Pat Lynch Inks Managerial Contract with Welterweight Prospect Clarence Booth

St. Petersburg, FL (October 15, 2014)–Respected boxing manager and former Manager of the Year, Pat Lynch is pleased to announce the signing of Welterweight prospect Clarence Booth to an exclusive managerial contract.

Lynch, who was the former manager of Hall of Famer Arturo Gatti and currently manages Jr. Middleweight rising star Glen Tapia as well as undefeated Jr. Welterweight prospect Julian Rodriguez.

“I am extremely happy to have signed Clarence.  I have been very impressed from what I have seen of him and I look forward to working with him as I see he has a very bright future,” said Lynch

Booth of St. Petersburg, Florida has a record 8-1 with five knockouts and his best days are clearly ahead of him.

“I am grateful to be with Pat.  For him to reach out to me is huge.  I wasn’t able to get the fights consistently but now with Pat I know that will be happening.  I am a gym rat and I am confident that things will move along and I can show the world my talent,”said Booth.

Booth stumbled upon boxing by accident but deep down he knew that this could be his calling.

“I was just trying to find myself and I knew I was gifted at street fighting.  I got in some trouble and wound up in a detention center where one of the people who worked there was female boxing champion Laura Ramsey.”

“I went to her gym and the rest is history.”

There he met trainer Nick Sityar and the two forged a bond as they have had many hurdles to get to this point.

“He came from some trouble as a youth and he trained in Laura’s gym. He was my only pupil and then when the gym closed down, we had to train in high school gyms, in parking lots and on tennis courts,”said Sityar.

“But he has great natural talent.  He is a puncher-boxer with power in both hands.  He only started boxing at age 19 and he is very athletic.”

Booth had a brief 28 fight amateur career.

He turned pro in 2011 with a four round unanimous decision over Tommy Bryant.  His only blemish was a controversial defeat to current undefeated Welterweight Cletis Seldin that was a fight marred in controversy.. It was a rough fight where Seldin was even docked a point for illegal tactics.

Since that fight, Booth has won six straight with four of those wins coming via stoppage.  In his last bout, Booth garnered his most impressive win by scoring a six round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Jonathan Perez (5-0) on June 6.

Booth has facilitated his training by becoming a regular sparring partner to undefeated WBA Welterweight champion Keith Thurman.

“When we go down to the Winky Wright Gym it is all love when I spar with Keith.  It is tremendous sparring and I have to stay sharp with technical skills.”, continued Booth.

Said Sityar of the sparring, “When we work with Keith, it’s great work obviously and we get a lot of pointers from former trainer of the year Dan Birmingham.  Clarence is very coachable.”

Booth, who is a proud husband and father of four will return to action on Saturday, November 1st in Caguas, Puerto Rico.

Forgotten Classics: Jermain Taylor vs “Winky” Wright

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By: Steve Gallegos

In today’s boxing, we very rarely see the best facing the best. The boxing landscape is more political than ever. Managers and promoters focus more on protecting their investment; therefore some of the more significant bouts do not get made. However, when the best do face the best, it can provide a treat for the fans. That was the case in 2006, when lineal middleweight champion JermainBad Intentions” Taylor faced off with RonaldWinkyWright.

Jermain Taylor was groomed for the boxing spotlight very early on. He was a stellar amateur who represented the U.S.A. at the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney, Australia, winning the bronze medal. He turned pro in early 2001 and signed a huge contract with DiBella Entertainment. He was a crowd favorite from the very beginning. He had the complete package as he possessed the speed, power and skill. He knocked out 17 out of first 23 opponents.

In July, 2005, Taylor would get his shot at a world title as he took on the legendary, long time king of the middleweight division, Bernard Hopkins. Hopkins had been unbeaten for 12 years and made a record 20 defenses of his middleweight title. Taylor stepped up to the plate and showed the world that he was the future of boxing by dethroning the longtime champion in a close, but convincing split decision victory. He would decision Hopkins again in a rematch just five months later.

RonaldWinkyWright’s descent to the top was not an easy one. “Winky” was a very slick southpaw, known for his excellent defense and piston-like right jab. Wright had fought all over the world and was a huge draw in France as he fought there nine times in his career. Due to his difficult style, “Winky” had a hard time getting big fights and was often avoided. The fight that put “WinkyWright on the map was a close majority decision loss to Fernando Vargas in 1999; a fight that many felt “Winky” had won.

