IBF & Group Yvon Michel
Flirting With Disaster Again

December 20th, 2021

By William Trillo
Photo: Bernard Brault – GYM

Just a little over three months ago a female fighter by the name of Jeanette Zacarias Zapata from Mexico died five days after being KO’d inside of a boxing ring in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The 18-year-old was seriously overmatched. It’s not to say the outcome was inevitable but…….

This past Saturday night in the very same Montreal city and with the very same Montreal promoter, Yvon Michel from GYM, it was Marie-Eve Dicaire in a vacant World title fight against…you guessed it…a ridiculously overmatched girl from Mexico by the name of Cynthia Lozano. It was clear after the first fifteen seconds of round one that Lozano possessed little if any boxing skills whatsoever.

Taking the facts I just laid out into consideration I’d like to ask a few somewhat rhetorical questions.

Is Michel’s memory that short? Did he not remember what happened on a card of his in September of this year?

Can someone explain to me how Lozano was in line to fight for the then vacant IBF Female Super Welterweight title?

Is the quality of fighters in female boxing so pathetic that a full time Mother of three and very part time fighter from Nuevo Leon, Mexico can be sanctioned by the IBF to fight for the title?

How is it that a fighter, a former champion who lives and breathes boxing unable to quickly dispatch of this hand-picked opponent with inferior skills? Furthermore, how was said Champions face so lumped up after taking on a fighter she should have outclassed and steamrolled?

I’d love to hear your answers to all of these questions.

This is why I personally have a hard time giving women’s boxing the time of day. The talent pool amongst the ladies is very shallow. No Life Jackets needed shallow. It’s hard to get excited about fights like the one we saw on Saturday night. But due to the lack of quality in the female ranks, it is more often than not what we get.

As far as that Dicaire vs. Lozano fight goes… Shame on you Yvon Michel. Did you not learn anything after the recent tragedy? I know the hometown TV announcers were trying to bail you out by quoting some reassuring statement you made about the mismatch, but honestly, it all sounded like Charlie Browns teacher to me, “Wah Wah Wah Wah Wah.”

Check out www.Pound4Pound.com for all the latest boxing truth.

Taking A Look At The 2021 Year End Slate With Showtime’s Al Bernstein

October 20th, 2021

By William Trillo

Boxing is in the home stretch for 2021 and as we look at the finish line we can see a number of good fights coming our way. I can’t think of a better person to give us some insight on the upcoming fights than Showtime’s announcer Al Bernstein. Check out this interview out as Al gives us a heads-up on the fights fans need keep an eye on. We also speak to Bernstein about the great charity work he is involved with. 

Pound4Pound: I really appreciate you giving me the time to speak with you Al. You know they call James Brown the hardest working man in show business, I think you’re the hardest working man in boxing.

Al Bernstein: It’s been a little busy, and boy it’s going to get busier when we hit the end of October into November. We’ve got a full slate of boxing on Showtime and Showtime Pay-Per-View and I’ll be running around all over the place. Although some of those are home games for me because several of them are in Las Vegas.

P4P: Which ones are standing out in your mind right now Al? What are the Showtime fights that are brimming with sure fire excitement?

AB: Well, obviously I’m looking forward to seeing Jaron Boots Ennis, on October 30th. He’s fighting Thomas Dulorme in what should be an action fight. Dulorme has given a bunch of top welterweights including Ugas, very difficult fights and has made them really exciting. So, we’ll see how Ennis stacks up against those other top welterweights and Boots Ennis is potentially quite a star in the welterweight division. We’ll have to see how it plays out, but he certainly has an amazing offensive skill set.

And of course, Caleb Plant taking on Canelo Alvarez is going to be a major fight in boxing. Canelo, anytime he fights it’s a major event and this would be the unification of the 168-pound championship. We know that there are high emotions already involved with that one, as evidenced by their skirmish at the weigh in.

One of the fights that really might be the topper of everything, even though maybe not at the top of the minds of every boxing fan, is that 122 pound division, which I think is one of the best of the best in boxing, and that’s Steven Fulton and Brandon Figueroa in a title unification match. That’s going to be on the 27th of November and that’s here in Las Vegas. I think that is going to be a spectacular fight. All the best fighters have been fighting each other in that weight division and this one’s kind of a culmination of a lot of those fights and I think this going to be terrific.

