Arnaoutis Flattens Athumani!
By: By Rick Scharmberg and Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
Photography by Emily Harney
USBA junior welterweight champion and hometown favorite “Mighty” Mike Arnaoutis knocked out South Egg Harbor, New Jersey’s Nasser Athumani at 1:42 in the third round of a scheduled ten round non-title bout last night at Bally’s Atlantic City in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The well-attended six bout card was promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing.
IBF #13-ranked Mike Arnaoutis, 142, a native of Greece, was expected to stop his 39-year-old Kenyan opponent Nasser Athumani, 144, and he did not disappoint. He did so in impressive fashion much to the delight of his many Greek fans in attendance by landing a clean one-punch knockout.
Arnaoutis (20-2-2, 10 KOs) started a bit slow in this battle of southpaws, electing to test his jab to the body and head of Athumani. The Kenyan entered the ring looking dry, but went on to take the opener with more activity, as Arnaoutis studied him.
“Mighty” Mike opened up in round two, lashing out at Athumani (20-7-2, 16 KOs) with straight lefts, and right jabs to both the head and body of his opponent. An overhand left, some more jabs, and a booming right hook to the head punctuated it all for Arnaoutis at the bell, as Athumani’s punch output diminished accordingly.
In the third, Arnaoutis opened with a hard three-punch combination that featured a big right hook. Athumani landed a nice right over an Arnaoutis left, but was caught flush with a counter left. Athumani sagged for a second before falling on his back. Referee David Fields counted him out at the 1:42 mark.
“I paced myself in the first round. When I went back to my corner and my trainer told me exactly what was open and what I needed to do, and it worked in rounds two and three,” stated Arnaoutis, who celebrated his 29th birthday on Saturday.
“I would like to fight for a world championship in my next fight. I am waiting on the results of the Hatton-Malignaggi fight. I keep pushing my promoter for the winner of that fight.” – Rick Scharmberg
Johnson Stops Seldon!
In a career that has now spanned twenty years, Bruce “The Atlantic City Express” Seldon (38-7, 34 KOs) has experienced all the highs and lows, not only in boxing, but in life.
He reached the pinnacle of his profession back on April 5, 1995, when he won the WBA heavyweight championship of the world with a seventh round knockout of Tony “TNT” Tucker.
Seldon would make just one successful defense before losing it to Mike Tyson in Las Vegas.
As if that wasn’t tragic enough, world-famous rap innovator Tupac Shakur was gunned down as he was leaving the fight that night.
It didn’t get much better for Seldon, as personal problems kept him out of the ring for over seven years. When he finally mounted a comeback in 2004, Seldon went 5-2 against mostly journeymen. In his most recent fight, Seldon stopped an admittedly out of shape Livin Castillo.
Seldon had 3-straight wins, but none of them over anyone remotely near the caliber of WBA #7-ranked heavyweight contender Kevin Johnson.
Brash, confident, and lightning fast, Johnson believes he is the next Muhammad Ali. It was a giant step up, but Seldon prepared himself perhaps like never before. In the end though, boxing proved itself once again to be a young man’s game.
Seldon, 221, took it to his bigger opponent at the opening bell. He jabbed and then missed an overhand right, but then landed a right hand-left hook combination that backed Johnson, 242, into the ropes. Seldon jumped on him with bombs, but Johnson was content to use his version of the rope-a-dope and let Seldon expend energy.
If Johnson was stung in that opening round, he showed no ill effects in round two. He soon found his rhythm and led the pursuing Seldon right into his punishing left jab. Seldon tried to jab with Johnson with some success, but Johnson’s was faster as he soon began putting right hands behind it in round two.
Seldon controlled the first minute of round three with his jab, but Johnson countered with a hard right to Seldon’s left eye. Seldon went down, and while on his knee, he blinked his left eye as if he caught a thumb.
A younger version of Seldon might have stayed down, but perhaps realizing this might be his last chance on the big stage. He got up as referee Earl Brown’s count reached nine.
For the last half of the round, Johnson unloaded his right hand on Seldon swelling left eye.
After being out-jabbed early in round four, Johnson hammered Seldon with right-hand power shots for the remainder of the round.
The end came suddenly in the fifth. A straight right hand sent Seldon down hard in the opening seconds.
This time, everyone knew it was over as Seldon shook his head in disappointment while on the canvas. Referee Brown waved if off at the 28-second mark.
Afterwards, the flamboyant Johnson said, “[Promoter] Joe DeGuardia told me that if I didn’t start using my right hand that he was going to call every young lady and tell them there would be no more sex for Kevin Johnson. So when you put that on the line, I used my right and over used it. I thought I was too quick for him and people also said I don’t have any power, but you saw different tonight.”
“I would like to fight the big Russian [Nikolai] Valuev and bring one of the titles home,” said Johnson concerning his future in the heavyweight division.
Bruce Seldon stated, “When he thumbed me in the eye, I couldn’t see for like forty-five seconds. I thought he was getting weaker as the fight went on and I knew he would fade, but he knew my eye was bad because I kept blinking, and he caught with a right down pike.”
Will Seldon fight again? The former WBA heavyweight champion replied, “I really have to sit down and think about it. I haven’t had an injury like this since 1991. The age keeps rising and you can’t stop that. I was in great shape and strong, though.” – Rick Scharmberg
Robinson Passes Test!
