Posts Tagged ‘Boxer’
By Don Smith
Boxer’s Family Requests Help: Humberto Avila, aka “Beto”, loves boxing and he trained relentlessly at the Devil Dog Boxing Gym in Chandler, Arizona. He was an amateur fighter who had no aspirations to become professional, but he valued the sport as a tool for physical and spiritual growth. Beto was a winner, regardless of his record.
His training was interrupted. late summer 2012, when he was struck by a vehicle while he was jogging through a crosswalk in Tempe, Arizona. According to a family member who recounted the incident after hearing details from the victim, two vehicles swerved in an attempt to avoid hitting Beto who instinctively jumped in the air and landed on the hood of a SUV, one of the involved vehicles. Avila suffered lower back pain and a deeply bruised ankle which was slow to heal. He went to a nearby Urgent Care facility after a police report was filed. Humberto was given a prescription for pain and then released. The medical inspection didn’t include an MRI which brings up the question of how thorough was his physical exam.
So far, the two insurance carriers have been reluctant to address the incident to the satisfaction of Beto and his family. It is not known whether either driver was cited for possible negligence. The family may hire an attorney to mitigate and settle an issue that could have been resolved by now; ifthere is an open line of communications.
It took several months for Beto to rehabilitate himself and the 29 year old audio/visual specialist was feeling pretty hyped about the prospect of returning to boxing and living a healthy and productive life. He had bills to pay and places to go. Avila is a audio/visual specialist for Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center while Nico works as a chef at Pita Jungle, a popular eatery in Tempe. Friends and co-workers describe them as a loving couple with strong community ties. They are the typical American family: hard working and responsible and certainly not immune from the trials and tribulations that test us all on a daily basis.
On Christmas Eve, Humberto and his lovely Wife (Nicolette David Avila ) of six months, loaded their 2006 Nissan Versa Hatchback and headed for Ajo, Arizona where they planned to spend their Christmas Holiday with friends and family. Aboard for the trip were the family dogs (Leela & Naru) and their masters, Nico and Beto. Mr. Avila decided to drive and let Nico catch some much needed sleep. It was sometime between noon and 1 p.m. when the couple left Tempe. Ajo is approximately a 115-120 mile drive from Tempe which translates into a 2 hour journey give or take a few minutes.
The newlywed couple were on Highway 85, 7 miles away from their Ajo Exit, when Beto fell asleep at the wheel and Nico was also asleep. Their car began to drift across the center line of the highway and was obviously out of control. Frank and Katie Le Master just happened to be traveling on the same road and they knew the vehicle in trouble belonged to Humberto and Nicolette because they knew the family personally for many years. Ajo is a small town where everybody knows everybody, including their pets.
Immediately, Frank, a law enforcement officer, went to his horn in an effort to wake up his friend whom he assumed had fallen asleep. He was very familiar with the sight before him After a few horn blasts, Beto awakened; saw the looming crisis and panicked by over steering and applying the brakes too hard. As a result.their vehicle rolled over 2 1/2 times and finally stopped after traveling a distance of 45 yards off the highway. The car was totalled and the lives of Beto and Nico will never be the same and it all happened in a matter of seconds.
Frank and Katie are the perfect people to handle any type of crisis; cool, calm and collected. Frank or Katie called 911 and gave precise directions on how to reach the scene of the accident. Katie,a former Lifeguard, talked to the two victims and relayed useful information to the first responders. The couple also set up a volunteer task force from the number concerned travelers who stopped to help .After the traumatic rescue was completed, Katie and Frank received special praise from the first responders and members of the victim’s family.
The Le Masters knew, after insightful questioning, that Humberto would probably need to be airlifted to a Special Care Unit Facility because he told his friends he was numb and that meant paralysis and possible spinal cord injury. Beto was trapped inside the car when the professional responders arrived and he was carefully removed from the Hatchback and swiftly flown to Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix where he was admitted in the Barrow’s Neurological Institute wing of the hospital.
Miraculously, a battered and bruised Nico was up and walking at the scene. It had to be a combination of adrenalin rush and concern for Humberto. Whatever the reason, it was a huge sigh of relief for her husband who wasn’t so fortunate.
Beto suffered a broken neck and a spinal cord injury that left him without movement below his shoulders. Mr. Avila remains at Saint Joseph’s Hospital where he has shown slight improvement,but the road to recovery will be long and uncertain.
While insurance is covering some medical expense, It doesn’t provide for loss of income and special needs that he might be require for his rehabilitation process. And, now that the family has been reduced to one bread winner, bare necessities, such as food and rent, will be harder to pay for.
