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 McGuigan
On January 28, 2006 – Arturo “Thunder” Gatti returned to his home base in Atlantic City after suffering the worst loss of his career. Over 10,000 of his loyal fans packed Boardwalk Hall to watch “Blood and Guts Warrior” take on unknown Thomas Daamgard of Denmark in what was a test drive for Gatti’s move up into the Welterweight Division.
While the supporter came out in droves, the “experts” weren’t so sure what was left of Gatti after suffering a one-sided shellacking at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr. live on HBO pay-per-view over seven months ago.
This bout was expected to be a cakewalk, a preview of how Gatti can hold up against a true Welterweight as he has spent his entire career before this night competing at lower weight classes. Continue reading Arturo Gatti wallops Thomas Daamgard at Boardwalk Hall
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