P4P: I agree. That’s one that I definitely have earmarked and I’m going to be in Vegas for that. I am looking forward to it. I covered a prelude to that awhile back when Figueroa KO’d Nery and Fulton was an interested ringside observer. On an action fight and a skill fight, I am really looking forward to that. Hopefully it won’t be flying under the radar on that Thanksgiving weekend and boxing fans will get a chance to take a real good look at these guys because they are a spectacular.

AB: Yes, it’s a wonderful division and I hope fans will take notice of it because these 122 pounders that are all fighting each other, which is what we want to see in boxing. It seems like there’s a couple of divisions in boxing where the top fighters seem more likely to fight each other, I don’t know why that is. But 122 is an example, 154, 118, where we see more of fighters actually engaging each other, although you can say that about the heavyweight division as well, can’t you? If you’re objective about it, many people in the top 10 and all the champions have been fighting each other, so that’s good too.

P4P: Boxing is coming around and we are getting these types of fights where top fighters are engaging. We just saw that with Fury and Wilder. The other fight that I think is flying a little bit under the radar, even the fighter himself, is Boots Ennis. I don’t know that boxing fans are aware of this guy’s potential. And that’s another one that I’m really hoping fans will tune in and pay attention to.

AB: Offensively, he’s as gifted as any fighter I’ve seen in years. He switches his righty to lefty, he has power from both stances and he’s got amazing hand speed. As an offensive fighter, I don’t know what more you would want from him. He’s also a good defensive fighter, but because he’s so aggressive he will sometimes get hit, but has not been hurt, but he hasn’t faced a big puncher. Really the only thing that we’re waiting to see from Boots Ennis, is if a powerful welterweight hits him with something square. I mean that is really the only question because he’s checked every other box at this point and I think he’s ready. If he beats Dulorme there’s no nothing, no reason why he shouldn’t fight any of the top welterweights in the world.

P4P: Something I’ve noticed regarding fighters in the top 10, fighters that we want to see fight, finally getting together. It looks like promoters are finally burying the hatchet a little bit and more willing to work with each other. Are you noticing that yourself?

AB: Yes, yes. I think there’s a slow eroding of the barriers that seem to have been erected for big fights. We also see it with the Boxing organizations, which while we criticize and rightfully so and the sanctioning bodies. Sometimes they end up being a force for good, because as in the Porter vs. Crawford fight, they get involved and they order certain fights and then promoters’ kind of, if people want to keep their titles, they have to acquiesce. And Porter vs. Crawford kind of example of that.
We saw with Fury vs. Wilder where two different promoters and two different networks all got on board. We’re seeing a little bit more of that and we need to see it more because it’s just good for the sport. I know there have been a number of things in the year 2021 that people would point to and be critical of but at the end of the day, the actual product that boxing has put out there in 2021 is the best it’s had in the last six or seven or eight years in my opinion.

P4P: I agree. And whether or not it’s cause and effect of the pandemic and the situation we went through and that type of situation, it has in my opinion helped. And we haven’t even mentioned Canelo and Plant. You know right there that one going to break records. The intrigue and the possibility there thanks to the press conference scuffle is fantastic.

AB: Yes, I think you’re right. Promoters bought themselves the collective urgency to make sure after the down period of the pandemic that when it came back, it came back strong. I thought it came back very well. Many of the sports came back well, better than people anticipated , although we’re still in the pandemic, but things calmed down enough to have sports and boxing did do a good job of it last year and has done an excellent job of it this year. So I think there’s been a conscious effort whether it was collective or just individually driven for people in the sport to know that it was vitally important, that sport provide a product for people that they’re going to want to see.

P4P: Let’s just hope that we can keep on that pace and go from there.

I’d like to ask you about your work with the House of Boxing Champions….

AB: Yes, thanks for asking. Let me tell you about it. I’m working with them as supreme ambassador for them. I’m helping them at events, I’m helping to fundraise and helping them spread the word about the work they are doing. And when they do an event with a gym it’s part fundraiser, and it’s part them providing safety equipment and checks for fighters to have travel funds, to go to different regional and national events. And the first event I participated in was at the Tony Harrison’s Gym in Detroit. They provided a lot of safety equipment, headgear, wrappings, mouth guards, and all those things for the amateur boxers there. They’ll soon be announcing future dates with other gyms around the United States. They’ve already going to a number of gyms and I got on board with them for the last one, but people could go find out about them at www.houseofboxingchampions.com I’m just very excited to be involved with them because amateur boxing is a lifeblood, not only of the sport of boxing, it’s a way in the community that young men and women can change their lives.

