Pawel Wolak to make MMA debut in Chicago area on October 11

By Scott Christ

Former boxer Pawel Wolak is making the move to mixed martial arts. Will he succeed?

Former 154-pound boxing action star Pawel Wolak has spoken of transitioning to MMA in the past, following his 2011 retirement from boxing, saying as early as 2012 that he would continue fighting in a new sport. Now, Wolak is finally ready for his MMA debut, as he’s set to fight in Chicago (well, Hoffman Estates) on October 11.

Wolak, who turns 33 in September, last fought in December 2011, losing a rematch to Delvin Rodriguez, a fight that was solid but paled in comparison to the Fight of the Year brawl they had five months earlier. Wolak was a fan favorite for his all-action, come forward style, willing to absorb and deliver a ton of punches every time out. He was never a serious contender for a world title — he never challenged for one, and never fought in a 12-round fight in his seven-year career — but he was a respected and entertaining fighter.

He’s also a former high school wrestler who says he hasn’t approached MMA as a quick money idea, but as a serious career option:

“When I retired, I wanted to take the time to study the new sport I was getting into and be as ready as I possibly could be,” said Wolak, a high school wrestler in New York who is trained by former International Fight League competitor Jamal Patterson. “I knew there would be a point in my life where I’d be done with boxing and that I was going to go on to fight MMA.

“And I wanted to accomplish as much as I could before I was too old to do it. Let’s put it [this] way: I wanted to be able to make the move and do it the right way, prepare myself. I still have my marbles and I’m still physically fit, and now is the time.”

Will Wolak find success in mixed martial arts? Does he have a shot at making the UFC someday? I really have no idea, because I’ve got no idea what his MMA game is like. I know he can punch, and I know his boxing will be ahead of most guys he faces, if not all of them. But whether or not he’s developed a well-rounded skill set to get to the higher levels, or even the mid-tier of the sport, remains to be seen. Good luck to him, though. I think anyone who’s seen Wolak fight will be rooting for him to succeed.

Source: Bad Left Hook


Boytsov wins comeback fight

By Togorashi Heavyweight Denis Boytsov (34-1, 26 KOs) returned from his loss to Alex Leapai to win a ten round unanimous decision over Timur Musafarov (6-2, 5 KOs) on Saturday night at Gerry Weber Stadium in Halle, Germany. Boytsov dominated early, then …



Al Haymon inks Javier Fortuna, two other prospects

By Scott Christ

Javier Fortuna and two more fighters are joining Al Haymon’s growing ranks.

Al Haymon has three new names to add to his “managerial” stable, as he’s signed a trio of fighters aligned with Sampson Lewkowicz’s Sampson Boxing: super featherweight Javier Fortuna, plus super bantamweight Jonathan Guzman and Oscar Escandon.

Fortuna (25-0-1, 18 KO) is the most advanced of the three fighters, as he’s generally considered a contender at 130 pounds, but has been frustratingly inconsistent in his performances. On some nights — such as his fights with Yuandale Evans and Cristobal Cruz — he’s looked dynamic and spectacular. In other fights — for instance, his bouts with Patrick Hyland and Luis Franco — Fortuna has appeared rather pedestrian.

The 25-year-old Dominican southpaw still has a lot of upside, though, and the 130-pound division isn’t particularly strong at the moment past Takashi Uchiyama and Mikey Garcia (and maybe Rances Barthelemy, another Haymon fighter).

Guzman (16-0, 16 KO) is another Dominican fighter, and also 25 years old. Though his record is pretty in the parentheses, he’s faced no competition thus far that could even be considered halfway legitimate. Escandon, 30, is the oldest of the group, a Colombian fighter with a record of 23-1 (16 KO). His lone loss came in August 2013, a split decision against former title challenger Nehomar Cermeno.

Source: Bad Left Hook


Scott Quigg now facing Stephane Jamoye on Sept. 13

By Scott Christ

WBA “regular” title will be defended in Manchester, but fight has a new challenger.

Scott Quigg lost an opponent earlier this week, but still has a fight. The WBA “regular” super bantamweight titleholder will be defending as scheduled on September 13 in Manchester, but will be facing Stephane Jamoye instead of Paulus Ambunda.

Ambunda pulled out of the fight due to a hamstring injury, and was promptly replaced by Jamoye (26-5, 16 KO), a 24-year-old Belgian fighter who has been in the ring with Leo Santa Cruz, Tomoki Kameda, Jamie McDonnell, and Shinsuke Yamanaka. He’s also lost to all of those fighters. Jamoye is a former European bantamweight champion, and moved up to 122 pounds for his last fight, an easy win in June.

Jamoye’s best win was probably his TKO-8 victory over Lee Haskins in December 2012.

Quigg (28-0-2, 21 KO) was elevated from interim to “world” (regular) champion last year, drawing with Yoandras Salinas in October, and then beating Diego Oscar Silva easily in November. He’s fought once this year, pummeling Tshifhiwa Munyai in April, taking less than two rounds to finish the job.

Also in action on September 13, Anthony Crolla will face Gamaliel Diaz, Sam Eggington will take on Denton Vassell, Kirk Goodings meets Scotty Cardle, and Anthony Joshua is penciled in to face Konstantin Airich.

Source: Bad Left Hook


Carl Froch talks about a possible fight with James DeGale, says it “would be huge.”

By Togorashi By James Slater It seems there is, after all, a good chance WBA/IBF super-middleweight champion Carl Froch will meet yet another fellow Brit in his next outing. In his previous two fights, Froch faced Londoner George Groves, and “The Cobra” …



Joe Soto: From the Prelims to the Main

By cozman471 It’s already the most remarkable Rocky story ever, and Joe Soto hasn’t even set foot in the Octagon yet. On Friday afternoon, as the Porterville, California native was cutting weight for his UFC debut against Anthony Birchak on Saturday night, …



ShoBox (Aug. 30, 2014): Live streaming results and round-by-round coverage

By Scott Christ

J’Leon Love, Badou Jack, and Ronald Gavril look to pick up wins tonight on a Mayweather Promotions tripleheader on Showtime.

Tonight at 10:00 pm EDT, immediately following the premiere of Mayweather-Maidana All Access (9:30 pm EDT), ShoBox: The New Generation is back with a tripleheader from Mayweather Promotions, live from the Palms in Las Vegas.

In the main event, super middleweight prospect J’Leon Love (18-0, 10 KO) will face Rogelio Medina (32-6, 26 KO) in a fight set for 12 rounds. Love, 26, is coming off of a competitive decision win over Marco Antonio Periban on May 3, which was the best victory of his career thus far. Medina, 25, has lost four of his last six.

Another super middleweight prospect will be in action, as Badou Jack (16-1-1, 11 KO) looks to bounce back from a TKO-1 loss to Derek Edwards in February. He’ll be facing Jason Escalera (15-2-1, 12 KO), who has been very busy lately. Escalera has taken a pair of “0s” recently, beating Naim Terbunja on July 18 in New York, and Norbert Nemesapati on the August 8 edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights.

Opening the show will be yet another super middleweight prospect. Ronald Gavril (9-0, 7 KO) will meet Thomas Falowo (12-2, 8 KO) in a fight set for eight rounds.

Source: Bad Left Hook