Among Minnesota’s boxing fans, those that don’t just follow hometown heros, and those who look deeper than what a promoter or promotion tells them, have had mixed feelings about Minnesota’s new ranking system and processes for becoming a state champ. Ever since the “State Champ” came back into play with Zach Walters winning and defending his state title one time over 5 years, while several quality and most think favored fighters were avoided. The only state title given any credit had been at middle weight. The middles seemed to understand sport/sportsmanship in their competition, giving each worthy foe an opportunity to challenge to see who REALY is the best at a given weight. Vanda, Bonsante, Kolle, Truax, all fought each other. Some a few times…
Mr. Walters decided abusing the belt system would be great to start up his new promotion by creating and naming his own title challengers, causing the Minnesota Boxing Commission to step in and try to set up a system of rankings and rules for winning and defending state titles. This should be and probably will be a good thing for local boxing and helping promotions to challenge their fighters and make for better fights for the fans and for the growth of what for many years has been known as a farm league for guys on the rise elsewhere…
The problem, not all weight classes have active boxers. Walters and Sands took full advantage of the rules and bought themselves a belt! (winning it by beating a guy who had not boxed since 2010 and is now (2,2)…) Nothing new here, those in Minnesota have seen this act come out of Duluth for 10 years… If it works, don’t break it! Unless of course you’d like to compete on a national level against worthy opponents. Duluth, MN will probably be at Jungle Boys feet no-matter the facts, but it hurts those trying to go about boxing in a sporting fashion… Do we want to promote bullying? Does Duluth want to be the new home of pro wrestling? There has been a good reason Minnesota on the whole has distanced themselves from Duluth fighters and “belts without meaning.” Okay, Okay, rant finished. But statements that Al Sands and Jungle Boy Walters have made about taking on the best and cleaning out the state are a farce unless of course you live in Duluth MN….
This brings us to a real title State title fight…
On the undercard of “Golden” Caleb Truax (21,1,1) vs Don “Da Bomb” George (24,3,2) June 21… Seconds Out Promotions and Warriors Boxing is bringing a stellar undercard featuring what we feel is a legit Minnesota State boxing championship… Tony Lee (7,1) vs Jeremy McLaurin (10,5) for MN 135 pound strap… This is the sort of fight I am sure Minnesota’s commission and rankers had in mind when setting things up. Both Lee and McLaurin have been in tough, with McLaurin getting a wide UD over Duluth’s Gary Eyer.. Along with that, both Lee and McLaurin have fought and impressively defeated Joel Flores and went one and one with Hector Orozco…
I think Minnesota’s top promoters will do their best to handle the states belt system with respect and most things will come out in the wash. The beauty of boxing, if you step up, you will find out where you truly stand… No matter how much protection received from promotion and managers…
Below is Minnesota’s official rankings for May, beside is how we see it… (ours do not follow same guidelines… main difference, is since we don’t have the amount of boxers as many boxing mecca’s, we use those who have fought in a weight.)
First the League’s P4P list…. 1. Caleb Truax (21,1,1) Middle 2. Cerresso Fort (16,1,1) Middle 3. Jason Litzau (29,3) lightweight 4. Andy Kolle (25,4) middle 5. Ismail Muwendo (13,0) Super Featherweight.
Minnesota’s official rankings in bold below.
Heavyweight 201 plus
1. Joey Abell 2. Rafael Butler 3. Aaron Green 4. Ray Edwards 5. Serhiy Karpenko
We wouldn’t have any changes in the top 5 here. Both Abell and Karpenko are believed to be fighting in separate bouts June 21….
State Champ. Al Sands.
1. Tyrone Gibson 2. Harley Kilfain 3. Lucas St. Clair 4. Joe Lorenzi
5. John Moxey
We would have Phil Williams, Gibson, Lorenzi one,two and three. Harley has been on a pretty long losing streak. St. Clair hadnt fought since 2010 just being easily beaten by Sands…
1. Phil Williams 2. Harley Kilfian 3. Tim Taggart 4. Lexie Keshick 5. Jerome LaBarge
We agree with this, like cruiser, just not any title worthy fights… Phil Williams could easily be champ at both light-heavy and cruiser if he desired.
Super Middleweight 161-169
1. Caleb Truax 2. Phil Williams 3. Cerresso Fort 4. Bobby Kliewer 5. Jon Schmidt
Again, pretty much agree, but Kolle has fought there in the last two years and would rank above Kliewer and Schmidt in our opinion…
State Champ. Caleb Truax
1. Cerresso Fort 2. Andy Kolle 3. Charles Meier 4. Michael Faulk 5. Jon Schmidt
Agree for the most part with list… Rob Brant and Tyler Hultin could be in consideration…. Meier fights Hultin June 21 and could shake things up if they don’t hit 154. (We fully expect Meier/Hultin to be at light-middle 154)
Jr Middleweight 148-154
1. Andy Kolle 2. Cerresso Fort 3. Dave Peterson 4. Antonio Johnson 5. Jamal James
Understand the ranking given Fort/Kolle was fought at 155, but I think 1 and 2 could be swapped…
1. Jamal James 2. Mohammed Kayongo 3. Hector Orozco 4. R.J. Laase 5. Javontae Starks
To those wondering about Orozco being ranked ahead of Laase… They fought twice, the first fight was at welter, with Orozco winning close SD… When Laase won by UD to avenge loss they fought at Junior Welter… I think 3 through 5 are interchangeable at this time.