To cope with their mounting bills that may exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars, Nico’s sister, Nellie has started an account for online donations to help this young family in their time of need. If you have the will and means to help, please go online:
Nico’s father, Hollister David, has asked members of media(participating in the donation drive) to thank all donors for their generosity and a special thank you to the first responders who were vital in the rescue of Beto and Nico Avila. Until Next Time! Read the rest of this entry »
British heavyweight boxer Michael Sprott is interviewed by By Michael J Jones
A long-time contender on the British heavyweight scene, Michael Sprott seems to have been around forever. Turning pro way back in November 1996, Sprott has now had 54 pro fights and still has title aspirations at 37 years of age. Currently 36-18 (17), Sprott has been fighting at title level both in the UK and around Europe for ten years and has fought a virtual who’s-who of big names in that time from; Corrie Sanders in South Africa, Danny Williams three times, Audley Harrison twice an Ruslan Chagaev.
Not the tallest heavyweight at 6ft 1in, Sprott is usually a cagey operator with good boxing skills and a respectful dig. A long-time sparring-partner for both Klitschko brothers, Sprott was a British and Commonwealth champion in 04’ and as recently as 2010 was winning the latest Prizefighter.
Despite a patchy-looking record, when in the mood Michael can be a formidable fighter as seen in victories over Timo Hoffman, Mark Potter, Cengiz Koc and Audley Harrison.
The victory over Harrison was particularly impressive giving that the former Olympic champion was coming off a destruction of Danny Williams. Dropped to the canvas in the first, Sprott was well on top in the third round when a spectacular left hook knocked Audley out cold.
Although Michael has lost his last three fights, all came in very good company and one feels there still could be some memorable nights still left for the Reading contender. Here’s what Michael had to say-
MJ) How old were you when you first started boxing?
MS) I was thirteen when I first started. I had about 60 fights before turning pro.
MJ) Probably the first time I saw you was against Harry Senior in a Southern Area title fight on Sky. He stopped you in six with body-shots, what do you recall about that fight ?
MS) I remember that fight very well. I was going to pull out with a rib injury beforehand. I’d been sparring Danny Watts and Julius Francis and things weren’t going right in camp. My trainer talked me into going through with it saying it’d be all ok. I remember Harry going for a big haymaker and missing but he came back with a big shot to my solar plexus. It winded me and then seconds later another punch got me in the same place. I went down and the ref’ stopped it.
MJ) You lost to the much-bigger Wayne Llewellyn soon after, getting stopped in three before being matched with the hulking Timo Hoffman at York Hall. Nobody expected much from that fight but you boxed brilliantly to beat him on points over eight rounds. Were you as surprised at how well you handled him ?
MS) What happened was, we were both on the same bill and our respective opponents both pulled out so we were matched against each other. I think I was meant to fight Michael Holden. I knew I could do ok against Timo as I’d sparred him over in Germany. His team were impressed with me when we sparred, I out-boxed him most of the time. His trainer wasn’t very happy though, at the weigh-in he asked me “who was I fighting ?” I said “I’m fighting Timo”, he wasn’t happy, he didn’t have a clue !
We fought a rematch in Germany, I thought I won but they gave him the decision. Even the German crowd booed the announcement that he’d won.
MJ) The year after, you came in at late notice to take on Danny Williams for the British and Commonwealth titles. You fought bravely but he wore you down in seven rounds. You seemed to grow in confidence after that loss and reeled off the form of your career ?
MS) I don’t really count that fight as a loss as I only came in on four days notice. I was in Barbados on holiday when I got the call.
It was after that fight I started working with Johnny Greenfield and he completely changed my style of boxing. He taught me to punch more correctly and other things and I ended up winning eight fights in a row with six by knock-out. I stopped Pele Reid (KO 7), Mike Holden (KO 4) and Mark Potter (KO 3) among others.
When Johnny died it was a very hard year (2004). Denny Mancini (Sprott’s cut-man) died a short while after him so I lost two of my corner-men close together. Around the same time we also lost my sister’s boyfriend’s dad, it was a terrible time and a tough moment to get through.
MJ) Let’s talk about your second and third fights with Danny Williams. There was high anticipation for the rematch as your form was incredible at the time, but both that and the rubber match were controversial with Williams being awarded a stoppage win in the second bout and you won a close decision in the last encounter ?
MS) Yeah they were controversial. The second fight I was out-boxing him but he kept hitting me below the belt. The referee wasn’t even warning him when he should have penalised him. In the fifth I turned to tell the ref’ I’d been hit low again and (Danny) knocked me out. It was hard to take at the time but they say “protect yourself at all times” and, in that fight, I learned that.
