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The Avila Perspective Chap. 17: Danny Roman, Terence Crawford and More

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  • The Avila Perspective Chap. 17: Danny Roman, Terence Crawford and More

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    By David A. Avila

    One of boxing’s biggest secrets, Danny “Baby-Faced Assassin” Roman, hit Chicago last weekend to defend the WBA super bantamweight world title for a third time. And, once again, Roman picked apart a much taller opponent, plank by plank.

    The victim this time was England’s Gavin McDonnell, who had never been stopped before and had entered the boxing ring with only one loss as a professional. That lone defeat was by split decision to WBC titlist Rey Vargas.

    Roman knocked out McDonnell in the 10th round at the Wintrust Arena with pinpoint punching and a right cross that he never saw. It was mesmerizing.

    When you look at Roman’s record of 29 professional bouts it only shows 10 knockouts. Nowadays the first thing fans or anyone looks at are the knockouts. But there’s much more to prizefighting at the elite level. The Los Angeles-based boxer could write a thesis on the subject.

    Simply, Roman is a true craftsman of the sport.

    In all the years of covering prizefighting I can’t remember another world champion with less fanfare but an abundance of talent than the soft-spoken Roman. You won’t see him slapping guys in a bowling alley or throwing dice at a local casino. And you won’t see him taunting opponents before a fight or flipping off fans.

    He just may be the most humble world champion today.

    “He trains extremely hard. He’s one of those dedicated fighters. A very religious young man,” said Alex Camponovo, matchmaker for Thompson Boxing Promotions. “He’s put everything aside from boxing. He’s not a womanizer, drinker or a partier.”

    Watching Roman fight should be a requirement for all young boxers looking to fight professionally. He’s the blueprint for successful prizefighting.

    Most times Roman enters the prize ring, he’s cranking his neck up and looking at his opponent’s chin. The last four foes towered over the 5’5” Los Angeles fighter and had height advantages of more than four inches. No matter, he’s the true giant slayer.

    With three successful title defenses on his resume, he’s not satisfied. He’s eager to see what the other three champions have to offer. Whether it’s Rey Vargas, TJ Doheny, or Isaac Dogboe, he wants a crack at one or all of them.

    He is a prizefighter and curious where he truly rates in the boxing world.

    "It has been my intention to unify ever since I became world champion last year in September,"said Roman after his win against fellow 122-pounder McDonnell. "I don't care who steps up to the challenge. I'll fight any of them."

    Thompson Boxing Promotions said that efforts to negotiate with the other fighters are already underway.

    “We’re looking for something possibly in February or March,” said Camponovo.

    Unification might be right around the corner.



    Terence Crawford

    Another who seems to be slipping under the radar of the boxing world seems to be WBO welterweight world titlist Terence Crawford.

    The Nebraska prizefighter crackles like a live electric wire with all the talent he possesses.

    Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs) defends the WBO welterweight title against Jose Benavidez (27-0, 18 KOs) on Saturday Oct. 13 in Omaha, Nebraska. ESPN will televise the championship fight.

    It’s hard to believe that Benavidez is only 26. He’s been around the pro boxing game for a very long time but started eight years ago. He seems to be even taller now than when he stepped into Freddie Roach’s gym back in 2010. He’s training in another gym nowadays and has fought twice this year after almost two years away.

    It’s a solid matchup.

    Crawford last defended the title back in June when he used his blinding speed to batter then WBO champ Jeff Horn for nine rounds to rip the welterweight title away from the Aussie. The fight was stopped but could have gone longer. Would Horn have won if allowed to continue?

    No.

    The matchup with Benavidez will allow Crawford to determine where he fares among the welterweights. Both fighters have never lost, but many cite Benavidez’s fight against Mauricio Herrera as a loss, though the judges scored otherwise back in 2014.

    If you ask Crawford who he wants next, well, that’s the wrong question to ask.

