Category Archives: Yusaf Mack

THE MACK ATTACK IS BACK ON ESPN THIS FRIDAY IBF ELIMINATOR VS. GLEN JOHNSON!

West Philly’s Yusaf Mack will be on ESPN Friday Night Fights this week in a very important IBF Light Heavyweight title eliminator against war hungry veteran Glen Johnson. In a nut shell, it is do-or-die for the career of both fighters! This always makes for some great TV action. Mack has been considered amongst the best in Philly for years now. He has been on the cusp of a title shot a few times to no avail. Now, he has a new team,  new division and seemingly new dedication, evident by his current 4 fight winning streak.

Johnson, the Ring Magazine fighter of the Year in 2004 has been around the block and then some. He left a prime Roy Jones flat on his back and also holds a clean win over a prime Antonio Tarver. But that was then. At 41 years old he must prove he can still compete with the young lions of the sport. He also knows he must win or retire. The steaks are high as the man who gets his arm raised in victory on February 5th will be the mandatory challenger for IBF champ Tavoris Cloud. Cheers to ESPN for picking this one up!

April 2009 Philly Top 10 Pound for Pound Lists!

photo by Mike “Teek” McGuigan

It has been a while since I put together a Philly top 10 list and in that time it is still pretty obvious who is #1 in the town, that would be B-Hop. But in the past year there has been a lot of activity amongst the rank and file who made moves to get to the top. Some succeeded, some failed, some have rebounded and others are on their way.

This time around I give you two lists. First is a national Philly top 10 pound for pound which gives my ranking to those from this area who are either champions, within title contention or TV fighters. These guys are all over the world and are known industry names.

The next list is themed “21 & Under” ranking the Philly pros with 21 pro fights or less. These fights can take place anywhere in the world. This list tracks the activity of the young pros who seem to be on their way to making big moves in the boxing circuit within the next few years. These rankings are based on pro performance and potential, not solely on amateur career.

This was done as a replacement for the local top 10 list that ranked boxers competing within city limits. There was just not enough activity to compile one. Take a look and feel free to send any feedback to me via email.

http://phillykeith.com/nationaltop10April09.htm

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can email Philly Keith at keith@phillykeith.com

Go to www.phillykeith.com for up to the minute info on the Philly boxing scene

Yusaf Mack wins the NABF Light Heavyweight title from Chris Henry by split decision in Maryland!

Live on ESPN Friday Night Fights (Feb 6, 2009), West Philly’s Yusaf Mack stamped his ticket into the upper echelon on the worlds Light Heavyweight boxers with a 12 round split decision win over Houston’s Chris Henry, a fighter ranked in the top 10 of nearly every major sanctioning body.

Mack dominated the early going , in particular the 6th round where he bombarded Henry with many consecutive hard overhand rights which would have put most men out for the count.

Mack attacks the jaw of Henry - who put up a spirited 12 round fight. Photo by Mike Greenhill / www.fightnews.com
Mack attacks the jaw of Henry – who put up a spirited 12 round fight. Photo by Mike Greenhill / www.fightnews.com

To Henry’s credit, he absorbed the punishment and stormed back down the stretch as Mack began to tire, arguable sweeping round 7 – 11. With the fight hanging in the balance, Mack gained a second win and once again began to land some heavy lumber on Henry, which sealed the victory in this exciting, two-way action fight.

It went to the scorecards with two judges seeing it 116 – 112 & 115- 113 for Mack, while judge Malik Waleed continued his streak of burning Philly fighters and saw it 116 – 112 for Henry.

With the win Mack is in prime position to land a title fight in the 175 lb division with his eyes on Romania’s Adrian Diaconau.

In the co-feature, “King” Gabriel Rosado showed a lot of heart fighting in enemy territory and put on a competitive & entertaining 8 round Jr. middleweight fight against the still undefeated Fernando Guerrero but came up a bit short on the scorecards when it was all said and done.

It was a close fight through 5 rounds which included Rosado scoring a knockdown in the 3rd with a short right hand on the inside. Guerrero upped the pressure down the stretch and the Maryland southpaw’s activity and cleaner punching secured the win.

With that said, give Rosado his props for walking into the lion’s den and being booed by a sellout crowd of over 4,000 all who came to see the hometown hero Guerrero and not folding under the pressure. Keep your head up Gaby!

Off TV, Philly Light Heavyweight Farah Ennis (9-0, 4 KOs) continued his rise as he out pointed Chris Archer (10-6, 6 KOs) over four by scores of 40-36 on all cards.

