DSH Boxing Notebook: Danny Garcia to face Keith Thurman, Danny Roman earns big win

January 28, 2017

Our latest Boxing Notebook looks at the upcoming Keith Thurman-Danny Garcia bout, and also notes a big win by local boxer Danny Roman.  For these stories and more news on the sweet science, read below:

Golden Boy and ESPN announce broadcast deal

ESPN and Golden Boy Promotions announced a multi-year, international agreement for a series of fights to be televised live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. The first fight card, from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California, is March 23.

Topping the card, Irish amateur standout and middleweight contender Jason "El Animal" Quigley (12-0, 10 KOs) looks to continue his meteoric rise up the division with his third consecutive step-up fight against the hard-punching Glen "Jersey Boy" Tapia (23-3, 15 KOs) in a 10-round battle for the vacant NABF middleweight title.

"I've been in Quigley's position before, so I know exactly what he's feeling. He's trying to prove himself and he's looking at me like his step up," Tapia said. "At the end of the day, because of my last performances, I feel like I really don't have the privilege to speak on what I'm going to do, but just know that I'll be more than ready to show Quigley and the boxing fans that I am more than just a step up."

In the co-main attraction, Randy "El Matador" Caballero (23-0, 14 KOs) will launch his campaign to become a two-division world champion when he goes head-to-head with Victor "Pitufo" Proa (28-2, 21 KOs) in a 10-round super bantamweight affair.

"ESPN is a flagship network with a history of showcasing and bringing audiences into the world of boxing, making this deal a natural fit for Golden Boy Promotions," said Oscar De La Hoya, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. "Having worked with ESPN in the past, we know first-hand that its multiple TV and digital platforms represent a must-watch for casual and die-hard sports fans. I'm thrilled that Golden Boy's talented stable of fighters will be showcased before a wide audience who will have the opportunity to watch and follow the sports' current and future world champions."

In the first year of the deal, ESPN will televise 18 fight cards throughout the U.S., in both English and Spanish, and on its wholly-owned and affiliated networks in Latin America, Canada, the Caribbean, Australia and parts of Asia.

In addition to in-the-ring action, ESPN will also feature Golden Boy Media and Entertainment content on multiple platforms, including: Golden Boy's Classic Fight Library; half-hour interviews with a range of fighters; Mano-A-Mano, an original half-hour series featuring fighter training; The Ring TV Express, three-minute highlights of full fights; and podcasts hosted by Oscar De La Hoya and other Golden Boy talent.

Danny Garcia to battle Keith Thurman on March 4

The highly anticipated unification showdown between unbeaten welterweight world champions Keith “One Time” Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs) and Danny “Swift” Garcia (33-0, 19 KOs) will take place on Saturday, March 4, from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.  The fight will be televised on CBS.

“Barclays Center and Brooklyn are my home away from home,” said Garcia. “I’ve headlined the most shows at Barclays Center and my fans from Philly and my fans from New York can be there.  It’s going to be another Danny Garcia show.  I don’t care if people think I’m an underdog. To me, Keith Thurman is nothing but a name.  Come March 4, I am going to show the world once again that I am a true champion.”

After establishing himself as the top fighter at 140-pounds, Garcia moved up to 147-pounds and defeated former champion Paulie Malignaggi before he earned a vacant world title in January 2016 when he beat Robert Guerrero.  Garcia has compiled one of the best resumes currently in boxing with victories over the likes of Amir Khan, Lucas Matthysse, Lamont Peterson, Zab Judah, Mauricio Herrera, and Erik Morales.

The hard-hitting Florida-native Thurman comes off of a successful world title defense in a “Fight of the Year” candidate with former champion Shawn Porter that rocked Barclays Center and was the first primetime boxing event on CBS in nearly 40 years.

Prior to that, Thurman dominated former champions Robert Guerrero and Luis Collazo on his way to two victories in 2015. The 28-year-old won his belt by knocking out Diego Chaves in 2013, and scored consecutive knockouts over Jesus Soto Karass and Julio Diaz in his first and second title defenses.

“I’m looking forward to returning to Barclays Center and headlining a national broadcast on CBS – both the arena and the network were good homes for me in 2016,” said Thurman.  “I am the champ, and I always will be.  Danny Garcia is a fighter who I have asked for and who I have respect for.  But he’s going to learn, just as my past opponents have, that my power and speed will rise above any swiftness he has.  I am the true welterweight champion.  I will unify the titles and show him what ‘One Time’ feels like. I look forward to this fight and the fans should too; be there on March 4.”