The third fight, I know everybody said he won but I thought I boxed well and I was just really proud to be British and Commonwealth champion. That was a very proud moment for me.
MJ) You lost both titles a short time later to Matt Skelton. It seemed surprising at the time that only three months after winning the titles you were taking on an undefeated challenger in your very first defence ?
MS) It was a little bit frustrating because I only got told about the fight a month after winning the titles. I wanted it a bit later but the BBB of C pushed for it as he was my mandatory. Skelton is a hard worker in there. People don’t like his style but it works for him.
MJ) You fought mostly in Germany for the next couple of years but eventually came back to the UK to score probably your most famous victory. You fought Audley Harrison straight after he’d just wiped out Danny Williams and came off the canvas to knock him out cold with a left hook. Tell me about that fight ?
MS) When he fought the second fight with Danny Williams I was actually there ringside. I’d been offered the fight but turned it down (Matt Skelton pulled out at late notice). I watched the fight and, while Audley looked impressive, I knew for a fact Danny wasn’t fully prepared for that fight.
Big things were meant to happen for Audley but I had great training for the fight, six or seven weeks and got down to a good weight at 16st 8lbs; that’s a good fighting weight for me. I was told by my trainer to come out strong in the first but I knew that would be a mistake as Audley is a very good counter-puncher. I got dropped in the first but got through the round and took over a round later. It was a great left hook I caught him with, it was a similar shot that stopped Colin Kenna. I went to the body and came back with the hook. I was actually pretty surprised because I was aiming to wear him down and stop him later on in the fight in eight or nine rounds.
MJ) You came a cropper again against Matt Skelton in your next fight losing a close decision. Afterwards you went on your travels again boxing Lamon Brewster amongst others. You were due to return to take part in Prizefighter in October 2009 but tragedy struck and you were forced to pull out. Can you talk a little about that difficult period in your life and career ?
MS) My sister died tragically and I was devastated. It was a very tough time in my life, I thought about going through with Prizefighter but my mother told me not to. My head wasn’t in a good place, so I pulled out to support, and be there for, my family.
Audley Harrison won the tournament and immediately afterwards put his trophy up for auction. The money he raised he gave for my sister’s children. I never had the opportunity to thank him properly but it meant a lot what he did. I was hoping, win-lose-or-draw, I could speak to him at the end of our second fight but I never got the chance.
MJ) A lot of people will be surprised reading that. Why do you think he gets such a bad wrap in this country ?
MS) I don’t know, maybe he just doesn’t come across very well to certain people. I’ve known Audley a long time and know him well. When we were amateurs we used to spar and train together. He’s a good guy, I like him.
MJ) After a warm-up you fought Audley for the vacant European title. He was injured early and you seemed well ahead going into the last but he paid you back for that left hook ?
MS) Yeah he sure did (laughs). It’s funny how things work out but it just goes to show; it’s not over until it’s over. That’s why heavyweight boxing is so exciting; anything can change at any given moment. One minute I’m in control and waiting to be crowned European champion and the next it’s all over !
MJ) You came back to win the next Prizefighter tournament six months later, beating old foe Matt Skelton in the final. What was more satisfying; winning the tournament or finally beating Skelton ?
MS) I was very happy to do both. Obviously winning the tournament was great but also beating Matt after he’d beaten me twice was a good achievement too.
MJ) You had less success the following year in International Prizefighter losing to Tye Fields in the opening bout. It was very close did you think you’d won ?
MS) Yeah I did. I thought I landed the cleaner shots and combination punches while he hit gloves a lot. I thought I nicked it but also, with it being over here, I’d have a better chance again but they gave it him. It’s like that over in Germany; you’re never guaranteed the decision but I thought it’d be different over here.
MJ) You’ve lost your last three bouts to Fields, Alexander Dimitrenko and Kubrat Pulev. That’s great company but what do you hope to achieve in the last few years of your boxing career ?
MS) I’d really like to go for a world title…and win it. I was very close to getting a world title shot with the second Audley Harrison bout (Harrison getting destroyed by David Haye next time out), so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t get a chance with a couple of good wins. I’m 37 now but I feel good for my age, there’s no reason why I can’t carry on for a few more years.
Those last two fights I didn’t feel completely recovered from a bout of pneumonia I had last year. I sparred Alexander Povetkin for a month before falling ill with it. I didn’t feel great in either of those fights but I am much better now and can’t wait for my next fight. I wanted to continue against Pulev but my trainer Jim Evans said “you’re behind on points and taking unnecessary punches. You could go the distance but what’s the point ?” He was right I guess.
MJ) Who are you fighting next Mike ?
