Month: November 2018

This Day In Atlantic City Boxing History – George Foreman vs. Shannon Briggs

Written By Rob Scott

Atlantic City – On Saturday, November 22, 1997, Kathy Duva’s Main Events brought to Atlantic City’s Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino’s  Mark G. Etess Arena, “Big” George Foreman vs. Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs for the Lineal Heavyweight Championship of the world.

The Man Who Beat The Man

After his monumental November 1995 win over Michael Moorer to win the IBF, WBA and Lineal heavyweight titles, Foreman was subsequently stripped of recognition from the two major sanctioning bodies but maintained his lineal status. This meant that even though the IBF and WBA no longer recognized him as their champ, he was still the – Man who beat the man – because no one actually beat him in the ring to take those laurels.

Experience vs. Youth

It was the 48-year-old Foreman, 76-4, 68 KOs, looking to remain on top, versus the 25-year-old Briggs, 29-1, 24 KOs, attempting to become “The Man” or at least a very key player in the heavyweight picture.

In round one, Briggs threw his jab and used his legs to stay away from Foreman’s shots, but as early as the third round, started to show signs of fatigue. Foreman played the aggressor while Briggs fought in retreat for most the fight. The Brooklyn native did land his share of blows, but it was “Big George” who started landing big shots as the fight progressed. Foreman used his big jab and overhand right to help move an already retreating Briggs around the ring.

Briggs looked to make his 23-year age advantage work in his favor, but as the fight went on, experience and determination seemingly overshadowed youth.

Down the stretch, Foreman tried hard to score the knockout, even breaking Briggs’ nose in the last round, but Briggs persevered.

 

The Eyes Of The Judges

Ultimately, the fight went the distance and the decision was in the hands of the judges. The scores read 114-114 even on one card, while the other two cards read 113-117 and 112-116 in favor of Briggs. The decision was met with boos from the crowd with many thinking Foreman should have gotten the decision.

Controversy swirled for weeks afterward with calls for investigations into the decision being brought from not only Foreman and his handlers, but also from people like Senator John McCain.  But in the end, Briggs still was the split decision winner and new lineal champion.

Briggs’ victory landed him a shot at Lennox Lewis’ WBC crown, being floored three times and ultimately being stopped by 5th round TKO.

After a proposed fight with Larry Holmes fell through, the Briggs fight would turn out to be Foreman’s last bout.

The Undercard

On the undercard, up and coming star, Fernando Vargas, improved his record to 8-0, 8KOs, with a first-round TKO over Jose Miguel Fernandez.

1996 Olympic Gold Medalist, David Reid, scored a 5th round TKO over Dan Connolly, boosting his record to 6-0, 5 KOs.

David Tua rebounded from his 12 round unanimous decision loss to Ike Ibeabuchi five months earlier with a 2nd round TKO over Jeff Lally, improving his record to 28-1, 24 KOs.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is not liable for any errors or omissions in this information. Any opinions or inquiries that you may have you can forward them to Rob Scott at robscottxl@msn.com.

On this day In Atlantic City Boxing History – Dwight Muhammad Qawi vs. Eddie Davis

 

Written By: Rob Scott

Atlantic City – On November 20, 1982, Main Events brought another night of championship boxing to Atlantic City’s Convention Hall.  The fight card was labeled, “Blockbuster On The Boardwalk” and was headlined by the “Camden Buzzsaw,” Dwight Muhammad Qawi, 18-1-1 (11KOs), making a defense of his WBC Light heavyweight title against the challenge of reigning USBA Light heavyweight champion/WBC #2 contender, Eddie Davis, 23-2-1 (15KOs).  The bout was scheduled for 15 rounds.

Fight before the fight

With a unification clash looming against undefeated reigning WBA Light heavyweight champion, Michael Spinks, Qawi looked to get by Davis’ challenge to make way for that much-anticipated unification bout.

After a feeling out process from both, it initially looked to be a short night for Qawi after he dropped Davis with a combination with forty seconds left in the first round.  After getting up off of the canvas and answering referee Tony Perez’s questions, Davis survived Qawi’s onslaught for the remainder of the round, stumbling to his corner as the bell sounded. Had it been a lesser experienced referee, the bout could have been stopped then, but Referee Perez let the fight go on.

Tougher than expected

Qawi stayed on his opponent, but the challenger wouldn’t fall, with Davis often coming back with his own noted offense. Even with a cut opened over his left eye, Davis still didn’t allow that to be a deterrent.  In fact, Qawi himself began to bleed from his nose as Davis tried his best to give as much as he received.

Under The Weather, But Still On Top

Qawi was visibly not himself, fighting at a slower pace than what fight fans were accustomed to seeing from him.

Davis definitely put on a game showing in the eighth and ninth rounds, with Qawi explaining his slower performance as being a result of an earlier illness and personal problems.  Even with those setbacks, this version of the “Camden Buzzsaw” was still enough to eventually stop Davis’ game effort, punishing him in the tenth and flooring him seconds into the eleventh. When Davis picked himself up off the canvas this time, referee Tony Perez examined the fighter, prompting him to call a halt to  the bout after only twenty-eight seconds into the round.

Setting The Stage

With Michael Spinks in attendance, tensions were in the air, but the stage was now officially set for both he and Qawi to finally meet in their WBA/WBC Light heavyweight unification.