Danny Roman defeats Adam Lopez by TKO

In a stunningly one-sided affair, Southern California's Danny Roman scored an upset ninth-round TKO over previously unbeaten Adam Lopez in a WBA Super Bantamweight Title Eliminator Friday night on Showtime from Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino.

Lopez’s trainer, renowned Ronnie Shields, decided his boxer shouldn’t take any more punishment and asked the referee to stop the contest after nine completed rounds.

“Adam Lopez is a great and tough fighter,” said Roman. “He came prepared, but I came out with the victory."

Roman (21-2-1, 8 KOs), who was ranked No. 4 in the WBA, won his 14th in a row in a career-best performance. He out-boxed and out-slugged the No. 3-rated Lopez (16-1-1, 8 KOs), of San Antonio, Texas, from the outset. Roman seized command in the fourth round with two knockdowns, first with a left hook, and then with a left uppercut.

“I started hurting him with uppercuts," said Roman.  "I dropped him twice the fourth. I felt I was going to stop him there, but the bell saved him."

Lopez noted that he hurt his eye during the fourth round.

“I thought I was clawing my way back into the fight, but my eye started hurting," said Lopez.  "It was the first uppercut that knocked me down in the fourth that got me right in the eye. It was hard to keep on going with my eye like that."

Lopez, who was appearing on ShoBox for a fifth time, tried to fight back, but Roman's skill and harder pinpoint-punching led to the scheduled 12-round fight being stopped between rounds nine and 10.

Win the victory, Roman is now in position to challenge WBA 122-pound World Champion Nehomar Cermeno.

“Now, I am going to go back to the gym," said Roman.  "I have to start working on the basics again and begin to prepare for my title shot. I’m very excited.”

In the final three rounds, Roman out-landed Lopez 107-27, and 84-20 in power punches. In the final session, Roman landed more punches (43) than Lopez threw. It was a merciless beating followed by a merciful stoppage. Roman landed 54 percent of his power shots, including 67 percent in the final round.

“The main event was a shocker,” said ShoBox expert analyst Steve Farhood. “We didn’t know much about Danny Roman. And he sure earned that title fight against Nehomar Cermeno. It’s a bittersweet for us, for Lopez. We know him well. He’s fought five times on ShoBox but now doesn’t look like he is going to get that title fight since this is the second opportunity he had and he took a real beating. It’s going to take a while for him to come back.”

Lopez, who left the ring promptly after the stoppage, was not happy with his performance.

“He was the better man tonight,” Lopez said as he sat with his head down in the locker room. “I kept trying to catch him with uppercuts and I got caught every time. I was trying to get on the inside, but it was hard."

Quite a win for a guy who grew up more interested in soccer than boxing. That is, until a fight with a classmate led to a dramatic shift in the narrative.

"Who would have known that a schoolyard fight would lead me to this point," said Roman.

Roman was eight-years-old when he discovered the sweet science, courtesy of a beat down that came at the hands of a fellow classmate.

"We were fighting over a soccer ball," recalled Roman. "I didn't want to give it up. Next thing I know I'm getting hit all over. I was on the ground before I even knew what happened. Later that day I went home and told my dad what happened. He told me I needed to learn how to fight, how to defend myself. That very same day he took me to the boxing gym."

Roman was understandably nervous and non-committal.  The odor and distinct sounds that are commonplace in any boxing gym felt foreign to him.

"At first, I didn't even want to go," he said.  "I didn't know anything about boxing. It was really intimidating. Here I am, eight-years-old trying to look tough amongst all these real boxers. I didn't know it at the time, but they were sizing me up."

Eventually he grew to enjoy the sport.

"It took several months for me to begin liking it. When you're kid, you usually play team sports where there's a lot of interaction with teammates. Boxing isn't like that. It's a lonely place because it's just you and your opponent. No one can help you once the bell rings. It took me awhile to really appreciate all the skill and preparation required to compete at the highest levels."

Perhaps Roman should find that kid and thank him.

Guillermo Rigondeaux to fight on Cotto-Kirkland undercard

Highly-skilled Cuban star and reigning WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs) has been added to the February 25 Miguel Cotto-James Kirkland card, as he will fight in a mandatory 12-round WBA title defense against undefeated WBA interim titleholder Moises “Chucky” Flores (25-0, 17 KOs).