MS) I’m fighting (20-0 German) Edmund Gerber in Germany on August 26th. It was meant to be on the Povetkin-Rahman card on July 14th, so now it’s on the re-scheduled bill on the later date. It’s been a bit frustrating this year, I’ve not fought since January as I’ve had a few dates cancelled so I just hope this one doesn’t get scrapped like the others.
MJ) You’ve fought Matt Skelton three times, Danny Williams three times and Audley Harrison twice. If you could fight any of those former rivals again who would you pick and why?
MS) Hmmm…I don’t think I want to fight any of them again ! No seriously, I think I’ve kind of had revenge on all of them as I’ve beaten each one. Maybe I’d say Audley as it’s one win a piece.
MJ) What do you make of the younger heavyweight contenders coming through like Tyson Fury and Dave Price?
MS) We’ve got a good young generation of heavyweights coming through I think. David Price is the best for me, he’s tall, athletic and can bang. Tyson Fury is coming along well, I was impressed with his last fight. Fighting Martin Rogan as a southpaw was amazing. Richard Towers too looks a good fighter. They all look good but it’s time to see what they bring (in a higher class).
MJ) Is there any fight over the years that you wanted but never got ?
MS) Maybe Mike Tyson. I beat Danny Williams but he got the fight against Tyson. I have to give credit though; Danny beating him was a great achievement. Tyson wasn’t what he was but he still had the speed and power and was a dangerous man.
MJ) Many thanks for your time Mike and best of luck for your next fight.
MS) Thank you !
Published by kind permission of: Worldwide Weekly Boxing Predictions League
Arena Jalisco, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Friday 29 June 2012 – Arena Jalisco, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Promoters: Hector Garcia (HG Boxing) / Reginaldo & Oswaldo Kuchle (Promociones del Pueblo)
X10 lightweight – Nery Saguilan vs Miguel Angel Mendoza
X10 super bantamweight – Mario Briones vs Mario Munoz
X8 super flyweight – Giovanni Gonzalez debut vs Hector Fuentes
X8 super bantamweight – Martin Casillas vs Jose Roberto Gonzalez
X8 super featherweight – Daniel Lomeli vs Santiago Estrada
By Steve Wellings
Northampton boxer Ashley Lane is preparing for the biggest fight of his fledgling career on Friday, June 29, when the promising bantamweight tackles vastly experienced Stoke scrapper Chris Edwards at the Queens Theatre in Burslem, Staffordshire.
Even though the 21-year-old is only getting started in the pro game, Lane is eager to show the fans what he has to offer. Taking on a quality veteran like Edwards in only his sixth fight is a statement of intent, especially seeing as Edwards comes in to the bout having held British and Commonwealth titles down at flyweight. But the man nicknamed ‘Unstoppable’ sees nothing to be fearful of and believes that his time to shine has arrived.
“I don’t think Edwards is as good as he thinks, I’ve seen him box and he is just come-forward tough guy,” Ashley confidently stated. “I’d like to think my game plan will work because I feel I’ve got all the tools necessary to beat him.
“I’ve got a great group of friends coming to watch the fight and give me plenty of support, along with my sponsors: Dean Port from Crystal Electronics and Lee Swingler from Lee Swingler Building. I won’t be fazed with the minority group [of supporters], because I went up to Doncaster to box Gavin McDonnell with one mate and we did the business.”
Ashley has engaged in five contests so far, with two wins and two draws thrown in amongst a solitary loss – a defeat that he vehemently disputes.
“I got robbed against Jon Fry down in Portsmouth which goes against me. To be honest, my career has started with a bit of hit and miss. I’ve suffered three cuts in my first three fights and my record definitely doesn’t show the real me; I’m a prospect who will win titles and I’ll prove that.”
Lane is trained by his former amateur coach John Daly, who also competed as a pro boxer, and his professional camp is based up in Wednesbury, under the stewardship of Errol Johnson and Bob Plant. His amateur career started off well, going 8-0 before an ABA quarter-final defeat curtailed the unbeaten streak. Despite suffering some questionable decisions along the way, Ashley enjoyed his stint in the unpaid code and eventually decided to turn professional.
“I box for the passion so I was always in the gym,” he admitted. “I’m a lot more laid back than I used to be, always having a scrap or wars and wearing my opponent down but now I use my brain and box. I never knew I was so intelligent! I’m looking forward to my fight with Chris Edwards on Friday night. It’s my big opportunity and will be a great fight.”
To keep up-to-date with Ashley Lane, follow him on Twitter @ashlane2 or search his name on Facebook.
Michael Carney (Fight Factory Promotions) promotes the show on Friday, June 29 in the Queens Theatre, Burslem, Staffordshire. Ring 07508339845 for ticket information.