And I don’t think anything about amateur boxing, how many gold medals you win, how many international championships are won means half as much as what goes on a day-to-day basis inside boxing gyms all around the United States, in which young people’s lives are changed. And that’s the kind of thing that I’m interested in. And that’s what House of Boxing Champions does. And that’s why they’re a very worthwhile organization to contribute to. They’re also worthwhile organization to work with for all the boxing people that can help provide things. And I am happy to spend my time helping them, not only spread the word, but also help them fundraise and help them have these events that are so important.

P4P: I have to agree with you wholeheartedly. I was involved with a boxing club here in Southern California for years and years, and yeah, a few champions went through those doors or top contenders, but at the end of the day, seeing these kids from the community coming in and playing pool or foosball and that type of thing, well that was what it was all about. And then maybe one of them will try to hit the bag or whatever, and who knows? But the outreach, it was for at risk youths. It helped turn some kids that maybe would have gone another direction down a better more positive path. So, I know firsthand what you’re doing is so beneficial for these young men.

AB: Yes. These gyms around the United States, change lives and these youngsters deserves to have the right safety equipment to make sure that they’re involved in a safe endeavor and I’m totally committed to it. And I’m very anxious to see them be able to reach out to as many amateur gyms as humanly possible in the United States and provide this equipment and to do that, of course they need help. They need funding and the cooperation of those involved in the world of boxing.

P4P: I can’t think of a better ambassador than Al Bernstein for these young men. And I’ll thank you for them, for taking part.

AB: Thank You. You know what, I appreciate that Bill, you try to give back to a sport that has given so much. Boxing has given me so much, in the last 40 years that when I’ve had the opportunity, I’ve tried to do things to give back to it, both on the amateur and professional basis. And I kind of consolidated a lot of my charitable efforts into this organization because I thought it made the most sense for me because of the mission statement it had.

P4P: We wish you the best with your endeavor. And, we wish you the best on keeping your energy, because you’re going to have a busy end of the year, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all comes out. Then we can speak at the beginning of 2022 to see how everything came down in the world of boxing.

AB: It’s going to be a fun last quarter of the year. We have already seen evidence of that. The Fury vs. Wilder fight wasone of the most exciting heavyweight championship fights ever. And there’s so many other fights dotting the landscape. We mentioned Crawford vs Porter, we mentioned some of the Showtime fights, Chocolatito and Estrada fighting each other, the list goes on and on.

I mean there’s so many great fights. Plant vs. Canelo and you just go on and on. There are several great looking fights in the last quarter. So I think it’s going to be very exciting. And I think boxing fans, when they look back on this year are going to say to themselves, ” okay this was fun, we had so many good fights”. And not just the main fights, a lot of the under card fights have been very, very exciting. I look back on a lot of these Pay-Per-View cards and of course the regular cards that were on different platforms and a lot of times the second and third fight were wildly exciting. And so I think that’s something that boxing has done better this year as well. And hopefully it’ll continue.

There is going to be a lot to talk about and I’m always available to you Bill, for whatever you need.

P4P: That my friend is nothing short of awesome. Thank You. Hey, listen Al, you have a great end of the year. I know you’re going to stay busy, so be safe out there and be well.

AB: All right, thanks Bill.

P4P: Have a great day. Bye-bye!

Check out www.Pound4Pound.com for all the latest boxing news.

Deontay The One Trick Pony;
Fury Exposes More Than Wilder’s Lack Of Talent

October 11th, 2021

By William Trillo
Photo: Al Applerose

As defined by www.merriam-webster.com
One Trick Pony: one that is skilled in only one area: one that has success only once

I’m pretty sure that anyone with even the slightest bit of boxing acumen knew Deontay Wilder was a “One Trick Pony” long before Tyson Fury put the finishing touches on the near three fight beatdown he delivered to “The Bronze Bomber”.

Outside of that long powerful right hand, some called “The Eraser”, there was little or no evidence that Wilder, who was spoon fed a string of second-rate bums over most of his lone title reign, had any real Champion caliber talent at all.

After the second Fury fight it was apparent Wilder’s skills were subpar at best. Casting a ton of blame on everyone and everything but himself, Wilder fired his trainer Mark Breland and brought in Malik Scott to smooth out the rough edges. As you saw Saturday night Wilder’s skills didn’t look any better at all, in fact they looked worse. Let’s face it, at 35 years old it was highly unlikely Malik was going to teach an old dog any new tricks.

You saw the result. In a crowd-pleasing battle that saw both men go down multiple times, Wilder who showed moments of his own resilience, finally succumbed to a pretty good beating. It was over in eleven.

