The Anaheim Honda Center was the hot-spot for a weekend of combat sports. The action began Friday Night, with Bellator #160, where MMA fan favorite, Benson Henderson, garnered a TKO win over an injured Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. Fans would later learn, “Pitbull” may have broken his calf (he) after unsuccessfully, checking his rival.
The end-of-week rush would continue Saturday night, with Premier Boxing Champions taking top- billing on Spike Sports. Robert ‘The Ghost” Guerrero (33-5-1, 18KOs) fought against a largely unknown Argentinian boxer David Emmanuel Peralta (26-2-1, 14KOs), in hopes of making his way back to title contention. However, Peralta had different plans; cloaking himself in National pride, fighting his way from taxi driver, to formidable rival.
Guerrero starts busy, sticking close body shots. Peralta, would not be the yellow brick road to Guerrero’s ascension. Using his height and reach, the Argentinian, initiated contact, cut off the ring, and landed successful upper-body blows.
By round 3, the brawlers would tussle in the corner, with back and forth action, resulting in a cut, on the right side of Peralta’s eye. In the 8th, the fighter’s legs would become entangled again; causing Peralta’s combo’s to sit the former 2-weight World champion, on the ropes.
Super Middleweight, Freddie “El Riel” Hernandez (34-8, 22KOs) snatched bragging rights in a Mexican-style showdown against Alfredo “Perro” Angulo (24-5, 20KOs). The first half of the bout saw Hernandez leading Angulo, in with his height and arm reach. By the 5th, Angulo stuck to his in- your-face approach never backing off, the Hernandez charge. Angulo would open a sweltering cut above Hernandez ‘s left eye, which did nothing to slow the ambitious 5’9 bruiser. “El Riel” would get the best of Angulo by never letting up on his punches, allowing judges to take stock, of the immense volume of landed punches. Scores were: 98-92, and 97-93×2
Unbeaten-Former Olympian, Terrell Gausha (19-0, 9KOs) continues his winning streak after stabilizing Steven Martinez (16-3, 13KOs). Martinez controlled the action during the opening rounds. However, during the last 4-rounds Gausha, would gain the point lead, landing cleaner, distinct punches. Scores were: 95-95, and 97-93×2
Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Friday April 29th
The Dirrell Brothers, natives of Flint, Michigan used their star power to broaden awareness, to the town’s water crisis. Friday night, the duo, fought for the people of Flint. For those who would like to help the people of Flint, #Fight4Flint has been set up for donations.
After losing to James DeGale a year ago in May, Andre “ The Resurrected” Dirrell (25-2-16KOs) came back in spectacular fashion with an impressive win over Australian Super Middleweight, Blake Caparello (22-2-1, 6KOs). Unlike his brother’s swift and furious win; ‘The Resurrected’ went the distance, stacking points against his Aussie opponent. Caparello would have his strongest lead in the 2nd round, when he sent the older Dirrell to the canvas with a left hook. Dirrell would not give up points again, showcasing his endurance. Scores were 98-1 3x.
“The Dog” Anthony Dirrell (29-1-1, 23KOs) fought like he wanted his title back, when he rocked Caleb Truax (26-3-2, 16KOs), sending him to the mat twice in the 1st round. After a lack luster performance by his own admission against Marco Rubio, Dirrell got off to a quick start with a sharp combination that sent Truax to the canvas. Truax would rise before the ten count, but “The Dog” would immediately send him back down with a devastating left right combination.
In a Super Bantamweight IBF eliminator, Jonathan Guzman (21-0, 21KOs) cruised to his 21st career win by knockout, against Daniel Rosas (20-3, 12KOs). Guzman kept the pressure on delivering his first knockdown in the 5th. Guzman was pushed into unfamiliar territory, by the tenacious Rosas, who pressed the action in the 4th with single left hooks. After the 8th round, the bout would be called due to (Rosas) receiving excessive punishment.
Mike Stafford, the man behind Broners success and trainer since childhood, speaks with boxhernews.com, giving viewers a glimpse into the soul of the man…WBA (Super) Super Lightweight Champion Adrien Broner (31-2, 23 KOs).