He would win the IBF Jr. Middleweight title in 2001 and successfully defended it four times before finally getting the break he was waiting for, which was a title unification bout with fellow titleholder “Sugar” Shane Mosley. Wright shined on the biggest stage of his career by outpointing Mosley twice in decision victories. After unifying the 154 lb division, Wright would move up to Middleweight where he would have his career defining fight against Felix “Tito” Trinidad.

Trinidad was in the second fight of his comeback when he faced “WinkyWright in May of 2005. Many beleived Trinidad would steamroll Wright; however “Winky” showed why he was one of the most avoided fighters in the sport by dominating every second of every minute of every round. Wright used his piston like jab to good effect and never let the hard punching Trinidad have any moments of the fight as he won a lopsided unanimous decision victory.

Wright would close out 2005 with a unanimous decision victory over Sam Soliman, which earned him a shot at Jermain Taylor’s middleweight crown. June of 2006 was a big month for boxing and HBO as there were two huge fights in back to back weeks. You had Antonio Tarver vs Bernard Hopkins in an HBO PPV event and 7 days later you had Jermain Taylor vs “WinkyWright.

Taylor and Wright met on 06/17/06 at the FedEX Forum in Memphis, TN for the “Undisputed” Middleweight championship. The first round wasn’t much of a feeling out process. Taylor dominated the first round with quick, crisp combinations to the the head and body. “WinkyWright started out a little slow and was trying to walk Taylor down; however with little success. As the bell to start the second round sounded, “Winky” Wright raced out of his corner and immediately began pressuring Taylor, landing combinations. Taylor would respond with some fire of his own and the fight was beginning to turn into a slugfest.

Taylor, the more natural middleweight, was the bigger puncher; however Wright showed his great chin and was able to walk through Taylor’s shots. “Winky“, known for his slick boxing, had to switch gears and move forward, pressing the fight. “Winky” was able to get Jermain in a corner and land some good left hand shots. It was a much better round for Wright and Taylor knew he was in a for a long, tough fight. The fisticups continued to fly in the third round as Taylor fought well on the outside, setting up his combinations with his left jab. Wright was able to shake off the punches well, blocking some of Taylor’s shots while pressing forward, landing his own shots.

Wright would pick up the pace in the fourth round, keeping the fight close and landing good combinations. Taylor’s activity slowed down a notch and he wasn’t doubling up on his shots as he had in the previous rounds. While Taylor still fired combinations, Wright was still able to pick alot of shots off with gloves. Round five was more of the same as the fight was fought in close quarters which favored “WinkyWright. While “Winky” wasn’t the bigger puncher of the two, his shots were making an impact.

Taylor regained his composure in the sixth by keeping Wright at a distance while landing quick, hard combinations. The seventh was fought at a very fast pace in which both fighters would have their moments; however Taylor had the slight edge based on his power punching. Wright would control the eighth as he was able to keep Taylor at close quarters and landing good combinations as he had Taylor on the ropes and in the corner.

The ninth was more of the same as “Winky” would would impose his will and his shots were making an impact as Taylor’s left eye began to swell shut. In the 10th, both men stepped it up a notch firing and trading punches. Taylor would fire off a quick combination and Wright would answer with a combination of his own. Neither man backing up, it was the most exciting round of the fight. The 11th round belonged to “Winky” as he was the more active and accurate puncher, pressing Taylor who was waiting on Wright to make a mistake.

The fight appeared to be on the table going into the 12th. The 12th round wasn’t very action packed as neither fighter went for the gusto. Both men had fought at a blistering pace throughout the fight and they both seemed to rest in the final minutes. While neither man did much, the edge in the round went to Taylor as he was the more active of the two. The fate of the fight rested in the hands of the judges. Chuck Giampa scored the fight 115-113 for Taylor. Judges Ray Hawkins scored the fight 115-113 for Wright. The final judge, Melvina Lathan scored the fight 114-114, making the fight a split draw.

Both men felt they won the fight and “WinkyWright immediately left the ring, not waiting around to be interviewed by HBO. It was a great fight that warranted a rematch, however it didn’t happen. Wright would close out 2006 with a landslide decision victory over former champion Ike Quartey and he would only fight three more times over the next five years, losing all three bouts to Bernard Hopkins, Paul Williams and Peter “Kid Chocoalate” Quillin. He would retire in 2012 with a record of 51-6-1 with 25 KO’s.