After exposing the limitations of Wilders skills Fury unknowingly was about to expose another trait of Deontay that had been questioned in the past. After going to his fallen foes corner in a show of respect Fury emphatically stated, “I beat him three times and I’m a sportsman and wanted to give him some love and respect…he didn’t want to give it back. That’s his problem….”

It’s a huge problem.

This is the same guy who before the fight accused Fury of cheating in the last fight. This is the same guy who told Fury at the pre-fight press conference that Tyson did not possess Knockout power. This is the same guy who runs with a posse that has no problem running, “You gonna get yo’ ass kicked White Boy” smack anytime they crossed paths with team Fury during fight week.

Make no mistake about it, had Fury’s team run some of that racist smack back at “The Bomb Squad” there would have been Hell to pay in this bass-ackwards society we live in. Like it or not, you know that fact to be true.

So, after a fight that was a third in a Trilogy, a fight that saw these two leave a part of themselves permanently in the ring, you are telling me Wilder didn’t have the dignity or humility to show Fury some respect?

No, he did not.

As Fury would later say, “That is the true heart of a cowardly man.”

One of the things that I love so much about the sport of boxing is the fact that after brutal wars and epic trilogies fighters have the respect for their foes with handshake, hugs and sometimes even deep friendships. Think Gatti-Ward, Pacquiao-Marquez and the like.

Instead, Wilder chooses to swallow a jagged and bitter pill while spouting excuses for his losses and blames everyone but himself. And in case you haven’t heard, the excuse train for this last fight with Fury is already gaining steam and should be heading your way soon. A busted finger, busted knuckle, broken hand, and a busted lip are all loaded up on the locomotive and getting ready for delivery. Consider yourselves warned!

Prior to the fight Wilder was already hinting at retirement. In a perfect world he does just that, it’s time for him to go away.

No one likes a sore (three time) loser….NO ONE!

And that includes yours truly.

Check out www.Pound4Pound.com for all the latest boxing truth.

Canelo vs. Plant: The Heat Is On

September 22nd, 2021

By William Trillo

If you have seen the movie Beverly Hills Cop you know things aren’t always Bentley’s and Diamonds in the 90210. Such was the case Tuesday afternoon as the press conference to announce the Canelo Alvarez vs. Caleb Plant title unifier quickly erupted into a donnybrook when the fighters’ exchanged blows during the face off.

Really, the November 6th fight in Las Vegas didn’t need much in the way of hype. Canelo, who is the biggest star in boxing right now is a 168-pound division Champion. Actually, he owns all the belts…except for one, and that is the belt that Plant has around his waist. There has never been a true undisputed champ at 168, but when the night comes to an end on that November date in Sin City, one man will reign supreme.

There is already an inordinate amount of interest in this fight, but what the heck, if you want to sell a few more tickets and PPV’s then go ahead, let the fists fly. Even better…let’s see some blood!

Fans got all that and more.

To quote the Glenn Frey song that opened that Beverly Hills Cop movie;
You can make a break, you can win or lose,
That’s a chance you take, when the heat’s on you,…The Heat Is On!

“You can say whatever to me, but not to my mom,” said and irate Canelo. “I’m going to fight anyone who says something about my mom. And he swung first. I just pushed him. He swung first, and I do what I do. He crossed the line.”

In a subdued response Plant said, “We just had some normal back-and-forth banter up there and then whatever happened, happened. It’s none of my concern though. I’m focused and locked in on November 6.”

Whatever the case may be, both men where bleeding after the skirmish. Let the proverbial chips fall where they may.

If you are asking Canelo, he plans on cashing in those Las Vegas chips early, “It will be over in eight rounds or less. I’m going to knock out this guy. Easy.”

On the other hand, Plant is looking to beat all the odds, “I know that people don’t believe me when I tell them I’m winning on November 6…. Those people who doubt me are the very reason that I’m here.”

Now we got a fight!

Oh sure, Canelo is sure to be the odds on favorite, but after this “Dust Up” in Beverly Hills even the most casual boxing fan is going to want to see what goes down when these two step into the ring in November.

Tickets for the live event are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com. The event is promoted by Canelo Promotions and TGB Promotions and sponsored by Hennessy and Value.

Check out www.Pound4Pound.com for all the latest boxing news.

Oscar & Oscar –
I’m Going To The Window Again!

September 7th, 2021

By William Trillo

Over the past week a couple of Oscar’s, Valdez and De La Hoya respectively, have made some pretty loud noise in the boxing world and the news wasn’t necessarily pretty. Try as I might to stuff it and pretend the problems didn’t exist, I made every effort to keep my big mouth shut. But…in lieu of either having a complete nervous breakdown or suffering from a duodenal ulcer I thought it best to let off some steam.