Yusaf Mack & Gabriel Rosado headline Friday Night Fights in Maryland 2/6/09

It’s a big night for Philly fighters on February 6th as quite a few young hopefuls travel to Maryland for tough fights on national TV. It starts off with West Philly’s Yusaf Mack (26-2-2, 18ko’s) taking on Chris Henry (23-1, 18ko’s) of Texas with Mack’s NABA & Henry’s NABF Light Heavyweight title on the line in the main event on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.

Mack is once again in the world ratings and once again finds himself on the doorstep of a major fight against a top contender. With a win, he is in, no question about it. In the past he hasn’t been able to get over the hump but with making weight no longer an issue, his supporters believe this will be his time to shine. The haters say he is going to choke. Mack has looked very good so far at 175 lbs but Henry will be his toughest challenge to date in this division.

Henry recently fought WBC champ Adrian Diaconu in the champs home country of Romania and left short handed losing a close decision. Like Mack, with a win, he is striking distance of another title fight.

It doesn’t end there because there have been hot rumors of North Philly Middleweight “King” Gabriel Rosado filling the void in the co-feature to take on big time Maryland ticket seller Fernando Guerrero (12-0, 11ko’s) for a scheduled 10 rounder. Rosado, fresh off a stretch as Bernard Hopkins and Shane Mosley’s chef sparring partner, looks to once again play the role of spoiler and pull the rug from under a home town hero in that fighters back yard.

Guerrero put his name on the map in August on Shobox when he mopped the ring with the then unbeaten and untested Tyrone Watson. Rosado will provide a much tougher test and has a legitimate shot to come home victorious.

It has also been mentioned that Farah Ennis & Coy Evans will fight in separate bouts on this card as well. Get the full ESPN write up & scouting report here http://phillykeith.com/MackRosadoESPN.htm

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can email Philly Keith at keith@phillykeith.com

Go to www.phillykeith.com for up to the minute info on the Philly boxing scene

Yusaf Mack & Derek Ennis win PA State titles at The Armory

Photos by Zach Radel / www.zarphotography.com
Joey Eye Promotions came to the National Guard Armory this past weekend and once again the Philly fight scene legend delivered a night full off knockdowns and drag-outs. In the Main Event, the world rated Light Heavyweight Yusef Mack returned home to take on another Philly fighter in Omar Pittman who was looking to score an upset. The PA State and NABA Light Heavyweight titles were on the line as well as a possible top ranking in the WBA.

In the co-feature, Derek Ennis looked to put his name back a top the list of young Philly junior middleweights and his assignment was no slouch as he took on the 41 year old day time trash man Troy Browning in a 10 round State title fight.

The under card was patch worked together but it did produce two entertaining heavyweight fights when Anthony Gatt took on Jonathan Felton and also when Lamont Barnes took on Tyaab Beale in 4 rounders. Jules Blackwell looked to get a bounce back win and Joel De La Paz returned from North Jersey to once again lace them up in our town.

Mack attacks Pittman!

Yusef Mack vs Omar Pittman 2008The nights main event featured two local fighters with separate skill sets but one common attribute, they both could fight. Yusef Mack (26-2, 16ko’s) was a one time anointed prodigy of the worlds 168 lb division, only to see his shot at the big time go up in smoke due to losses against world rated opponents. This is a new ear for Mack as he moved up a division in order not to kill his body to make weight.

So far so good at 175 lbs for Mack as he most recently won the NABA title in an ESPN carried fight against Daniel Judah in Brooklyn. Coming into this fight ranked #9 by the WBA, an impressive win is sure to position Mack for another run towards the more meaningful gold.

Pittman (14-5, 8ko’s) on the other hand has only faced a world rated opponent once which was in his last fight which came in Montreal against Jean Pashall. Pittman didn’t win the fight but did expose Pashall as more of a pretender than an actual contender, rocking his opponent and almost putting him away in the later rounds. With a win here, Pittman still probably wouldn’t be considered “world class” but would have a lot of power at the bargaining table when it came to negotiating future fights.

Inside of the ring, Mack played the role of boxer and Pittman looked to slug. In this case, the boxer eluded the puncher’s bombs but was able to return fire with pinpoint accuracy. Though Mack was clearly winning every round, Pittman kept on coming, throwing heavy rights in hopes of landing that one shot knockout punch. The drama unfolded late in the 6th round when Mack cleanly connected with an overhand right which sent Pittman staggering into the corner. Mack wasted no time in following up with a bevy of punches which put Pittman down hard. Pittman did beat the 10 count but was visibly wozy which left the referee no choice but to stop it with a second remaining in the round.

Winner – 2:59 in the 6th round Yusef Mack

 

Ennis shuts down Browning!

The co-feature was also an interested match-up which featured two fighters from our area, both of whom desperately needed to make a big statement after recent slip-up’s in the ring.

