Pawel Wolak Looks to Cement His Place among Top Junior Middleweights
Pawel Wolak’s long journey back from his August 2008 loss to Ishe Smith looks to conclude with him finding himself back in the title hunt at 154 pounds if he can beat Delvin Rodriguez this Friday night in Manhattan on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights.” While few expect a Rodriguez upset, Wolak must use this opportunity to not just win but look good and make fans want to see him again.
Our own Steve Kim will have a story detailing the down-to-Earth construction worker as he looks to clear the final hurdle to being a serious contender.
Also on the televised portion of the card is Philadelphia welterweight Ray Serrano, whom I wrote of last week in this Regional Report. Serrano is a young man with great tools but needs work on harnessing his talent and controlling a fight. Daniel Sostre, 11-3-1 (4) should serve as a good measuring stick.
Scott Sigmon Battles Chris Fitzpatrick in Regional Scrap
If Bedford, Virginia’s 16-2 (8) Scott Sigmon lacks anything, it’s not confidence nor restraint. There’s no need to guess what’s on the super middleweight hopeful’s mind at any time; he’ll gladly give you his thoughts about anything in the world. So it’s no surprise that Sigmon is promising victory this Saturday against undefeated Chris Fitzpatrick, 13-0 (5), of Columbia, SC by way of Cleveland, Ohio.
Sigmon is already looking ahead, calling out well-known super middleweights like Edwin Rodriguez on Facebook, in Internet stories, on blogs and just about anywhere he thinks there’s an audience. Tuesday, Sigmon told Maxboxing, “I definitely want to fight Edwin Rodriguez but he’s scared of me.” When asked if he really believed that, he didn’t hesitate. “That’s fine if you think it’s crazy.” before explaining why he thinks Rodriguez wants no part of Scott Sigmon.
I see this fight as a “regional eliminator,” a battle between two regional up-and-coming prospects, where one moves a step closer to moving the past regional fighter status, while the loser will likely keep his regional status for quite a long time.
Fitzpatrick had an impressive 111-17 amateur record compared to Sigmon’s 8-1 mark but Sigmon feels his time over the past year as a full-time fighter has given him the experience necessary to hand Fitzpatrick his first defeat. Come Saturday, we shall see.
Carla Hill, wife of Virgil, Makes Promotional Debut Saturday
Carla Hill Promotions will host its inaugural event at the New Resorts in Atlantic City with a card headlined by Maurice Harris and Derric Rossy fighting for Harris’ USBA heavyweight belt, which was obviously not on the line in Harris’ last bout with Tony Thompson. The biggest key to this promotion’s success may be whether or not the New Jersey native Harris has much drawing power left after looking woefully unprepared against Thompson in their May IBF #2 spot eliminator.
Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield is expected to be in attendance and given Virgil Hill’s reputation in New Jersey and surrounding area, it should be a successful debut.
Brooklyn’s Amanda Serrano is scheduled to fight and should serve as decent draw as she defends her NABF featherweight belt. Rounding out the card will be Atlantic City light heavyweight Lavarn Harvell, 7-0 (3), Isiah Seldon (middleweight son of Bruce), 4-0 (2), plus the return of 5-0 bantamweight Qa’id Muhammad. A series a four-round bouts looks to take the full card up to eight or nine bouts.
Also in Atlantic City…
Philly fan favorite Gabriel Rosado squares off Friday night at Bally’s against Allen Conyers in a junior middleweight bout that should be much better than records would indicate. Don’t be fooled; with Rosado at 16-5 (9) and Conyers at 12-5 (9), each has built a solid résumé fighting some of the sport’s best. This should be a very good fight and well worth the trip to the Boardwalk.
United Boxers Card Announced for DC on Saturday
Chris Middendorf’s United Boxers promotion announced their full slate of fights for this Saturday’s card at the DC Star nightclub and while there are some are interesting local prospects on the card, the fights themselves hardly look very competitive on paper. DC light heavyweight Alexander Johnson, 11-0 (4), sees his first action since his upset of Farah Ennis, facing 8-5 (4), Keon Johnson of Indianapolis. Don’t let his winning record fool you; Keon Johnson enters the bout having suffered three knockouts in a row and his eight victories have come against opponents with a combined 16-77-3, all in Indiana.
Baltimore welterweight Emmanuel Taylor, 12-0 (9), faces Jose Angel Roman, 11-31-5 (5). Although Roman lacks the requisite skill to give a prospect like Taylor much trouble, he does genuinely seem to enjoy fighting and does give his all, regardless of how limited that is. Alantez Fox, 4-0 (3) is an interesting prospect at junior middleweight and should have little trouble with Delaware’s Mike Denby, 3-10-4 (2). While I like Fox’s skills, I find it strange that a young prospect managed by Cameron Dunkin fought only four four-rounders in 12 months. On Saturday, Fox will face his first opponent with a win on his record.
Upon speaking of this card on my weekly Internet radio gig, Middendorf took the time to call and discuss the card, as well as his plans to provide a steady show in the Beltway region. While he felt I was perhaps a bit tough on the card, he stated that “showcase” bouts are a big part of boxing and believes they should be held in the prospects’ back yard. I actually like his thinking because it is all too common for Beltway area prospects to fight in the Carolinas, Mississippi, or a host of places outside the area. So Middendorf is right that it’s much better to hold local cards such as this.
Now I will almost always push for more competitive fights but I truly support what Middendorf is doing bringing needed shows to the region, and at his pace, with shows already held in April, May and now July (he got married in June), with another planned in August. I hope the Beltway region fans will support United Boxers and their plan to grow the talent base here.
Featherweight Thomas Snow who recorded a “Knockout of the Year” candidate in his last outing is scheduled to appear, as is undefeated cruiserweight Venroy July.
Cleveland junior welterweight Miguel Gonzales, now riding an 11-bout win streak after two early losses in 2009, travels to the Detroit area to face journeyman Tyler Ziolkowski, 14-14-0 (8). Gonzales should make quick work of Ziolkowski, considering he’s been stopped in less than two rounds in eight of his past 11 fights.
Also on the Royal Oak card is Youngstown lightweight Chris Hazimihalis who will feast on Detroit southpaw Gregory Christopher Coverson.