Big surprise, huh?

Let’s start with Valdez, as we all know the undefeated WBC Super Featherweight Champ tested dirty for a banned performance enhancing substance. Both his A and B samples turned up tainted prior to his title defense that is set to take place this weekend.

The obvious question is why is he still fighting this weekend to defend his title? In fact, why is he still fighting at all? How is it that other fighters caught in the same situation were banned from boxing for a determined amount of time, but Valdez is seemingly walking away with nary a slap on the wrist?

At the very least Valdez should have been stripped of his title, fined and MAYBE allowed to fight but unable to regain his title with a victory. Should he lose, the title should have been given to his opponent Robson Conceicao. Along with that, Valdez should have not been ranked anywhere in the Top 10 in his weight and forced to fight his way back in.

But that is not the case.

The WBC in their “infinite wisdom” are allowing the title fight to take place as scheduled and said they will keep an eye on Valdez over the coming year to make sure he doesn’t violate the PED rules again.

Horse Hockey!

The WBC has long been suspected of some less than underhanded shenanigans when conducting their so-called business. With this decision in the Valdez situation, we no longer have to “suspect” anything. President Sulaiman and his entire organization are guilty as charged.

Furthermore, if you don’t think this taints the Valdez victory over Miguel Berchelt then you might want to be remember that Sulaiman likes fabric Softener when you are rinsing his Chonies.

No one on the planet thought Valdez had a real chance against the beast Berchelt. Let’s be real here, two fights ago Valdez was sent to the deck by last minute substitute Adam Lopez, who isn’t considered a KO artist at all. How could Valdez now summon up the power to steamroll a destroyer like Berchelt?

I will let you answer that one for yourself.

And now the other Oscar, De La Hoya.

Look, I may not have the College Degree that many of my peers have but when it comes to dysfunctional behavior and the issues that cause it, I have a Masters Degree. I am not proud to reveal that but with my experiences, which have included some 20 years as a counselor, I am pretty good at picking up the warning signs of someone heading down a pretty rocky path.

Let’s be honest, the atmosphere surrounding this “Most Anticipated” comeback appeared more like a circus than it did a professional prize fight. Something just seemed askew from the get-go.

Photos circulating of Oscar working the mitts at his open workout were less than flattering. Video interviews with The Golden Boy were uncomfortable to watch.

Honestly, it came as no surprise to me that Oscar pulled out of the fight a week before it was scheduled. I expected that all along. The video he posted on social media announcing he had Covid was odd. Amongst my peers it garnered skepticism. In fact, the next person that says they believe Oscar has Covid will be the first.

24 hours later Oscar revealed he was raped when he was 13 years old. The timing of this revelation is troubling at best.

Listen, I am not saying Oscar does not have Covid. I am not saying he wasn’t sexually molested as a pre-teen. What I am saying is all these things being announced at the same time by one person sends up a lot of red flags.

Mix in that abysmal appearance on that Triller card a while back when he was obviously intoxicated and what we have here is all the signs of a powder keg that is ready to blow.

Now, I could be completely wrong about my suspicions and totally out of line here, but if I was someone close to him, I would express deep concern and do whatever it takes to help stop this apparent downward spiral.

He is The Golden Boy for “Chrissakes.” If even a smidgen of what I believe is taking place, then someone needs to step in and save him from himself before something very bad happens….

Check out www.Pound4Pound.com for all the latest boxing truth

On His Fight With Kavaliauskas
Vergil Ortiz Makes It Clear;
“This Is The Fight Everyone Must Watch!”

August 9th, 2021

By William Trillo

Having been ringside to watch Vergil Ortiz (17-0, 17 KO’s) live nine times in his career, I feel as qualified as anyone to speak to the young fighters World Class skills. From being there when he made his pro debut in Indio, California and all the way up to his dismantling of Mauricio Herrera in Las Vegas, Nevada, I have witnessed all the impressive tools Ortiz has in his arsenal. I have become a firm believer that Ortiz is one of the top young fighters in the world. I will take that a step further when I say without hesitation that Vergil Ortiz is the best fighter in The Golden Boy stable. Again, I say that without hesitation.

This Saturday August 14th in Frisco, Texas Ortiz will take on a huge challenge when he puts his newly acquired WBO International 147-pound belt on the line against the battle tested Egidijus Kavaliauskas (22-1-1, 18 KO’s). This fight, broadcast by DAZN, has all the makings of a Fight Of The Year type war.