Germantown’s Derek “Pooh” Ennis (16-2, 12ko’s) is considered to be one of the most well rounded fighters in our area. He was born into the sport and has continued to learn and improve well into his adult life. When he fights, you are almost assured it will be entertaining regardless of if he wins or loses. After suffering a surprise loss last year at the unknown Alphonso Williams, Ennis returned to reel off three straight knockout victories, albeit against low level of fighters. On this night he would take on an experienced veteran with a good record, the type of fighter who he has yet to face as a pro.

Troy Browning (20-3, 8ko’s) on the other hand unexpectedly made a name for himself a year ago when he won a decision over the then highly regarded Babyface Garcia live on ESPN. Feeling he was not getting the respect he deserved, the Browning team followed up by taking on two more well regarded prospects in Delvin Rodriguez and Pawel Wolak, losing 10 round unanimous decisions in both fights but showing he could hang in there with younger, fast fighters.

In the ring, Derek Ennis played the matador and Browning played the bull with Pooh leaving the 41 year old phenom swinging at air for more of the night. Browning kept on coming and Ennis kept of boxing. He would bait Browning in, slip away and fire off two, three and four punch combo’s almost at will.

Browning was most effective when he went after the body. A strategy he didn’t use nearly enough. Neither man was ever in serious trouble or truly hurt but it was still a very solid 10 rounds worth of boxing from Ennis, who on this night, showed he is worthy of making the jump into the next level and capable of winning there too. The fight went to the cards which read 100 – 90 x2 & 98- 92 all in favor of Derek Pooh “Ennis”.

Photos by Zach Radel / www.zarphotography.com






Gatt outbombs Felton in a sloppy slugfest!

West Chester’s Anthony Gatt (7-1, 4ko’s) was sent to the canvas in the 2nd round, courtesy of a Jonathan Felton (5-12, 5ko’s) left hook but pulled himself off the deck to win a 4 round unanimous decision over the Carolina based fighter. This one wasn;t pretty but it sure was entertaining as these two fired away and looked to basically knock the other guys head off.

Felton hung in their early but ran out of gas mid way through. Unfortunately for him, Gatt came with a full tank and did his best work in rounds 3 and 4 with hard body shots and right hooks to the head.

It went to the cards which read 39 – 37 & 38-37 x 2 for Gatt

Photos by Zach Radel / www.zarphotography.com





Blackwell blows through Dennis!

Phoenixville’s Jules “The Ghost” Blackwell (8-1-2, 3ko’s) was given a duck in his return to the ring and handled his business very quickly as he battered Javier Dennis (1-2) around the ring until referee Gary Rosato mercifully stopped it at the 2:33 mark of round 1.

If anyone earned an easy fight it is Jules who went on a run earlier this year taking on tough fight after tough fight. It will be interesting to see how he bounces back after suffering his first career loss. Tonight was a good start.

Beale stops Barnes in 2!

Heavyweight Tyaab Beale (1-1, 1ko) scored two knockdowns en route to a 2nd round stoppage over Lamont Barnes (0-1)to earn his first win as a pro. These two big guys traded some heavy shots early and often. A quick 3 punch combo from Beale put Barnes down late in the second. Barnes seemed stunned at first but possibly able to continue although the referee didn’t seem to agree and called a halt to the battle.

De La Paz blows out Hord!

Joel De La Paz (2-0, 1ko) needed only :35 to dispose of Indiana’s Ryan Hord (0-3, 3ko losses), nailing him with a left hook that put Hord down well past the needed 10 count. No disrespect to De La Paz but Hord should never be allowed to fight again, he might get seriously hurt in there.

De La Paz improves to 2-0 after this starching.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can email Philly Keith at keith@phillykeith.com

Go to www.phillykeith.com for up to the minute info on the Philly boxing scene

Philly’s top 10 pound for pound list – December 2006

The first ever pound for pound list got me some ink in the Philadelphia Daily News (thanks again Bernard Fernandez!). The second one earned me a 30 minute segment on “The Philadelphia Boxing Report” on ESPN Radio 920AM (Thanks again Mike and Big Dean!)

Who knows where the third one will bring me? I am guessing an an early retirement because people are sure to think I am an idiot for bumping up two guys who have been inactive. But as usual things in Philly boxing are about as steady as a drunk early in the morning.

Once again the new list has lots of changes. Losses, inactivity, fighters meeting the 5 fight requirements, other looking very unimpressive have caused a big shuffle in the rankings. Change is a good thing though and that is why we are the best in the world at what we do.

For those of you who are new to the PK pound for pound list, the rules are simple. If you fight in the City of Brotherly Love and have more than 5 pro fights, you are eligible for the list. But don’t get it twisted this isn’t a list of fighters BORN in Philly, this is for the guys who spill their sweat in venues like the New Alhambra, Blue Horizon or National Guard Armory and help make our local circuit the best in the world.