Featured undercard
On the undercard, future AC Hall Of Famer, Bobby Czyz 20-0 (15kos), suffered the first defeat of his career, losing a 10 round unanimous decision to former middleweight title challenger, Mustafa Hamsho 34-2-2 (21kos).

Also on the card was the undefeated Tony Ayala Jr. 21-0 (18kos), scoring a 3rd round KO over Carlos Herrera 47-6 (32kos).

 

 

Disclaimer: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is not liable for any errors or omissions in this information. Any opinions or inquiries that you may have you can forward them to Rob Scott at robscottxl@msn.com.

 

 

This Day In Atlantic City Boxing History – Sergio Martinez vs. Paul Williams 2

Written by Rob Scott

Atlantic City – On November 20, 2010, Goossen Tutor Promotions, along with DiBella Entertainment joined forces to bring Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez vs. Paul “Punisher” Williams II – The Explosive Rematch, to Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.

Like facing Like

When Paul Williams and Sergio Martinez clashed in December 2009, the scene was different. Paul Williams put the word out that he would fight everyone from welterweight up through middleweight. After having a middleweight title opportunity fallout twice because of a recurring staph infection suffered by then-champion, Kelly Pavlik, Williams continued looking for challenges. Unfortunately, with his reputation of volume punching, tall lanky stature, and a decent chin, his phone wasn’t ringing off the hook from boxing’s best.

Sergio Martinez was relatively in the same boat as Williams, finding it harder than it should be to find willing opponents. Needing opponents, the avoided faced the avoided in what turned out to be one of the most entertaining fights of the year. True to his word, Williams, who fluctuated in fighting weights, accepted an opportunity to face Martinez, who was the reigning 154lb champ, at a catch weight.

Both scoring knockdowns in the first round and throwing non-stop punches throughout, each lived up to their reputations of bringing their best and leaving their all on the table. When it was all over, Williams was declared the winner by majority decision in a fight that could have gone either way.

What A Difference A Year Makes

In the months since their first bout, significant changes took place. Williams was initially on the shelf healing from a cut he received in his first bout with Martinez. That setback opened the door for Martinez to step in and step up to challenge middleweight champ, Kelly Pavlik, who was given the green light to return after his staph infection issues. Martinez made the best of his opportunity by beating Pavlik at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City in an exciting fight that saw the defending champ bloody and outgunned.

Sergio Martinez was now the new middleweight champion of the world and ready for another challenge. Williams faced Kermit Cintron upon his return, winning a 4th round technical decision after the bout had to be halted because of an injury suffered by Cintron when he fell through the ropes. After the win, Williams was ready to finally get his shot at the middleweight crown.

Just over eleven months after Martinez and Williams faced one another in the smaller Adrian Phillips Theater within Boardwalk Hall, the main arena played host to this anticipated rematch. Clearing up the controversy of who was the better man was an opportunity that each looked forward to.

As Good As The First

When it comes to boxing, let’s face it, sequels don’t always live up to the hype and actual substance of the original. Granted, there have been some rematches that have been so good, even a third match-up is yearned for and even warranted. Then there are those rematches that have left audiences feeling upset, as if the promoters pulled a proverbial bait and switch maneuver, definitely not giving what was advertised.

With the punch-output, heart and determination that these two have shown, not only against one another, but each and every night out, it was so hard to believe that this rematch wouldn’t live up to the hype.

From the opening bell, these two fighters looked to pick up where they left off from their first meeting. Both Williams, 39-1 (27kos), and Martinez, 45-2-2(24kos), started throwing bombs from the offset to the delight of the screaming fans in attendance. At the end of the first round, we all knew we were watching something that would be as special as the first.

Short But Sweet

Martinez’s strategy of smothering Williams and matching him punch-for-punch was a decent tactic, but after the bell rang to start the second round, the defending champion made the subtle change of periodically stepping back. It allowed him to in turn, not smother his own punches.

With Williams in pursuit and looking to land, Martinez started to land with his overhand left. After an exchange, Martinez found room, stepped back and landed a left at the2:03 mark that brought everyone in Boardwalk Hall to their feet, but dropped Williams for a count that could have gone well past ten.

The shot was one heard around the boxing world, garnering knockout of the year honors for 2010.

On this night, both Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams made history…Atlantic City History.

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is not liable for any errors or omissions in this information. Any opinions or inquiries that you may have you can forward them to Rob Scott at robscottxl@msn.com.

ACBHOF Wishes Happy Birthday To 2017 ACBHOF Inductee – Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes

By: Rob Scott

 

WBC World Heavyweight Champion:  Won title on June 9, 1978, against Ken Norton –  Relinquished title on December 11, 1983
IBF World Heavyweight Champion: On December 11, 1983, Accepted recognition as the very first IBF Heavyweight Champion after giving up WBC title – Lost IBF title by Unanimous Decision to Michael Spinks on September 21, 1985.
Ring Magazine Fighter of the year – 1982
World Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee – 2007
International Boxing Hall Of Fame Inductee – 2008
Atlantic City Boxing Hall Of Fame inductee – 2017

 

 

 

Disclaimer: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is not liable for any errors or omissions in this information. Any opinions or inquiries that you may have you can forward them to Rob Scott at robscottxl@msn.com.