I had a chance to speak with Ortiz at the end of his final week of sparring. From his last fight with Maurice Hooker and his thoughts on his upcoming battle, Ortiz was gracious to give us his insight. Check out the interview:

Pound4Pound: Thank you so much for giving me a moment of your time Vergil, I know you’re at the end of your big week of training and I appreciate your time.

Vergil Ortiz: No, thank you. And thanks for having me.

P4P: Good, good…Hey, you’re fighting next week in Frisco, Texas. Again, basically in your hometown. That’s got to be great to go back to back in your home state.

VO: Oh yeah, definitely. It feels great fighting back at home. Back-to-back! I love fighting at home. I’ve got a loving atmosphere.

P4P: Frisco’s pretty close to your home, isn’t it about 30 to 40 minutes away? So, you’re probably going to have a lot of people there and rooting you on.

VO: Oh yeah, of course. I’m looking forward to it.

P4P: I consider myself fortunate in that you’ve had a lot of fights down here in my Los Angeles area and also Las Vegas. I’ve been able to see you very often and I’ve come to appreciate your skills so much. My personal feeling is you are the cream of the crop with the Golden Boy stable. It must be nice to be getting that publicity and getting the Main Even fights on DAZN. I believe you are right on the verge of hitting the big stage very soon.

VO: I definitely feel the love from Golden Boy. I’m grateful to be with them. I said it from the beginning, I love being with them. They’re awesome. I’m not just trying to be a suck up or anything. They’re actually really good to me.

P4P: That’s great. In your last fight, I kind of want to call it your “breakout” fight, everybody was really looking forward to how you would do with Hooker. I think you made a big statement there stopping him in seven, you were ahead on all the cards at the time. I don’t think there’s anybody that should question what you did and what you proved that night.

VO: Honestly, I’ve seen a lot of people say that, “Oh, Vergil got touched up” or whatever. I’ve always been the type to get marks on my face. If people were really watching the fight, I was blocking most of those shots. I got hit maybe with two or three clean shots, those shots aren’t going to leave the marks like I had. The gloves were rubbing on my face or whatever, but it’s all good. I felt like I was in control the entire time.

P4P: As to your opponent, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, I’ve been watching him as well. Not as much as I’ve watched you, but quite frankly, I did watch his last fight with Zewski . And Kavaliauskas had some trouble in there. Had he had not knocked Zewski out he was actually behind on the scorecards. Do you look at things like that when you go into your fight? Where that fight was at that time, even though he did stop Zewski, there was a little bit of a problem for him. Did you see it like that?

VO: I don’t know. I did see the fight. I saw the whole fight. I think that he was doing okay. He was doing enough to not make the other guy look really good. At the same time, he wasn’t doing too much himself, but at the same time sometimes styles make fights. You just never know, but for this upcoming fight we got two fighters that love to fight, that love to be in those exciting fights. So I don’t think this fight is going to be like that.

P4P: So, you prepare yourselves accordingly then. It could end up being a good hard fight. I’m feeling this fight’s going to go about the same as the other two, seventh or eighth round knockout. And you’re going to be on top and then going on your merry way to bigger and better things.

VO: I mean, that’s the plan. Hopefully that’s the way it goes.

P4P: Okay, good. Just quickly….Everything’s going well, as far as camp, weight, nobody’s got any COVID or whatever else at all?

VO: Nope, no, no, not this time. No we’re good. We’re healthy over here. And I’m grateful for that. I feel great for this camp.

P4P: Any last words for fans and people getting ready to watch next week?

VO: Just make sure you tune in, this is going to be a fight. If you ever had to watch one fight, including my future ones, I would say this is the fight that everyone would love to watch. It’s going to be an exciting fight. I can’t wait to watch the fight after I fight.

P4P: Vergil, it’s been a real pleasure watching you fight. I’ve been so fortunate to see so many of your fights up close and I’m really thrilled that Cecilia at Golden Boy gave me this opportunity to speak to you. Good luck next week.

VO: Thank you. Thank you.

Check out www.Pound4Pound.com for all the latest boxing news.

Popoca Jr. Earning His Stripes

August 3rd, 2021

By William Trillo

Lost somewhere in the current hustle bustle and rhetoric of fighters not being able to come to terms with some 50 million dollars on the table there are young fighters who just want to climb into the ring and prove themselves as true pugilistic warriors. There is nothing these young men want more than to look across the ring at their foe as they wait for the bell to ring so he can earn his stripes by proving he is the better man.

