Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hungary, land of the female super middleweights

By Mark L. Elwood
11-26-09 @

Hungary ranks as the 83rd-largest country in the world in terms of population, so it seems unlikely that it would boast seven of the 20 active female super middleweight boxers, but that is the case. Over the past two years a crop of seven Hungarian super middles and a light-heavyweight have put together a bit of a round robin tournament amongst themselves in that Central European nation.
Southpaw Borbala Kocsis of Budapest currently tops the list with a 6-0 record, having defeated compatriots Eva Nemeth, light-heavy Izabella Torok, Terez Skripek twice and Marianna Nagy twice. She just turned 20 years old.

Former kickboxing star Zita Zatyko, 29, of Szeged, is just a step back at 5-0-1, having beaten Nemeth, Skripek, Torok, Nagy and Diana Kiss. The lone blemish on her log is a draw with Kiss in a rematch.
Supremacy in the group may be determined Sunday when Kocsis and Zatyko square off in Budapest.
Kiss is third with a 2-1-1 log, but has faced only Zatyko among the other six. She stopped debutant countrywomen Alexandra Rozmuller (0-1) and junior middleweight Katalin Arany, in addition to the bouts with Zatyko. She is scheduled to face first-timer Mihaela Dragan of Romania in the same card as Kocsis-Zatyko on Sunday.
Torok, age 20, of Szekszard, is 3-2 overall, and has wins over Nemeth, Skripek and Nagy. Her losses were to Kocsis and Zatyko.
Nemeth is 2-3, with victories over Nagy and Skripek sandwiched around losses to Zatyko, Torok and Kocsis. She is 29, and lives in Budapest.
The trialhorses of the early going are Nagy and Skripek, both of whom are winless, but have not yet faced each other. Nagy, 21, of Budapest, is 0-5, but was only stopped by Zatyko.
Skripek, 24, is also 0-5 and of Budapest. She was stopped by Kocsis and Zatyko.
Zatyko is the power puncher of the lot with three KO wins. Kiss is next with two stoppages, followed by Kocsis and Nemeth with one each.
The world champion of the division lives not far away in Germany. Natascha Ragosina, 33, is 21-0 with 12 KOs. Two more German super middles, Daria Albers and Manon Rohrbach, both 0-2, may also eventually figure into the European round robin mix of opponents.
Most of the other world-rated super middles live outside Europe, and Ragosina has beaten two -- Iva Weston (10-5) of Trinidad and Tobago, and Laura Ramsey (9-4) of Florida, in title defenses. Having cleaned out most of the division over the course of her career, Ragosina faces only Ijeoma Egbunine (16-2) of Nigeria, now living in the United States, and Leatitia Robinson (15-1) of Chicago before the Hungarians could become the next challengers.
While it is interesting to note the proliferation of fighters from a single nation in a fairly new weight division, what happens next becomes even more so. Will Zatyko or Kocsis triumph? Will Rozmuller, Arany, Dragan, Albers or Rohrbach become part of the picture? Will bouts between Kiss and Kocsis or Torok help clear up the scene? Will one or more of them gain Ragosina’s attention?
It will be interesting to see if any of them emerge as a world title contender soon. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Stay-Lo" Reile's goal is a world title

By Mark L. Elwood
2-7-2008 @

Stacey “Stay-Lo” Reile of Miami Beach, Fla., is a dangerous super bantamweight fighter who is determined to not let life’s hurdles and setbacks keep her from her goal of a world boxing title. She has overcome management changes and a lack of interested opponents to remain unbeaten and clearly in the title picture this year. She’s looking for an opponent for a bout later this month. Here is a recent Q&A with the energetic and upbeat Reile:

Q: So, what's a nice New York girl doing in Florida?

SR: I'm smart, that’s what a New York girl is doing in Florida -- enjoying the sunshine! The energy in Miami Beach is like no other place in the world!

Q: Do you have a full-time job to supplement your boxing income?

SR: I’m self-employed. I make my own schedule. I work an hour here and an hour there, allowing plenty of time for me to train like a nut! I am surrounded by great people. I have interesting, beautiful and 'fortunate' clients/friends, and they are very appreciative of me as a person, fighter, trainer and massage therapist. They love my energy. I make them laugh ... they're always seeing me zip up and down the street with my dog! (They’re great. I love them, too! Hey, Ivana girl!)

Q: You recently posted a UD6 win against Maribel Santana in Miami Beach. Was that a good test for you after 13 months off?

SR: First of all, no offense, but I wasn't “off” for 13 months. I was still in the boxing gym hardcore, ripped for all of 2007, though I did not have a fight. Plus, I was training alongside my private clients to motivate them; doing massages, running with my dog … I possess an "always take the stairs" type of attitude!