“I would like to start by thanking HBO, Roc Nation Sports and Caribe Promotions for making this fight happen. I'm very excited, it’s my first fight back in the states in over a year. I want to show the world and my loyal fans that I am still one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world,” said Rigondeaux.  “I will be defending my title on February 25. I’d like to thank Moises Flores for having the courage to face me in the ring. He is a tough fighter and will have all his fans in Texas cheering for him. It's going to be a battle so fans, get ready to see me in action.”

Rigondeaux's opponent, Flores, is tall for his weight class, measuring in at a rangy 5 feet 9 inches. As such, he tends to have a reach advantage over most of his opponents, which could pose a problem for the slick boxing Rigondeaux, who often prefers to fight from distance.

"I'm very excited to be facing Guillermo Rigondeaux on Saturday, February 25 on HBO Pay-Per-View," said Flores. "I'd like to thank my team at Probox Management along with HBO for providing this opportunity. I'm training hard and look forward to making the Mexican fans proud when I defeat the great Rigondeaux."

The televised undercard will also include WBC Youth World Super Bantamweight Champion and Golden Boy Promotions top-flight prospect Diego De La Hoya (16-0, 9 KOs) against Cuban pugilist Yoandris Salinas (21-2-2, 14 KOs) in a 10-round super bantamweight contest.

De La Hoya, already a Dallas-area fan favorite, drew a unanimous decision against veteran fighter Orlando Del Valle at AT and T Stadium on the undercard of September’s Canelo-Smith showdown.

Salinas seeks a big return to the ring following 18 months away from boxing because of a hand injury.

Chocolatito to fight on Golovkin-Jacobs card 

Top ten pound-for-pound fighter and WBC Super Flyweight Champion Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez (46-0-0, 38 KO's) will defend his title against mandatory challenger Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (41-4-1, (38 KO's) of Thailand, on Saturday, March 18, 2017, at "The Mecca of Boxing," Madison Square Garden.

"Sor Rungvisai is a fighter very tough fighter who wants my title," said Gonzalez.  "His fighting style suits me, however, I have to be careful because of his power."

Chocolatito-Rungvisai will be the co-feature to the World Middleweight Championship between Unified Middleweight World Champion Gennady Golovkin (36-0-0, 33 KO's) and WBA Middleweight World Champion and mandatory challenger Daniel Jacobs (32-1, 29 KO's).

The 30-year-old heavy-handed Rungvisai will be fighting for the first time in the United States against Gonzalez. A four-time world title challenger, Rungvisai challenged then WBC Super Flyweight Champion Carlos Cuadras on May 31, 2014.

In an action-packed battle featuring excellent two-way action, Rungvisai was the unfortunate victim of a shortened bout as Cuadras was deemed unable to continue after the eighth round following an accidental clash of heads between the two warriors. Going to the scorecards, Rungvisai came up just short with Cuadras retaining his title.

Said Rungvisai, "I respect Roman Gonzalez. He is a legend. He has done great things for boxing, especially by showing the world how talented and exciting smaller weight fighters can be. I am happy for Nicaragua to have such a great hero. However, super flyweight is my weight. And the WBC Super Flyweight World title belt is my belt. I will do whatever it takes to win my belt back, and I am confident I can do it. I was able to hurt Carlos Cuadras in the way that Gonzalez could not. Cuadras did not hurt me when we fought but he hurt Gonzalez throughout their fight last year. I am confident I can beat Roman Gonzalez. And the fight will not go twelve rounds."

Talkin' Smack

Keith Thurman:

“I remember Danny from the amateurs. I applaud him for everything he’s done in this career. He signed the wrong contract though, because Keith Thurman’s got this. Danny Garcia, you’re getting knocked out."


"I have no problem giving Carlos Cuadras a rematch but right now my focus is on Sor Rungvisai who is my mandatory for the WBC."

Anthony Crolla:

"I want the belt back, simple. Fighting for these prizes in front of us is huge, I'm so lucky to have a second chance and it's one I have to take."

Danny Garcia:

“He’s nothing I haven’t seen before. I’ve been fighting people like him since I was a little kid in Philadelphia."

Keith Thurman:

"A fighter’s performance is based off of training camp, not any past fights."

Keith Thurman:

“Angel [Garcia] will talk to try to get people off of their game. Danny is an elite fighter, and he can talk for himself. These father trainers seem to like the limelight as much as the fighter, if not more. At the end of the day, I’m only fighting Danny Garcia."