Such is the case for young fighter Frank Popoca Jr. who will be stepping into the ring this week for the second time. The fight in South Carolina is far from the national spotlight, but for Popoca it does not matter. He just wants to step into the squared circle and prove he has everything it takes to rightfully be called a “Prizefighter”.

Check out our interview with Popoca Jr.:

Pound4Pound: Your career started off with a Majority decision victory, how do you feel going into your second pro fight?

Popoca Jr.: I’ve had time to look back at the film to study my mistakes and learn from them. I definitely feel more confident coming into this next fight.

P4P: Your opponent has 25 pro fights under his belt, that’s a big step up. Your team must be very confident in your skills?

PJ: Although I’m stepping into the ring with someone of much more experience one thing that can’t be questioned is the work that was put in leading up to this fight. My team’s confidence in me and the training is what made us take the fight.

P4P: Speaking of your team, you have James Toney working with you. How were you able to hook up with James?

PJ: James Toney was first introduced to me by Tony Burgess. Burgess is my manager and has played a huge part in my whole professional career.

P4P: Your fight is in South Carolina, what is the connection there? How did you connect with a promoter on the other side of the country?

PJ: That also is thanks to Burgess. His connection with SouthPaw promotions is what was able to help me get the fight.

P4P: Do you have any last words for your friends, family and fans before the fight?

PJ: To everyone supporting, I thank you! I appreciate it very much. I’m going to do my best to put on a show for you guys. Big thank you to my coach Salvador Gonzalez and lastly thank you Pops for making this fight happen. Thank you Xio Sandoval for setting this up.

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“Full Nelson” Applied To Charlo vs. Castaño

July 19th, 2021

By William Trillo
Photo: Amanda Wescott – SHOWTIME

As defined by dictionary.cambridge.org: Full Nelson
… a bad situation from which it is impossible to escape.

Anyone who saw this Saturday nights battle between WBA, WBC and IBF Super Welterweight World Champion Jermell Charlo and WBO Champ Brian Castaño knows very well that this was a nip and tuck war that was razor close. Everyone except Judge Nelson Vazquez that is. He somehow scored this fight 117-111 in favor of Charlo.

Considering the other two scorecards read 114-113 for Castaño and the other scored it a straight up 114-114 draw it’s safe to say good ol’ Nelsons scorecard borders on absurdity.

What is not so safe to say or suggest is that Nelson may have had his scorecard already written before the opening bell rang, as if he was inspired to have a preconceived notion, so to speak. (I did not say that).

Whatever the case may be, it’s a shame that boxing is slapped in the face with yet another inept scorecard that will forever take away from a darn good, if not Fight of the Year type battle.

Castaño started out like gangbusters and Charlo proved his mettle by coming on strong in the latter rounds to make this fight a tough one to call, unless of course you are Nelson who somehow saw Castaño only winning three rounds?

Three rounds?

To rub salt into the wound, this fight was for an undisputed Championship, which as we know is exceedingly rare these days. Someone was supposed to walk out of the ring Saturday night with all the 154-pound belts strapped around his waist. Both the winner and his promoter would have a lock on the Super Welter division, and they would be calling all the shots.

Are you doing the math here?

Because of Nelson’s questionable score…well as the above definition states;
it’s a bad situation from which it is impossible to escape.

Do with that information as you will.

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Friday Night Fights In
Los Angeles Final Thoughts

July 12th, 2021

By William Trillo
Photo: Marlene Marquez

I must admit it was great to be back outdoors in L.A. covering the Golden Boy Promoted fights on a perfect Southern California evening. Everyone in attendance from fans to media to the participants seemed to be having a great time. I know I did. I do have just a few random thoughts on the evening that I felt like sharing.

To be honest, up until this weekend I referred to Light Heavyweight Gilberto Ramirez as “Zzzzurdo”, as in watching him fight normally put me to sleep (zzz). But after watching his performance on Friday night I am going to retract that moniker. Ramirez made quick work of Sullivan Barrera in the Main Event and the multiple knockdowns leading to the KO were impressive. After the fight he stated he was looking for Dmitry Bivol. Coming off this performance it is certainly a fight I would like to see now.

JoJo Diaz overcame a rough patch in the fight and went on to take a well-deserved unanimous decision victory over Javier Fortuna. My first question is why did Ryan Garcia go out of his way to duck Fortuna? If he doesn’t think he can beat this guy what makes him think he has any chance against the bigger names at 135 pounds? You didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to read between the lines of Diaz’s post fight comments to know he feels the way.

