots in the final seconds of the fight but yet he stood on his feet to hear the final bell.

Darchinyan, 115 lbs of Sydney, Australia won by scores of 118-110; 117-111; 120-108 and is now 34-2-1.  Guerrero, 114 lbs of Mexico City is 13-2-1.

Lenny Zappavigna scored a twelve round unanimous decision over former world title challenger Fernando Angulo in a Lightweight bout.

Zappavigna controlled the early rounds as he worked the body well as he featured the left hook and added some nice right hands.  The fight seemed to change in Angulo’s favor in round six as Angulo cut Zappavigna around the right eye from a punch.

In round eye, the blood became very prevalent as it started to stream out of the eyelid.  Angulo landed the more telling blows.  In round nine, Angulo was deducted a poing for hitting on the break.  There wasnt much to choose from over the final rounds but it seemed that Angulo deserved better, especially since the verdict was unanimous by scores of 116-111, 116-111 and 114-113 for Zappavigna.

Zappavigna, 135 lbs of Sydney, Australia is now 23-0.  Angulo, 138 lbs of Sucumbios, Ecuador is now 22-7.

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