Now that we have that clear, November was a very active and exciting month in Philly boxing. Harry Yorgey put on a couple of unforgettable performances, Eddie Chambers was signed with Goossen Tutor and will most likely be leaving Philly for a while (go get em Eddie!) Joey Abell took a stunning loss and we saw young bucks like Jules Blackwell & The Slick Fighting Irishman Simon O’Donnell show that they have what it takes to make a long run on the top ten list.

Without further adu, here is the December 2006 Philly top 10 pound for pound list.

Continue reading Philly’s top 10 pound for pound list – December 2006

Philly boxing circuit top 10 pound for pound list for the month of August 2006

Before you go nuts – let’s make one thing clear. This list consists only of fighters who compete in Philadelphia on a regular basis. If you were born in Philly but boxing in Las Vegas or New York or somewhere out of our area, you do not qualify (sorry B-Hop). This list gives some recognition to those on their way through the ranks and other others trying to reestablish their name in the game. This is not the best talent overall but those who have put in the best work in recent months.

Philly is the world’s number one fight town and our local fight circuit is the best in the world. Our fans are beyond a shadow of a doubt the toughest, most loyal and knowledgeable crowd this business has ever seen. They pay $35 for a ticket just to sweat their ass off at the Blue Horizon in the dead of summer.

They will give a journeyman a standing ovation and will boo a stinker right out of the building. They love a good fight and love to argue.
So I will give you something to argue about, who is the best of the best in our fighting town? I think it is the 10 fighters listed below.

My criterion is simple, if they fight on the Philly circuit on a regular basis they were considered for the list. I pay no attention to who their promoter, manager, trainer or baby’s momma is. Some are young, some are old, and some will go on to fight for world titles while others will struggle to end their career with a record close to .500.

I give to you the first ever Philly top 10 pound for pound rankings. Email me to discuss, debate, praise, curse or quietly state your opinion.

Continue reading Philly boxing circuit top 10 pound for pound list for the month of August 2006

War the the District 02-11-06

February 12, 2006 – By Keith McMenamin & Jeff Imbrogno

Philly Fighter’s Win “War” in a Rout

Shulers Boxing was back at the First District Plaza in West Philadelphia for a night dubbed the “War at the District”. This event featured local fighters against out-of-state competition. The war turned into a massacre in favor of the Percy Custus stable as Simon “One Punch” Carr, Jamaal “Tyson” Davis and USBA Super Middleweight and UBA Light Heavyweight Champion Yusef Mack all won with impressive knockouts.

Some of the Philly heavyweights outside of the ring also checked in for a night at he fights. Sly Stallone stopped by after completing the final scenes for the upcoming Rocky VI, former heavyweight champion Smokin’ Joe Frazier who was on hand for a book signing. Between fights, fans were also treated to two performances by Philly rapper Freeway, comedian Buckwild. Continue reading War the the District 02-11-06

Yusaf Mack dominates Christian Cruz to retain the USBA Super Middleweight & UBA Light Heavyweight Titles

First District Plaza Results, 11-10-05 Philadelphia, PA

USBA Super Middleweight & UBA Light Heavyweight Title Match

Yusaf Mack 19 – 0 – 2 (11) vs. Christian Cruz 11 – 3 – 1 (9)
Philadelphia, PA Sacramento, CA

During his ring entrance Yusaf Mack & the Hustlers Union came to the ring chanting the slogan “they flew him in from Cali to take mine.. it ain’t happenin’”. Mack, representing 58th & Lancaster to the fullest, showed his Brotherly Love to challanger Christian Cruz by administered one of the worst beatings seen during the Philly 2005 boxing campaign. With the 6th round TKO victory, Yusaf Msck retained the USBA Super Middleweight & UBA Light Heavyweight Titles and is now eyeing up the muscle head Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy or Joe Calazaghe next. Here is how it went down round by round.

Round 1 – Cruz comes out of the corner showing he is ready to give it his all. His strategy of throwing hard overhand rights fail due to Mack’s quickness. Cruz then tried to tie up Yusaf in hopes of working the body but only hugs air. This proves to be a mistake as it leaves Cruz open and Mack begins to connect at will. Cruz then opts to go toe to toe with the champ but Mack gets the best of this as well. Yusaf shows excellent head movements which causes Cruz to miss almost all of his punches and leaves him open for a number of combinations to the head.

Saddo scorecard 10- 9 Mack

Continue reading Yusaf Mack dominates Christian Cruz to retain the USBA Super Middleweight & UBA Light Heavyweight Titles