I was “inactive” fight-wise for 13 months because: 1.) No promoter/manager for most of 2007; 2.) Difficult to find opponents (I have a list of seven names for my next, Feb. 23, fight who said "no," they don't wanna fight me ... but I’m not one to try to smear names, so I’ll keep it to myself. Karma!)

3.) I was posted in a newsletter as an official “contestant” for the “USA Team” of this reality show, so I thought it was a sure thing that I was on the show, and it was a short time away from starting. Later, when I wanted to know what was up with the show … they said I was “on the edge of the criteria,” of experience, for the show, that maybe “you are too good” and “we don’t want anybody to get hurt.”

Mmm-kay, so then I never heard from them again and I turned away a couple of opportunities because of it, thinking if I got another fight, I'd definitely have “too much experience.” I would still love to be on the show, but I’m not holding my breath.

Besides being “inactive” fight-wise for 13 months, 13 is my lucky number. Trust me, I’ve gotten better, hungrier, stronger and more confident in that time.

Q: She had the best record of your opponents so far. What kind of fighter is Santana? Describe the fight.

SR: I didn’t consider Maribel Santana as “a test.” I considered her a stepping stone. I’ve had sparring sessions more difficult than that fight, and when it was over, I was like, "is that it?" Sweet girl, but a survivor type of fighter. She head-butted me more than she hit me! She tried to throw me off my game early with a head butt that I never felt, but I saw my eye swelling a little. I said, "Uh-oh,” for a second, thinking how would I see for 6 rounds? Then I said, Nope! Now she’s gonna get it!” She never touched me after round one! They say I almost knocked her out more than three times. I thought twice. All I remember was one uppercut when she went on her tippy-toes and made a funny noise, like “woo-hoo,” and the second time when I hit her so hard with the left hook that she went eight steps sideways.

All she caught me with was a head butt (or two or three), one clean right and another clean punch that was clearly after the bell. It was like “ding ding ding,” then she threw as hard as she could. Iit didn’t hurt me. I didn't even flinch! I looked her dead in the eye so she would feel low, and I just let my fans handle it. Man, did they boo her! It'll be televised for you all to see. She did a lot of running and holding for the whole fight, not hardly engaging me at all. (No information on TV times was available at presstime.)

I guess it was all she could do, cuz my offense is fierce, both hands ... coupled with very technical defense and I'm a little "loco en la cabeza." She did the 'cut throat' thing to me at the weigh-in. I did it back to her, laughed and said “No gordita!”

Q: So, what’s next for Stay-Lo?

SR: I’m just gonna keep doing my thing. It’s working!

Q: You're now 8-0. Who will you fight next? Do you have a tentative plan to reach a title fight soon?

SR: Yes, I'm 8-0 into 2008. I’ll fight anybody when the time is right, taking it a day at a time. We'll see what happens. I'm on the right path! I’ve had people from major sanctioning bodies tell me, “You should have been a champion already! I just keep training hard, staying one step ahead! I do love the WBC belt, though (something about the gold and green)!

Q: How long have you had your MySpace (http://\staylo4real) page up?

SR: I've had my page for around two years: 3,000 friends and 80,000 profile views later!

Q: Anything else you'd like to tell your fans?

SR: I don't have to tell my fans anything! They already know, “L-O, L-O!!!” I do love them. They are so good to me! Thank you for all for your support and love on my webpage!

Klinefelter sisters post victories

By Mark L. Elwood
8-23-2008 @

On Friday night, Aug. 22, at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Iowa City, Iowa, former amateur champions the Klinefelter sisters posted easy first-round stoppages.

Katy Klinefelter, 21, made her professional debut with a KO1 over fellow debutant Diamond Martinez of Denver, Colo, in 2:24 at super featherweight.

Older sister Emily "The Enforcer" Klinefelter improved to 2-0 as a pro with her first stoppage, a KO1 of first-timer Ana Hub, also of Denver, in 1:48, at bantamweight.

The hometown favorites' bouts were co-features scheduled for four rounds.

Also on the card, Terrance Crawford won a unanimous 4-round decision over Aaron Anderson, and Jerry Simpson KO'd Guadalupe Diaz in the second of four scheduled rounds.

Dunaway takes close win from Gaines

By Mark L. Elwood
1-13-2008 @

ST. LOUIS – In an action-packed battle for the vacant NABF flyweight title, hometown favorite Hollie “Hot Stuff” Dunaway of St. Louis won a unanimous 10-round
decision over Sharon Gaines of Las Vegas at the Viking Conference Center on Friday night.

Scores were 98-92 by judges Barbara Madison and Crystal Wright, and 96-94 by Marty Bickle. This reporter’s scorecard agreed with Bickle.