Danny Garcia:

“I just had to tell Keith to be careful what he wished for. He wanted this fight, but now that he’s got it, you have to deal with me."

Trainer Dan Birmingham:

“Keith will bring the strength. He’s not a built-up welterweight. He comes down to make welterweight from about 170 pounds so we expect size to be an advantage.”

Angel Garcia:

“We’re not the underdog here. Danny is the undefeated champion of the world. Thurman is in for a long night. Believe me."

David Lemieux:

"Curtis Stevens came knocking on the wrong door.  We didn't refuse any fight. Nobody ducked you. We wanted the negotiations to be fair. So here we are. The fight is on. I am going to be ready. This fight is not going to go your way. It's going to  be a much harder fight than you are expecting. It's not going to end well for you."

Keith Thurman:

“Danny Garcia has some power. He has enough, even compared to me. But if you look at a lot of his fights, he knocked guys down. But they got back up. There is a difference between knockdown and knockout power."

Yuriokis Gamboa signs multi-fight deal with Golden Boy

Guess that partnership with 50 Cent did not work out too well for Yuriokis Gamboa (25-1, 17 KOs).

Fortunately for Gamboa, help is on the way, as Golden Boy Promotions announced a multi-fight deal with the former three-division world champion and Olympic Gold medalist.

The Cuban standout, who has defeated a who's who of champions and contenders throughout his 10-year professional career, will look to add to the title belts he has held in the featherweight, super featherweight, and lightweight divisions as he makes another run at championship glory.

"I am looking forward to winning yet another world title, and I know Golden Boy Promotions is the perfect place to help guide me," Gamboa said. "Though I have recently had some long stretches of inactivity, that stops today, and I will take on anyone, anytime, to achieve my goal of recapturing a championship belt."

Gamboa will come out of the gate facing a tall order on March 11 when he squares off with Rene Alvarado (24-7, 16 KOs) who was last seen defeating contender Jason Velez. The fight will serve as chief support for the highly anticipated HBO Boxing After Dark card featuring middleweight knockout artist David Lemieux taking on the heavy-handed Curtis Stevens at Turning Stone Resort Casino.

Gamboa has been a force in multiple divisions for many years, defeating big names along the way including former world champions Orlando "Siri" Salido, Daniel Ponce De León and the contender Jorge "Coloradito" Solís. Gamboa also handed Darleys Pérez and Jonathan "Yoni" Victor Barros their first professional defeats.

"When he is on his game, there are few better than Gamboa in the 126, 130, or 135 weight classes," said Oscar De La Hoya, Golden Boy Promotions CEO and Chairman. "We are going to get him in the ring in a quality match as soon as possible, and then work with him to start his path back to championship glory."

Carlos Cuadras to face David Carmona on Golovkin-Jacobs undercard

Former WBC Super Flyweight Champion Carlos Cuadras (35-1-1, 27 KO's) returns to the ring to battle David Carmona (20-3-5, 8 KO's) on Saturday, March 18, at The Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden.

Cuadras versus Carmona, scheduled for ten rounds, will be featured on the televised undercard of the World Middleweight Championship between Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs.

"I wanted a rematch with Roman Gonzalez but right now my sole focus is on Carmona, we've known each other for many years and there is a true rivalry between us," said Cuadras.

On September 10, 2016, then undefeated WBC Super Flyweight World Champion Cuadras and three-division world champion Roman Gonzalez waged war in a 2016 "Fight of the Year" candidate in front of a huge crowd at The Fabulous Forum and telecast on HBO.

After twelve epic rounds of world class action, the 28-year-old Cuadras lost a very close decision to Gonzalez in a battle that had the Mexican and Nicaraguan partisan crowds on their feet cheering throughout.

Carmona is returning to the ring following the toughest test of his seven-year professional career. On May 8, 2016, the 25-year-old Carmona traveled to Tokyo to challenge undefeated WBO Super Flyweight Champion Naoya Inoue. Following twelve action-packed rounds, Carmona came up short on the judges' scorecards, but validated his standing among the best in the division.

Said Carmona, "Carlos has accomplished a great deal in boxing, being a former world champion and undefeated for many years. However, my time is now and I look forward to being victorious on March 18."

Lamont Peterson to face David Avanesyan on Broner-Granados undercard

WBA Welterweight Champion David Avanesyan (22-1-1, 11 KOs) will defend his title against former two-time world champion Lamont Peterson (34-3-1, 17 KOs) on February 18 in a 12-round undercard matchup prior to the Adrien Broner-Adrian Granados main event from the Cintas Center at Xavier University in Cincinnati.