    “My main focus is on Benavidez. As you can see, he's been doing a lot of talking, but while he's talking, I'm working. So, I'm not worried about nothing that he's saying or that he's trying to hype up. I'm focused and I'm ready to go next week,” said Crawford.

    Also on the card is Shakur Stevenson (8-0, 4 KOs) fighting Romania’s Viorel Simion (21-2, 9 KOs) for the WBC Continental Americas featherweight belt. The former Olympian has shredded his amateur ticks and fully grasped the ways of the professional fighter. If Stevenson has a chin, watch out. The jump he’s made from last year to this year has been remarkable.



    West Coast Action

    Thursday

    OC Hangar features super middleweight Ali Akhmedov (12-0, 9 KOs) in his second appearance in Southern California when he faces Jovany Gomez (17-14) in the main event on the Roy Englebrecht Events card on Thursday, Oct. 11.

    Akhmedov, 23, is trained by Abel Sanchez in Big Bear and he looked strong when he fought at the Hollywood Avalon this past August. Although he was troubled a bit by the non-aggression of his foe that night, he got the stoppage win. He’s a native of Kazakhstan. Doors open at 7 p.m.

    For more information call (949) 760-3131.

    Friday

    Welterweight Ferdinand Kerobyan (10-0, 5 KOs) looks to keep his record spotless when he meets Rolando Mendivil (10-5) in the main event on Friday, Oct. 12, at Belasco Theater in downtown L.A. The Golden Boy Promotions card begins at 6.

    Kerobyan, 20, fights out of North Hollywood and has shown to be a very entertaining fighter. Fans like his aggressiveness and willingness to mix it up, even when he can easily win by using his speed and superior athleticism. He’s a showman.

    Mendivil, 22, showed a world class chin against Ireland’s talented Aaron McKenna when they clashed last August. The Mexican fighter from Sinaloa absorbed heavy punishment from the Irish welterweight but lasted the entire fight while showing some grit. It will be interesting to see how he does against Kerobyan.

    Saturday

    In Las Vegas, WBO light flyweight world titlist Angel Acosta (18-1, 18 KOs) looks to keep his knockout streak going and keep the world title when he fights Mexico’s Abraham Rodriguez (23-1, 11 KOs) on Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The Golden Boy Promotions fight card is co-promoted with Miguel Cotto Promotions and will be shown on Facebook’s Golden Boy Fight Night page.



    Heavyweights

    Last week WBC heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder and lineal world champ Tyson Fury finished their three-city international tour at Los Angeles.

    In the history of heavyweight championship fights, these two have got to be the tallest to ever contend for a world title. Both are past 6’7 and their reach alone makes them formidable for any other heavyweights. And both are characters. They’re both jokesters, talkers, boasters and a few other things. Fury, in particular, brings a certain British vibe that boxing fans in Southern California are not accustomed to.

    Wilder is a funny guy too. Even when he feigns seriousness, he’s basically holding back a smile. They will face each other for both the WBC world title and lineal title on Dec. 1, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Promoter Lou DiBella said that tickets immediately reached $1 million in sales the first day.

    I’m extremely curious about this fight. It’s been a while since we had a good heavyweight title fight. They don’t happen every year in Los Angeles and both are big guys with big personalities.

  • #2
    Unti I heard the history of the hype...this was a fight I wasn't that enthusiastic to see (nothing against either fighter) the fight has now become a necessary part of my evening. Fried chicken vs bean burrito insults (I love 'em both)....insults against Crawford's Boo and baby's Mamma(his Mother too)....swinging on JB during the weigh- in, threatening to take the fight to the streets....and the general combative tone between the two.
    reminds me of when Larry Holmes used to leap over cars to get at a mofo.

    I'm sure neither oponent will forget their boxing skills but this fight will be a legalized version of felonious assault on television. Can't wait to see it. The outcome may be a forgone conclusion. ..but I gotta see it.
    Last edited by brownsugar1; 10-12-2018, 09:01 PM.

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