Jr. Welterweight 136-140
1. R.J. Laase 2. Tony Lee 3. Hector Orozco 4. Winston Anderson 5. Mike Davis
We agree with the rankings here. Lee beat Orozco at this weight but lost to him at Welter.
1. Jason Litzau 2. Ismail Muwendo 3. Tony Lee 4. Jeremy McLaurin 5. Gary Eyer
Again, hard to argue with these rankings, but Lee or McLaurin will be champ after June 21. Over the last couple years talks of McLaurin/Muwendo, Litzau/Muwendo have come up without fights happening…
Jr lightweight 127 – 130
1. Jason Litzau 2. Wilton Hilario 3. Ismail Muwendo 4. Jeremy McLaurin 5. Brad Patraw
Again, pretty set in stone list. Just like lightweight, lots of interesting fights here.
Featherweight 123 – 126
1. Jeremy McLaurin 2. Gary Eyer 3. Hassan Wasswa 4. Jonathan Perez
5. Nate Seelye
Another tough weight to judge and really not ready for title.. Not sure if some of these guys will see this weight again.
Jr. Featherweight 119-122
State Champ. Vicente Alfaro
1. Antwan Robertson 2. Brad Patraw 3. Jake Backus 4. Brad Herroff
There are two more weight classes that serve as a mix of above fighters.
One thing to look forward to is that under Minnesota boxing’s new rules “champs” will have to defend their titles or prove there was not an opportunity to do so. ( may be easier said than done)…. Like we have said from the beginning we do believe the negatives will shake out and there will be weak divisions. It’s our hope that the Minnesota boxing commission may learn from the Al Sands vs St Clair fight, that just because they have 5 guys, does not mean a title is warranted. It’s too late now, but the bright side is that Walters and Sands may end their fear of an actual fight and try and avenge the brutal beating Gibson put on Al Sands before he went on the give-me tour. Phil Williams, TJ Gibson, Joe Lorenzi could all make for nice fights and help undo some of the damage Promoter/Manager Walters has done to MN boxing.
Remember, Seconds Out Promotions, May 18 card has been moved to the undercard of this exciting event… Caleb Truax vs Don George, Jeremy McLaurin vs Tony Lee, Tyler Hultin vs Charles Meier… and much, much, more!! Minneapolis Convention Center June 21. Brought to you by Seconds Out Promotions and Warriors Boxing. Follow MNBoxingLeague on facebook.
Below is some of what Zach Walters, Al Sands and Gary Eyer had to say…. From Duluth News Tribune… Follow MNBoxingLeague on facebook.
Eyer’s bout will be in defense of his NABU title and the beginning of a new strategy.
“We want Gary to earn points by defending his title successfully,” said Walters, head coach and gym manager of Jungle Boy Boxing Gym. “By defending it, it validates him.”
That, in turn, could lead to Eyer adding more regional belts to his boxing wardrobe.
And now that Sands has cleaned up on the state’s cruiserweight competition, Walters will begin casting a wider net to snare his opponents.
“He’s run out of local options,” Walters said. “We’re going to shop him out of state. Local guys don’t want to fight him.”
“I want to see Gary defend that belt, maybe capture a couple of more regional belts, and get himself established at 135,” said Chuck Horton, who helps Walters train both fighters. “I’d like to see Al on more of a national level now and get his rankings up there.” Full story from Duluth News Tribune..
There are many who would disagree with much said, TJ Gibson gave Al Sands his loss and Sands has yet to avenge it.. Joe Lorenzi is on a two fight win streak, and rumors are that Phil Williams would love to win belts in several weights… One thing is for sure “Jungle Boy” Zach Walters is moving Sands fast and careful… Looking forward to full line-up and who is chosen as opponents… Possibility of 3 or 4 summer shows in Minnesota Boxing!
Release, 5-9-13, Seconds Out Promotions…
Special Announcement Regarding the MN Lightweight Title Fight on 5/18/13
Greetings Fight Fans,
While all of us here at Seconds Out Promotions are sad to announce the postponement of the fights the evening of May 18th, we are excited to announce that we are bringing “ESPN Friday Night Fights” to Minneapolis on June 21st, 2013!
With all of the excitement surrounding both cards, we will be combining the entire card from 5/18 with the June 21st event at the Minneapolis Convention Center for “ESPN’s Friday Night Fights”. With a national broadcast, our hope is to maximize exposure for fighters on both cards.
Along with the action packed lineup from our May promotion, also in action will be “Golden” Caleb Truax, Joey “MN Ice” Abell, and an IBF Eliminator bout featuring lightweights Rances Barthelemy & Fran Fahsaisakkreerin.
Any and all tickets already purchased will be honored on 6/21 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, or a full refund issued by calling Seconds Out Promotions at (612) 282-4869.