“It is a great pleasure for me to be defending my world title in the U.S. against a very good opponent in Lamont Peterson,” said Avanesyan. “I am the champion, and come February 18 I will remain champion. This fight gives me a great opportunity to let the U.S. know what I’m about and put me in a position to fight the top fighters in the division. This will be a difficult defense but I am ready to show everyone how good I am.”

Fighting out of Russia, Avanesyan defended his interim world title in his last outing when he defeated former three-division world champion Shane Mosley by unanimous decision last May. The 28-year-old is undefeated in his last 22 pro fights since dropping a six-round decision in his second pro fight.  Avanesyan picked up his interim belt with a ninth-round stoppage of Charlie Navarro in November of 2015.

Discovered as a child by trainer Barry Hunter while homeless on the street with his brother Anthony, Peterson has one of the best rags to riches stories in the sport. A pro since 2004, he owns victories over Victor Manuel Cayo, Kendall Holt, and Dierry Jean in addition to the world title winning performance against Amir Khan, which he successfully defended three times. The Washington, D.C. native defeated previously unbeaten Felix Diaz in his last outing in October 2015.

“I’ve been working hard in the gym and I’m ready to give my fans the kind of show they deserve," said Peterson.  "I know this guy is coming in with a lot of confidence from that belt, but I believe I’m the better fighter and I’ll prove it on February 18.”

Showtime to broadcast the Anthony Crolla-Jorge Linares rematch

Showtime will televise the eagerly anticipated rematch between WBA Lightweight World Champion Jorge Linares and former champ Anthony Crolla on Saturday, March 25, from Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.

Linares (41-3, 27 KOs) dethroned Crolla (31-5-3, 13 KOs) in a thrilling battle last Sept. 24 in Manchester.  It was the first time the three-division titlist Linares was pushed the 12-round distance in his career.

Linares has won 10 fights in a row, including seven by knockout.  He became a three-division titlist when he captured the vacant WBC Lightweight World Championship in 2014 with a knockout of Javier Prieto.  The 31-year-old defended the belt twice in 2015 with knockouts of Kevin Mitchell and Ivan Cano before being named “Champion in Recess” by the WBC because of inactivity due to injuries.

Linares returned following an 11-month layoff to face Crolla in his hometown of Manchester, outpointing the champion 115-114, 117-111, and 115-113 in a back-and-forth and bloody battle.   With the win, Linares also earned the WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine lightweight belts.

Crolla, of Manchester, won the WBA Lightweight Title with a fifth-round KO of Darleys Perez in November of 2015 in an immediate rematch of their 12-round draw earlier that year.  The 30-year-old knocked out previously unbeaten Ismael Barroso in his first title defense on May 7, 2016, to set up the showdown with Linares.   The close loss to Linares was Crolla’s first defeat in his last 11 fights.

David Lemieux to face Curtis Stevens

Former IBF Middleweight Champion and current NABO Middleweight Champion David Lemieux (36-3, 32 KOs) will go toe-to-toe with Curtis "The Cerebral Assassin" Stevens (29-5, 21 KOs) to battle for Lemieux's NABO title on Saturday, March 11. Scheduled for 12 rounds, Lemieux-Stevens will take place at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York and will be televised live on HBO.

Lemieux is coming off back-to-back impressive victories including a knockout over perennial contender and Freddie Roach-trained Glen "Jersey Boy" Tapia, and a hard-fought unanimous decision win against the always-rugged Argentine fighter Cristian Fabian Rios.

"The time for talking is done, and after many long months of hearing Curtis yell about all the things he's going to do in the ring, I'm really looking forward to shutting his mouth on March 11," Lemieux said. "I've told everyone my goal is to once again become middleweight champion of the world. Curtis is in the way, and I'm going to go right through him."

Stevens, who rose from Brownsville, Brooklyn to become former NABF and now Continental Americas middleweight champion has also won two straight fights, with a thunderous knockout over then-undefeated Patrick Teixeira in May of 2016, followed by a unanimous decision victory over James de la Rosa later in the year.

"The wait is finally over," said Stevens. "No more talking. My hands will do the talking on March 11."