Saturday March 12th– Oohs and Ahh’s notify onlookers of the champs’ arrival. Adrien “The Problem” Broner strides through the double doors at the Sugar Ray boxing gym to take in a night of amateur bouts, at the Golden Gloves boxing tournament. With a few accompanying friends in tow, he tries making his way to his seat. However, when you’re one of the most successful and outspoken millennial, in the sport, the trek to finding a seat, can seem like a monumental task. As he makes his way through the crowd, Park Police Officer, McCracker, approaches the Phenom and asks for a picture. The often publically brash, Broner, appears honored by the request and obliges the serviceman. As more and more attendants become aware of his presence, Broner stops to shake hands, take more pics and engage every person wanting to be noticed.
The night of fights seem to preoccupy Broner’s mellow mood. In just 2-weeks, he will go head to head with fellow boxer, Ashley Theophane,(36-6-1, 11 KOs) who’s a member of the esteemed Money Team. Now, for most, going against any part of the Mayweather machine, would cause one to tremble in intimidation, however 26-year old Broner seems the least bit phased, as he interrupts an intense day of training, to support amateur boxers.
After my many attempts at getting the athlete to speak to me, when I am denied again, do I find myself simply staring at him, waiting for some volcanic like eruption to ooze from his mouth? “The Problem” simply states, “I don’t do interviews”, and he says it with a smile. Ohh Kay, what was that?! The publically feral, and habitually flippant super lightweight champ, I was expecting, gave me a stern, but gracious response. While I know probing him will not be in my best interest, I notice something. What I’ve come to believe about his persona non grata, may be an allusion, a well formulated character, who lives in stark contrast to the man himself. Now my mind and eyes are warring trying to make sense of the person I believed Broner to be, and the kind, generous superstar seated just a couple of feet away.
Once the dust is settled and the fights begin, it’s easy to see the man affectionately known as “Coach Mike” standing off to the side, studying each person entering the ring. Most of the attendees don’t take a second look at the kind gentleman standing towards the back. While unassuming, the always smiling Mike, lurks in the backdrop, quietly. As the many fighters test out nerves and prepare for their moment of stardom, none of the potential prospects pay attention to the one person, who could develop their talents, just like he did with his most famed protégé.
While his appearance isn’t lost on everyone in the packed gym, his show of support for the hungry talent, speaks louder than any knuckle crunching and faces splitting action taking place inside the square-ring. The Ohio born Stafford, on the surface is the complete contradiction to the aura emanating from his famed apprentice. Mike keeps Broner feet planted on the ground. When Mike is in the room, everyone including Adrien Broner listens.
Famed Trainer Mike Stafford took a moment out of his time to talk about Adrien Broner, and offer a couple clues into solving “The Problem”:
As a man; Adrien Broner (he) cares about kids. He got 7 kids now, he is a good father. He has over 20 members at my gym. He helps the kids at my gym. He provides transportation, meal money and uniforms, whenever I come to him he cuts a check; that’s the type of guy he is. Adrien employs a lot of people. He has over fifteen people he employes.
When you see negative articles about him?
You know you got to remember he’s a kid, an inner city kid too. He did a lot of growing up. He is not pushing or smoking dope, he always tested negative for drugs. Most of these guys test positive for a lot of stuff.
Next fight against Ashley Theophane?
Training going great, Adrien is a World Champion, and he acting like a World Champion. It just so happen its Floyd’s fighter. Adrien did not call Ashley out, Ashley called Adrien out, and Al Haymon made the fight happen. Its going to do wonders for Ashley to get in the ring with Adrien. A lot of fighters do not want to fight Adrien. I’ve seen him knock guys out with a jab. Adrien is an all time talented kid. He’s not going let any one steamroll him and take his belt. His smartness is there; all is left is to raise his hand on April 01.
Adrien Broner takes on Ashley Theophane Friday, April 01, 2015 at the DC Armory.