Hot Philadelphia, PA welterweight “The New” Ray Robinson raised his record to (9-0, 3 KOs) by scoring a dominant four round unanimous decision victory over Paterson, New Jersey’s Eberto Medina (5-4, 1 KO).
Medina 148 had trouble with the long right jabs and combinations throughout, which kept him on the outside. Robinson looked fluid, avoiding most of the heavy swings of Medina. Finally Medina went to the body late in round two.
The fight heated up in round three as Medina pressed the action and forced Robinson to the ropes as both traded several combinations. Late in the round, two nice right hands backed up Robinson. The Philadelphian fought back though and actually backed up Medina.
Robinson appeared to gain his second win in round four as both fighters continued heavy exchanges with various two and three punch combos. However, it was Ray who won most of the round from the outside behind his long right jabs.
Eberto Medina forced the attack late in round five and early in round six, but had trouble getting through the long reach and the tight defense of Robinson. Medina went for broke, flailing away in the final moments, but a right-left combination floored him. He quickly rose to his feet as the bell sounded to end the battle.
It was clear throughout that Robinson controlled the ring with his fluid combinations and long right hands, which showed off his the superior skills.
All three judges scored the fight easily in favor of “The New” Ray Robinson by scores of 60-53, 60-53 and 59-54. – Kurt Wolfheimer
Brown Defeats Nelson!
Bernard Brown, 259, of Baltimore, MD took a six round unanimous decision over Terrell Nelson, 263, of Plainfield, NJ in a heavyweight bout.
Both fighters were cautious in the first three rounds, and there wasn’t much action. Brown took the first, while Nelson won the next two with body work.
Brown (6-4-2, 3 KOs) perked up in round four, landing some nice right hands and a three-punch combination. Nelson (8-6, 5 KOs) landed a decent right hand at the bell.
In the fifth, Nelson began by working Brown’s body, but was met with a huge right hand that opened a bad cut on his left eye.
Brown continued his dominance in the sixth, as he worked his right hand and landed left-right combinations until the final bell. The scores were all announced at 58-56 in favor of Brown. – Rick Scharmberg
Lopez Decisions Carrasquillo!
In the opening bout, Patrick “El Elegante” Lopez, 142, of Londonderry, NH continued his rise in the junior welterweight ranks with a six-round shutout over heavy-handed Doel Carrasquillo, 144, of Lancaster, PA.
Fast and mobile enough to carry his hands low, Lopez (14-1, 10 KOs) jabbed to the body and whipped his right hook to the head and body of Carrasquillo from the opening bell in this battle of two southpaws.
Midway through the second, Lopez dropped Carrasquillo (12-8-1, 10 KOs) with a left to the body and a right to the head. Carrasquillo got up, and Lopez went right back to work, landing a left uppercut and two right hooks, as Carrasquillo missed two wild right hooks at the bell.
Lopez continued to pot-shot Carrasquillo in the third, beating him to the punch, and countered everything he threw. At the end of the round, Doel went back to his stool sporting two swelling eyes.
A huge left from Lopez early in round four hurt Carrasquillo, who smiled back at him. Lopez continued to tee off, hurting his opponent again with a left to the body later in the round.
Lopez continued to dominate with pinpoint precision in the fifth, frustrating Carrasquillo with movement and a steady stream of leather. Now desperate, Carrasquillo fired away with his own right hook, and landed a few that forced Lopez to take a step back. Most of Carrasquillo’s bombs missed including one that caused him to fall.
In the sixth, Lopez continued to fire away from the outside, and Carrasquillo continued to swing for the fences. At one point, Carrasquillo shouted at Lopez, “You can’t hit, man, come on!” Carrasquillo was game until the end, but Lopez was clearly a class above.
The final scores all read 60-53, all in favor of Lopez. – Rick Scharmberg
Riley Dominates Albino!!!
Light heavyweight prospect Yathomas Riley (3-0, 3KO’s) of Panama City Florida looked impressive in dropping tough Philadelphian Zeferino “The Mandingo Warrior” Albino (3-8-2,1KO), three times en-route to a one sided four round unanimous decision victory.
It looked like the bout would end early when a right-left combination from Riley, 173, dropped Albino, 178, in the corner. The tough Philadelphian rose to his feet before the count of eight and proceeded to go on the run.
Riley pursued him mercilessly with big combinations until he floored him again in the corner with a right hook up top, followed by a right hook to the ribs.
Riley increased his pressure in the second round. Albino tried to fight him off but a right hook sent him to the canvas for the third time in the fight. Albino proved that he had the heart of a warrior as he continued to fight back though outgunned, throughout the third round, surprisingly circling into the power of the mighty southpaw.
Riley appeared to tire from his heavy output early on and Albino connected with some nice upper cuts. He would not be deterred and delivered with a couple of heavy lefts up top but Albino’s combinations were winning the round.
With just ten seconds to go in the fight, a double-left hook from Riley blasted Albino into the corner, but the bell sounded to end the fight before any more damage was done.
All three judges saw the bout easily in favor of Yathomas Riley by scores of 40-33, 40-33 and 39-34 respectively. – Kurt Wolfheimer