We know we have the best fans in the sport, and we regret any inconvenience we may be causing them. However, we remain committed to putting on the most exciting events in the Twin Cities and beyond, and hope to see you at the fights!
President, Seconds Out Promotions
Just like most odds maker’s and boxing-heads, The majority of Minnesota’s pros feel Floyd Mayweather Jr. will do like he has always done and Win tonight. That’s not to say that is who all will be rooting for, but it seems to be the safe pick and probably rightfully so.. We’d like to thank the guys who got back to us on very short notice… Below are some of Minnesota’s pros picks… Follow MNBoxingLeague on facebook.
Tony Lee – Lee fights May 18 against Jeremy McLaurin for Minnesota’s 135 pound title…
I got Guerrero. I just think Mayweather having his dad as his lead trainer is going to backfire. Looking at their past and how they didn’t get along at all. And now having them together tells me Mayweather is desperate for a huge change. And I just think Guerrero being a strong southpaw is going to give Mayweather a lot of trouble. Saying that, I know if Guerrero wins. It will still be a huge upset. Im going off a gut feeling here! Because Mayweather, is Mayweather!
Joe Lorenzi – Lorenzi own’s Lorenzi’s Boxing Gym in West Duluth and is on a two fight win streak in his comeback to pro boxing….
I’ve got $. He is too fast, has better defense and he chose his opponent because he knows he can beat him. I see it as a boring fight. He will beat Guerrero to the punch and move/run away from him. He is not going to trade with the bigger guy. That’s not his style.
Caleb Truax – Truax (21,1,1) is known as Minnesota’s P4P best by most and will be fighting Don George (24,3,2) on ESPN June 21….
Mayweather’s on a different level. Guerrero will make it tough in the early rounds trying to rough Floyd up, but Mayweather will adjust and outclass Guerrero for a late stoppage or UD win.
Gary Eyer – Eyer is on a 3 fight winning streak, and coming off of a thrilling victory last weekend against Blake Franklin…
After watching the shows about the fight, a little bit of me believes Guerrero can win, he’s a lefty with a good punch but Floyd has a good defence and good chin and is the bigger faster guy. I think Floyd is gonna win 10-11rd tko. If Guerrero wins that would be awesome and there is going to be more people coming in the gyms every day to start boxing.
Jeremy McLaurin – McLaurin is set to face Tony Lee for the Minnesota 135 title May 18…
Mayweather for Sure!!!
Andy Kolle – Kaos Kolle (25,4) is one of Minnesota’s most accomplished fighters and is looking to get back in the ring soon…
Hard to bet against Floyd, against anybody. Floyd UD
Javontae Starks – Starks (6,0) has gotten back to boxing recently and fights on Seconds Out Promotions May 18 card.
Mayweather…too smart.too sharp… Mayweather on points
Tyler Hultin – Hitman Hultin also fights May 18 in what should be a thrilling fight against another always fun to watch fighter, Charles Meier…
Mayweather, he’s the smarter puncher! He’s smart in all aspects of the game! He will adapt to Guerrero, maybe not right away but it will happen! Guerrero will bring the fight no doubt! But I just don’t see him victorious! But I don’t see a KO either!..
Charles Meier – Sir Meier (7,2,2) fights fellow “fight of the night” boxer Tyler Hultin (5,1,2) on May 18′s action packed card…
Mayweather is too smart for him, and too slick… I think Guerrero will be tough for a round or two but when Money figures him out he probably stops him or beats him bad…
May 18, Seconds Out Promotions, Hyatt in Minneapolis, MN…. Minnesota state title… Follow MNBoxingLeague on facebook.
Fighters and soboxing.com for tickets….
May 18, Seconds Out Promotions, Hyatt, Minneapolis, MN…. Jeremy McLaurin (10,5) vs Tony Lee (7,1) for MN lightweight title… Also Charles Meier (7,2,2) vs Tyler Hultin (5,1,2) plus Javontae Starks, Mohammed Kayongo, and more…Full line-up boxrec.
June 21, Seconds Out Promotions…Caleb Truax (21,1,1) vs Don George (24,3,2) and much more…boxrec so far.
Also talks of a couple July shows… Stay tuned… Follow MNBoxingLeague on facebook.
Last night in Carlton, Minnesota, Gary “Stone Cold” Eyer (11,2,1) put on another fight of the night as he and Blake Franklin (10,6,2) fought a close, tough fight. In the end it was Split decision in Eyers favor….Full results from boxrec. Both Duluth, MN fighters got W’s… Al Sands (9,1) had another easy fight and win, finishing Lucas St. Claire (2,2) in the first round. And winning the “Minnesota Cruiserweight title”!!! This has caused quite the stir for Minnesota’s new belt system and could be the ruining of it as St. Claire had only 3 fights prior, last in 2010 and two in 2007… Really puts a damper on regional titles and match-ups that have meaning. (Vanda/Bonsante), (Kolle,Vanda) (Truax,Vanda) (Kolle,Bonsante) (Truax,Kolle)…. and future title fights (Lee,McLaurin) (Fort, Peterson/Truax) (Abell,Green)…. The commission may want to think about actual fight before granting title…. Boxing!!