Photos by Jay McGuigan
New York City! There is nowhere in the world like it. On November 11, 2006, I took a weekend trip to the Big Apple for one last getaway of the year. The primary focus was a Heavyweight title fight at “The Mecca of Boxing” between IBF champion Wladimir Klitschko (46-3, 41 KOs) of Kiev, Ukraine taking on undefeated contender Calvin Brock (28-0)of Charlotte, North Carolina.
This fight would mark the younger Klitschko’s first defense of a title he won in April of this year when he administered a one-sided beating to then-champion Chris Byrd.
It was a highly anticipated contest and many fans in the near capacity crowd were waving the flag of the Ukraine inside of Madison Square Garden.
Boxing fans ans celebrities took turns making chants of “Klitschko, Klitschko” to “USA! USA!” throughout the evening.
Continue reading NYC Road Trip! Wladimir Klitschko knocks Brock into next week at Madison Square Garden
photos by Mike “Teek” McGuigan
June 10, 2006 – Hopefully by now people in boxing have learned the lesson to never count Bernard Hopkins out. With heavy odds against him – “The Executioner” put a 12-round clinic on former Olympian Antonio Tarver to win the IBO portion of the Light Heavyweight title at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. It was a fight that none of the “experts” were giving him a shot in hell to win. But when the bell sounded, we saw that Hopkins is the master of chess while Tarver simply plays checkers.
In the lead up to this event, Las Vegas labeled this bout a 3-to-1 betting mismatch. All of the talk was centered around an “old” Hopkins ready to be put to pasture by the reigning champ.
A crowd of 10,200 paid fans turned out to the AC Boardwalk. Throughout the crowd, big names such as Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Vince Carter, Edgerrine James and Floyd Mayweather were seen in the front row. Many others ranging from the pugilistic enthusiasts to the casual fan made the ride from Philly, New York and Maryland to witness this HBO pay-per-view event.
Continue reading Bernard Hopkins defeats Tarver in an Atlantic City classic.
Photos by Mike McGuigan
On January 27, 2006, there was a “Collision Course: Night of Champions” at the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey as Star Boxing, Guilty Boxing, Silverhawk Boxing and Xyience collaborated to give fight fans four title bouts live on Pay-Per-View.
The card featured grizzled ring veteran Virgil Hill, who took on the undefeated, #1 contender to the WBA Cruiserweight title, Valery Brundov. Ol’ Virgil beat the odds again and earned his fifth career Championship Belt with a unanimous decision, becoming the oldest boxer since George Foreman to win a World Title.
Stevie “Lil but Bad” Johnson also took home some shiny hardware by earning a unanimous 12 round decision victory over Steve Quinonez. Johnson is now IBO & NABA champion in the Light Welterweight Division.
Also featured were hometown Jersey boys “Mighty” Mike Arnaoutis, Prince Badi Ajamu & Chuck Mussachio. Continue reading Virgil Hill regains the WBA Cruiserweight title, Prince Badi scores a late knockout in Atlantic City
Photos by Mike “Teek” McGuigan
Longtime promoter Don King kicked off the 2006 fight season at the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden, with a 10 bout card built around Ring Magazine’s 147 lb champion Zab Judah in the Main Event. His assignment was – no lie – a feather duster salesman from Santa Fe, Argentina. A fight that was designed to be a showcase turned into a disaster for the undisputed champ.
Instead of getting blown out early as most “experts” predicted, the unknown Carlos Baldomir shocked the world by earning a unanimous 12 round decision victory over the champion in front of a very pro Judah crowd. The Brooklyn native entered the fight a 16 – 1 favorite and in line for a mega bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. He left without his titles, a bruised reputation and a thin bank account. It was obvious from the beginning that Judah completely underestimated the lightly regarded Baldomir. The end result was turning in the worst performance of his career. Continue reading 16-to-1 underdog Carlos Baldomir shocks Zab Judah at Madison Square Garden to become Welterweight champion
With just one professional boxing show under our belt – Philly Keith Sports got a call to the big time. Two floor press passes to cover an HBO / Top Rank boxing event at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey!
The main event was a battle between Kiev, Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko and Nigeria’s Samuel “The Nightmare” Peter to see who would be named the #1 contender in the Heavyweight division. A big puncher against a guy with a tremendous boxing skill and a suspect chin. This one was bound to be interesting.
In the co-feature, Top Rank up-and-comer Miguel Cotto faced unknown WBO Jr. Welterweight champion Ricardo Torres of Columbia. Many say Cotto has the potential to be boxing’s next big Puerto Rican star. This fight certainly helped his cause as it turned out to be a classic.
Also on deck was North Jersey native Kendall Holt taking on Vladimir Khodokovski.
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Samuel Peter
This was a make or break night for the career of Wladimir Klitschko. His glass jaw is well documented but his boxing skills are under estimated. His opponent Samuel Peter is a guy who is known strictly for his power, comes in with a record of 24 -0 and hopes of becoming king of the division.
Peter is widely considered one of the up and coming heavyweights in the circuit but lacks a big name to add to the list of taxi drivers and other unknowns on his resume. The steaks are high as the winner becomes the mandatory to fight Chris Byrd for the IBF Heavyweight Title.
Before both fighters are announced, Michael Buffer asks for a moment of silence and tolls the bell 10 times for fallen warrior and Atlantic City native Leavander Johnson, who tragically died after defending his IBF title last week. Continue reading Atlantic City Road Trip! Wladimir Klitschko squeaks past Sam Peter & Miguel Cotto stops Torres in a Fight of the Year candidate at Boardwalk Hall