Irish Olympian Michael Conlan to make pro debut on March 17 in New York

Ireland's Olympic hero Michael Conlan announced that he will celebrate St. Patrick's Day by making his professional debut headlining a special card at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Conlan's pro debut, which will be as a junior featherweight, in a six-round bout, is set for Friday, March 17, at the "O'Mecca of Boxing."  To put an exclamation point on the occasion, fellow countryman, UFC superstar, and lightweight champion Conor McGregor has accepted Conlan's invitation to walk him into the ring.

"I'm honoured and privileged to make my professional boxing debut in the Mecca of Boxing that is Madison Square Garden, fighting in the world's most famous arena in my professional debut on St. Patrick's Day.  It is something I never dreamed would be possible," said Conlan.  "But thanks to my team and Top Rank, it's happening.  I'm truly grateful for the opportunity and I hope to make St Paddy's Day Weekend at The Garden an annual event!  I have the hopes of a nation behind me and I can't wait to go out and put on a performance for Ireland on St Patrick's Day!"

Conlan joins an elite group of Olympic medalists, including George Foreman, Evander Holyfield, and Jermaine Taylor, to make his professional debut on boxing's most hallowed ground.

Conlan's pro debut will be a six-round bout against Tim Ibarra (4-4, 1 KOs).

Conlan, 25, from Belfast, Northern Ireland, produced one of the most memorable moments during last summer's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.  A loss in the bantamweight quarterfinals to Russia's Vladimir Nikitin was arguably the most controversial of the boxing tournament.  In fact, Conlan hurt Nikitin so badly that the Russian forfeited his semifinal fight because he wasn't able to recuperate from the injuries he suffered from the pasting he received from Conlan.

After the decision was announced, Conlan saluted the judges with both middle fingers followed by a series of post-fight interviews ripping the decision and accusing the International Boxing Association (AIBA), which oversees amateur boxing, of corruption.  AIBA sent the judges who worked that fight home in the wake of the immediate public outrage.

Conlan further added to his legend by sending a tweet to Russian president Vladimir Putin, "How much did they charge you bro???"

A former amateur standout who was a 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist and 2015 World Amateur Champion -- a first for a male Irish fighter -- Conlan is training  in Los Angeles with Manny Robles.
Braddock's 1935 belt up for auction 

SCP Auctions announced James J. Braddock’s 1935 Ring Magazine Heavyweight Championship Belt from the famous “Cinderella Man” victory over Max Baer as part of their Winter Premier Auction that ran through Saturday, January 21st.

On June 13, 1935, James J. Braddock (the “Cinderella Man”) defeated heavily-favored Max Baer at Madison Square Garden to win the World Heavyweight title. At the time, the fight was called “the greatest fistic upset since the defeat of John L. Sullivan by Jim Corbett.”

The victory is still considered by many the biggest upset in boxing history. The Ring Magazine presented Braddock with the Heavyweight Championship belt to honor the epic victory, one that completed a miraculous career comeback for the local working class fighter from Hell’s Kitchen dubbed the “Cinderella Man” by New York newspaper columnist Damon Runyon.

The boxing community will also be excited to find Rocky Marciano’s fight-worn and signed gloves from the “Jersey Joe” Walcott III bout on May 15, 1953, up for bid. On that May night in 1953, Marciano and Walcott squared off for a second time, this time at Chicago Stadium. The 185-pound Marciano, a 16-to-5 betting favorite, was looking to improve to 43-0 with his first title defense, while Walcott, weighing in at 198, sought to even the record and win his crown back.

With less than a minute to go in Round 1, Walcott threw a jab and Marciano countered with a quick left hook and right uppercut combo that sent Walcott sprawling on his back. Once the referee reached 10, Walcott hoisted himself to his feet, but the fight was over. Though he complained that he had received a fast count, Walcott's night was done. It was the last time Walcott ever fought. These are the Benlee red leather boxing gloves that Marciano wore on that short, memorable night in the Windy City.
Heavyweight Darmani Rock improves to 7-0

Heavyweight Darmani Rock moves to 7-0 after scoring a crushing knockout of Solomon Maye (3-8-2, 3 KOs) at Bally’s in Atlantic City on Saturday, Jan. 20.

Rock established his textbook left jab early and often, creating space and getting his range. He landed numerous hard shots as the rounds went on. In the fifth round at the 00:34 second mark, Rock landed a huge right hand-left hook combination that knocked Maye out cold before he hit the mat.

Rock ended his amateur career as the number one-rated super heavyweight in the United States, signing with Roc Nation Sports in February 2016. The Philly-native flew out of the starting gate with four knockouts in his first five bouts. This is his fifth KO to date.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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