Category Archives: Philly World Champions

Jason Sosa knocks out Fortuna in the 11th to win the WBA featherweight title in China

Despite long odds – and an even longer plane ride – Camden, New Jersey native Jason Sosa used a lethal left hook to defy the critics and non believers, knocking out world champion Javier Fortuna in round 11 to win the WBA featherweight title at the Capital Gym in Beijing, China.

The betting line was as high as 17-to-1 in favor of the Premier Boxing Champions signee Fortuna before bell time. Sensing a worthwhile long shot, savvy gamblers put a lot of late money on Sosa which dropped the line near 7-to-1 when the fight began.

The fight was so remote that there was no TV broadcast or internet streams for this show which happened at 10 AM Eastern Time. It was the perfect setting for a modern day boxing upset.

Multiple reports suggest that it was a come from behind knockout for Sosa, a fighter who was developed in the Peltz boxing fold.  The New Jersey native was knocked to the canvas in round five and was likely down on all scorecards as the fight headed into the championship rounds.

Sources say a late Sosa adjustment turned the tide. Kicking up the intensity, “Canito” knocked Fortuna down in round 10, and then finished the job less than three minutes later, closing the show at the 0:45 mark of round 11.

With the victory Sosa improves to 19-1-4, 15 KOs while the former champ Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna suffers his first career loss, falling to 29-1-1, 21 KOs.

Congrats to Team Sosa, Peltz Boxing and Top Rank Boxing  on the outstanding victory on the other side of the globe. This win ends a long losing streak for local fighters competing at the championship level of the sport.

Team Sosa


Swift out-slugs Guerrero to win his first Welterweight title

All he does is win! On January 23, 2016, a reported 2.5 million people tuned in to Fox Sports to watch Philadelphia’s most controversial boxing figure Danny “Swift” Garcia (32-0, 18 ko’s) claim the vacant WBC Welterweight title with an entertaining 12-round decision win over Gilroy, California based contender Robert Guerrero.

The judges scored the fight 116-112, 116-112 and 116-112 across the board. As always the case with Swift – many are claiming he was the beneficiary of shaky score cards turned in by the judges.

Guerrero (33-4-1, 18 ko’s) looked young again in the early rounds – but Swift seemed to take control in the second half. The fight ended with both men firing away at each other for a full minute. Watch it here

What are your thoughts on the fight and the decision? Who would you like to see Garcia fight next?

Robert “Bam Bam” Hines Interview – 2008

By Ken Hissner 

Robert “Bam Bam” Hines was 8 when he started boxing. I first saw him in 1978 when he was the 106 pound State Golden Gloves champion. He told me recently that he only weighed 90 pounds at the time while representing Moylan Recreation Center, 25th and Diamond, in Philadelphia.

Overall, Bam Bam complied an amateur record of  178-11. His next door neighbor was Bernard Hopkins, whom he beat in a 1977 amateur bout. He would later spar with Hopkins as a pro and still “kick his ass” as Hines put it. Hopkins remarked on HBO prior to the Tarver fight “the two toughest southpaw’s I ever fought were #2 John David Jackson (WBO light middleweight and WBA middleweight champion), #1 Rob ‘Bam Bam’ Hines. Basketball great Hank Gathers and current Temple University women’s coach Dawn Staley also grew up in the neighborhood.

Hines had fought 1972 and 1976 Olympian Davey Armstrong three times losing all three in close fights. He also fought former WBA junior welterweight champion Johnny Bumphus in the amateurs.

In March 16, 1980 14 members of an Olympic boxing team fell to their death on a US flight to Warsaw, Poland. Little did they know there would not be an Olympics for the United States due to President Carter’s boycott. Philadelphia’s Lonnie Young was one of the victims. Bobby Czyz, Marvis Frazier, Alex Ramos, Jimmy Clark, Lee Roy Murphy and Rob Hines were scheduled to be on that flight. That same year Hines dad died. It was a bad time in his life. He lost to future NABF champion Tyrone “Butterfly” Crawley that year in the National A.A.U. tournament and thought it best to take time off before he turned pro in March of 1981.

As a pro he was 25-3-1 (17) over a ten year period. He retired at the age of 29. He won the IBF light middleweight title in November of 1988. I had a chance to talk to Rob and discuss his good but short career.

Ken Hissner: You turn pro winning your first 17 fights. I notice you have a win over Rocky Balboa in your 4th fight in Las Vegas. That is not who I think it is, is it?

Robert “Bam Bam” Hines: (Both laughing) No.

KH: Who trained and managed you?

RH: Al Fennell was always my trainer from the time I started. Sam Ingerman was my only manager. He also had Charles Singleton and Roger Stafford.

KH: In June of 1984 you suffer your first loss to Ricardo Bryant (11-5, 8 KOs) in A.C. by 7th round tko. What happened?

RH: My head was getting too big for me. I hurt my left hand, but that had nothing to do with my loss. Bryant was very strong.

Continue reading Robert “Bam Bam” Hines Interview – 2008

Steve “USS” Cunningham interview – December 2007

At the moment, Philadelphia only has one recognized world champion. No, it is not Bernard Hopkins, it’s Southwest Philly’s Steve “USS” Cunningham who recently won the IBF version of the Cruiserweight title in May of 2007.

But with the cruiserweight division generating little interest and the more talented fighters hailing from overseas, USS has been forced to truly show that he is a “world” champion by having to fight in lands such as Poland & South Africa.

He is at it once again, this time ready to defend his title on December 29th, 2007 against the undefeated Marco Huck (19-0, 14ko’s)in Huck’s home land of Germany. USS took some time to reflect on his rise from a kid fighting in the Philly streets to a championship caliber professional boxer and life outside of the ring.

Philly Keith: Steve, thanks for your time as you get ready to leave for Germany. I have to ask, are you getting a little tired of having to do all this travelling even though you are considered one of the best boxers in the business?

Steve “USS” Cunningham: Well it’s all in God’s hands. I know I can handle myself with the best in the world so I am not afraid to go overseas to defend my title.

I fought in Poland before twice and now its off to Germany to defend my title so I am going to do what I have to do. This time I am going to enjoy myself in the ring and enjoy the experience outside of it too.

USS and trainer Anthony Chase working out at Shulers Gym in West Philadelphia.
USS and trainer Anthony Chase working out at Shulers Gym in West Philadelphia.

PK: Why do you think the Cruiserweight division gets no love from the main stream networks that televise boxing? There have been some really good fights there but not one spot on TV.

Continue reading Steve “USS” Cunningham interview – December 2007

“Terrible” Tim Witherspoon interview Part 1 – 2007

In this segment,  Philly’s top boxing photographer Mike “Teek” McGuigan comes from behind the camera to catch up with former World Heavyweight Champion “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon of South Philadelphia.

In this exclusive interview Tim talks a bit about his past, his desire to get back into the ring and how he wants to be remembered in the sport of boxing. While there is a lot more to come, right now we want to let the fans know that we just might be seeing the return of the Terrible One to a ring near you.

Tim witherspoon

Mike McGuigan: Is it true that you are making a comeback?

Terrible Tim Witherspoon: Yes it is.

MM: What kind of things are you planning for this year?

TW: Well I’m currently training fighters and have stock in promotional companies. I tried the thing with Fingerman but it didn’t work out. Now i’m trying to do the Bo Jackson and Michael Jordan thing doing both the promoting thing and fighting. It will keep me feeling young and healthy if I stay active. By helping out the fighters out training them, I am helping myself too.

Continue reading “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon interview Part 1 – 2007