The bout was a give-and-take affair, with Gaines the aggressor the majority of the time as Dunaway counterpunched and occasionally changed things up with a quick attack before reverting. Gaines bobbed and wove in a frenetic way that kept Dunaway from mounting a consistent offense or taking control of the tempo.

Both fighters were in outstanding condition, and neither could hurt the other. Both landed some hard shots, but neither was seriously marked at the bout’s conclusion. It was a cleanly fought contest, with referee Mike England only warning Gaines once for a low blow.

Nearly every round unfolded in the same fashion as Gaines, who fell to 11-9, came out and pressed the action while Dunaway, now 21-6, countered and made short forward flurries before returning to form.

Gaines raised her hands in triumph at the end of the fight, and seemed genuinely stunned by the result. The few Gaines supporters in the vastly pro-Dunaway crowd
were upset by Dunaway’s margin of victory.

Dunaway, the former WIBC, WIBA and GBU minimumweight champion, bounced back from a unanimous decision September loss to Carina Moreno for the WBC minimumweight crown. It was a fight where she felt the scores were too widely in favor of the more aggressive hometown Moreno.

Dunaway appeared to be strong and confident at the 112-pound weight Friday.

The eight-bout card was put on by Rumble Time Promotions, and the women’s championship bout was the main event.

* * *

In other results:
* Welterweight Tim “Irish Pride” Connors (7-1), a St. Louis favorite, KO’d Cory Mayfield (0-3) of Monroe City, Mo., in 1:55.
* Junior welter Tye Chapman (1-0) of St. Louis knocked out Thomas Staten (0-2) of Indianapolis in 1:30.
* Walter Foster (2-0) of St. Louis thumped Mahir Ziga (0-1) of Lincoln, Neb., in 1:26 at light-heavyweight.
* Ryan Coyne (7-0) of St. Louis took a unanimous decision from Leo Pla (3-2) of Kansas City over six rounds at cruiserweight.
* Marvin “Much too Much” Cordova (17-0-1) of Las Vegas won a unanimous decision over veteran Roberto Valenzuela (20-38-2) of Agua Prieta, Mexico, in a welterweight six-round semifinal.
* St. Louis fighter Kevin “The Hitman” Engle (13-0)needed only a minute to knock out Andy Utterback (3-8) of Hannibal, Mo.
*Alexis "Hurricane" Hloros (1-2-2) of Mt. Clemens, Mich., and Chris Tyler of St. Louis (2-2-1) battled to a six-round majority draw at welterweight.

Sitzes wins by decision over Velez

By Mark L. Elwood
8-11-2007 @

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Jeri “Fists of Fury” Sitzes made a statement Friday night, Aug. 10, with a six-round featherweight unanimous decision over former WIBA bantamweight world champion Ada “Ace” Velez of Hollywood, Fla., at the Springfield Expo Center.

She made it clear she is out for another title, and nothing will stand in the way.

Sitzes answered any questions about her mental state with a disciplined decision over a veteran and determined opponent in Velez. Sitzes was fighting a few weeks after being stripped of her NABF featherweight title for failure to defend the strap.
She had canceled her scheduled defense to be with her family after the death of her mother, Devonna, on July 13.

Springfield resident Sitzes improved to 14-6-1 with 6 KOs as Velez, who had not fought in more than three years, fell to 14-3-2 with 6 KOs in the comeback bout. Sitzes leapt onto the ropes and raised both fists in the air as the hometown crowd chanted her name following the reading of the decision.

Both fighters came out busy in the first round, but Sitzes had the edge in the feeling out period. The Puerto Rican-born Velez, fighting under the tutelage of Bonnie Canino, recognized that Sitzes had been holding her left low and threw several overhand rights that gave her the second round and evened the bout.

Sitzes came out in the third with the left up and began initiating combinations off the jab, piling up points. Velez was game, occasionally still tagging Sitzes when the winner’s left would briefly come down, but could not come up with a way to match Sitzes’ aggressive scoring combos as she controlled the remainder of the bout.

Sitzes marked Velez under the left eye in the third, but it did not seem to be a factor in the outcome, and the fighters hugged in a show of respect at the bout’s conclusion.

Scoring was 59-55 on two scorecards and 58-56 on the third. This writer also scored it 59-55. Mike England of St. Louis was the referee.

The bout was the co-feature of a seven-fight card promoted by Buffalo Run Casino and shown on ESPN2. In the main event, Rob Calloway won an action-packed unanimous decision over Terry Smith of Little Rock, Ark., in a battle of Top 50 heavyweight contenders.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

First Fistications

This blog will be about boxing ... my observations, impressions, wishes and more. It is intended strictly for entertainment and discussion, and will contain no vulgarity or name-calling. Blogs should be about ideas and opinions, without all that other baggage, and boxing is a fertile field for the expression of such. Enjoy!