I didn’t know much about lightweight William Zepeda coming into the fight other than the fact that his 22-0 record with 20 KO’s looked great on paper. Hector Tanajara found out the hard way that Zepeda is as good as his record reflects. After getting beaten from pillar to post Tanajara’s corner did the right thing by stopping the fight after six grueling rounds. Put Zepeda on your radar, this guy is the real thing.

Those girls from Japan can here with bad intentions.

Since when did a girl clanging her drums along with the already too loud D.J. become a thing? I know Sheila E. was pretty cool back in the day, but c’mon, this display was not tolerable in the least.

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It’s Full Circle For McCullough and Quigley

June 7th, 2021

By William Trillo
Photo: Cheryl McCullough

As I was covering the fights on Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas I was taken by surprise when I saw Wayne McCullough working the corner of Jason Quigley who was getting ready to square off in what turned out to be a very entertaining and close fight against Shane Mosley Jr.

I was curious to find out about McCullough working in Quigley’s corner, so I reached out to “The Pocket Rocket” to get the inside scoop. As always, Wayne was gracious to speak with me about that night.

Pound4Pound: When did you find out that trainer Andy Lee was not going to be available and you would be working in Jason’s corner, how did that all go down?

Wayne McCullough: I first found out ten days before the fight. Jason was coming over on Sunday, the week of the fight. So, they called and told me the situation and asked if I would work the corner. Of course, I told them I would be honored to!

I have known Jason since he fought in the World Series of Boxing with the L.A. Matadors. That is where I first saw him and I said to him if he ever thought about going pro and coming over here, (to The States), I would love to be a part of your team. Jason went on to win the Silver at the World Amateur Boxing Championships and then signed with Golden Boy and started working with Manny Robles. After he left Manny, he came to me to train and he loved it but, he was homesick.
So Jason went back home and started training with Ingles. That didn’t work out too well and they ended up with Andy Lee. When they called and asked if I could help for this fight I said, “Yes, no problem at all”.

P4P: So, it sounds like this was a good fit for everyone in this circumstance.

WM: It was a good fit because we knew each other. We hung around together in California, so it wasn’t like we were strangers. I said to Jason the other day, “You know it’s funny how things come around full circle.” With that, We were all on the same page. We talked often before the fight and we talked after the fight.

P4P: Regarding the fight itself, it was a good fight, I thought Jason won it. Seeing one of the judges had it a draw surprised me just a bit.

WM: Well Bill, the truth is, and Jason even said it there in the ring afterwards, it was a close fight. It could have been a draw, it’s just the way one looks at the rounds. I had it 96-94 and one judge had it even, it’s possible it could have gone that way. In the last rounds I told Jason, “You got to go in there and win these rounds, you can’t step backwards and run around, you got to step forward”. He did that and on the judges’ cards he won those rounds.

P4P: I have been fortunate enough to see Jason when he started his pro career. I was also there to see his loss to Tureano Johnson. I am glad to see him get this victory here and wonder what you think it’s going to take to get him back up to the top.

WM: That loss to Johnson was a tough loss, your first loss is always your hardest. But Jason knows, the preparation for that fight wasn’t the greatest. The weight factor too was a big an issue for him then. The week of the fight cutting ten pounds doesn’t do your body any good. But for the fight with Mosley he was fantastic, he didn’t have to cut any weight, he was perfect.

P4P: I have said it before, in my opinion one loss is not a career ender and a loss can actually be a learning experience to make a fighter better. For Jason, it appears he did learn from that loss. Hopefully, this victory puts him back in the mix.

WM: Yes, this should put him back up there in the Top Ten at least. Jaime Munguia is with Golden Boy so there is a possibility of a fight happening there. Jason has mentioned Demitrius Andrade as well, he is with DAZN too, so that is a possibility as well. Munguia is a tough fighter, but I think that would be a good one for Jason. And if I was involved in it that would be great too because Erik Morales is in the other corner (laughs). Golden Boy will do the right thing of course, whatever they do I would love to be involved.

P4P: I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask if The McCullough Gym is still up and running. Are you still in the business of training fighters?

WM: Yes it is, and yes I am! I was in California for a few years but I am back now and still have the gym open that you know I had Librado Andrade and Enrique Ornelas training at. I am still up and running looking for the next world champion.

P4P: That’s great to hear. If I know anyone looking for a trainer I will certainly let them know about you.

WM: Thanks Bill, you brought me fighters back in 2006 and I will always be grateful for that. I hope we can do it again sometime!

P4P: Me too!

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