SAN DIEGO, December 6, 2014 – Boxing fans, don’t call 2014 a wrap just yet. You still have events on the calendar in December to consider. If you keep your expectations low, you might be pleasantly surprised with some decent action.
On Saturday, HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” offers a tripleheader from Brooklyn’s Barclay Center, a first rate venue with knowledgeable, enthusiastic fans. The main event features middleweights David Lemieux of Canada versus Gabriel Rosado, a Puerto Rican boxer from Philadelphia.
Lemieux (32-2, 30 KOs) is a star north of the border. Canadian fans like their countryman’s power. But Lemieux has to overcome some shaky results, including a seventh round knockout loss to Marco Antonio Rubio in 2011, the same Rubio who barely lasted two rounds in October against Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin, the middleweight knockout machine. Lemieux then lost by decision loss to Joachim Alcine. Lemieux has been on the comeback trail ever since, with seven wins in a row. Only one went to a decision.
Gabriel Rosado (21-8, 13 KOs) has three tough losses in a row to Golovkin, Peter Quillin, and Jermell Charlo. At age 28, he has to put on a solid, even spectacular show to keep his career on track. But Rosado still has value as a test for the best. Rosado lasted longer against Golovkin than most of his opponents, going seven tough rounds. Golovkin admitted later he’d had the flu all week before the fight, but even so it was a decent performance in retrospect.
Both boxers have career opportunities at stake. Rosado can keep himself in the game; Lemieux could earn a shot at one of HBO’s stable of middleweight stars including Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez, or Miguel Cotto. Both guys are aggressive and bring the action, good news for fans even if it’s not a title bout. Lemieux should get the upper hand, and with 30 knockouts out of 32 wins, any victory should come by KO or TKO against Rosado. Rosado suffers facial cuts easily, often putting him at a disadvantage.
On the undercard, unbeaten middleweight Hugo “The Boss” Centeno Jr. from Oxnard, California faces James “The King” De La Rosa of Texas. In the junior welterweight division, Thomas Dulorme of Puerto Rico will have a lot of fan support in Brooklyn against veteran Hank Lundy of Philadelphia. Both Dulorme and Lundy are coming in with winning streaks and plenty of confidence.
Hall of Fame Class of 2014 Announced: The International Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum announced the newest class of inductees to enter the Hall in Canastota, New York.
Leading the list in the Modern category (last bout in 1989 or before) are two-time American heavyweight champion Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe, featherweight champion “Prince” Naseem Hamed and lightweight champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini.
Bowe’s heralded trilogy of fights against Evander Holyfield is among boxing’s greatest series. Mancini, the lightweight champion from 1982-1984, was a rags to riches real-life ‘Rocky’ with serious star power, but whose career was troubled by the death of his opponent Duk Koo Kim of Korea in November 1982. It is one of the reasons fights are now limited to 12 rounds. Mancini’s life story is well told in the biography “The Good Son” by Mark Kriegel. Get a copy for your favorite fight fan for Christmas.
Three-time British champion Naseem Hamed is considered the sixth best British boxer of all time according to BoxRec.com stats, but he is also remembered for his theatrics outside the ring, including a ring walk via flying carpet and Chevy Impala, and recreating Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” dance routine. Fighters have been trying to duplicate his spectacular celebratory ring somersaults for years, but none have come close. Hamed’s entry in the IBHOF is perhaps the most overdue of anyone on the list.
In the Old Timer category (last bout between 1893 and 1988), light flyweight champion Yoko Gushiken; in the Non-Participant category, booking agent and manager Rafael Mendoza and referee Steve Smoger; and in the Observer category, ESPN journalist Nigel Collins and HBO and former ABC broadcaster Jim Lampley.
Posthumous honorees included boxers Masao Ohba and Ken Overlin, and publicist John F.X Condon. Members of the Boxing Writers Association and a panel of boxing historians vote on the recipients. Those selected will be inducted in ceremonies at the Hall in June 2015.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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