Taylor would defend his middleweight title twice more against smaller opponents moving up versus both Kassim Ouma and Cory Spinks. He would lose his title in September of 2007 when he was stopped by Kelly Pavlik. He would lose the rematch to Pavlik five months later and then move up to Super Middleweight. He would defeat former champion and olympic teammate Jeff Lacy and then in early 2009 he would challenge for a super middleweight title against unbeaten champion Carl Froch.

After knocking Froch down early, Taylor ran out of gas late and was stopped in the 12th round. Later that year, Taylor participated in Showtime’s Super Six boxing tournament but withdrew from the tournament after suffering a bad KO loss to Arthur Abraham. Taylor would remain inactive for over two years and returned to the ring in 2011, moving back down to middleweight. He has been 4-0 with 2 KO’s in his comeback.

In August of 2014, Taylor was charged with two felonies after an altercation in his home with one of his cousins. The altercation would result in Taylor alledgedly shooting his cousin. Taylor is scheduled to fight brand new middleweight titleholder Sam Soliman on 10/08/2014 in Biloxi, Mississippi. The 2006 battle between Taylor and Wright was one of the few instances in which the best faced the best and the end result would be both fighters giving it their absolute best effort.

 

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Forgotten Legends: Fernando Vargas

De La Hoya vs Vargas

By: Steve Gallegos

Many fighters are primed for greatness; however some fail to reach that level due to issues outside the ring that affect their focus inside the ring. This was the case with former two-time champion “FerociousFernando Vargas.

Vargas had it all. The looks, the personality and an exciting boxer puncher style in which he had fire in either hand. Born and raised in Oxnard, CA, Vargas had an extraordinary amauter career of 100-5 which also included a spot on the 1996 U.S. Olympic team. He turned pro in March of 1997 and would go 9-0 in 1997, all by KO. 1998 would be even bigger in which he knocked out his next five opponents before getting his first crack at a world title when he met Yory Boy Campas. Campas was a hard punching destroyer and many thought Vargas might not be ready for someone of Campas’ level.

They met on 12/12/98 in Atlantic City, NJ for the IBF Jr. Middleweight championship. Vargas proved the doubters wrong as he put on an excellent display of boxing in which he refused to get into any exchanges with the harder hitting Campas. At one point in the bout, Campas tried to engage Vargas and Fernando smiled, pointed to his head as if too say “I’m too smart for you”. After seven rounds, Campas had enough and quit; making Fernando Vargas the youngest Jr. Middleweight champion. It would be a record he would hold for 13 years until Canelo Alvarez became the youngest Jr Middleweight champion in 2011. He would continue his KO streak by knocking out his next three opponents, including former Jr. Middleweight champion Raul Marquez.

By mid 1999, Vargas began experiencing troubles outside the ring, when he was involved in an assault and battery case. This would affect him inside the ring when he met slick southpaw Ronald “Winky” Wright. They met on 12/04/99 in Lincoln City, OR. It was a rough and tough night for Vargas as he wasn’t able to hurt Wright as he did all his previous opponents. Wright, known for his slick boxing style, elected to stand and trade with Vargas in which he would get the better of the exchanges. When the final bell sounded, many at ringside believed Wright was the winner. The final result was a close majority decision win for Vargas, ending his impressive KO streak.

He would start the new millenium off well with a convincing 12 round decision over former welterweight champion Ike Quartey and he would follow it up with a 4th round TKO over Ross Thompson. This would setup a huge mega fight with fellow Jr. Middleweight champion Felix Trinidad. They met on 12/02/00 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV. During the referre’s instructions, Trinidad told Vargas in Spanish that he would leave him on the canvas.

In the first round, Trinidad landed a solid left hook that rocked Vargas and would eventually put him down. Vargas was able to get up and was immediately put down again by a left hook. It was looking as though it would be an early night; however Vargas was able to make it out of the round. By the fourth round, Vargas‘ head had cleared and he put Trinidad down with his own left hook. Vargas then took control of the fight by boxing smartly and it looked as though he might be able to box his way to a decision, however he then elected to stand and trade with the much harder hitting Trinidad. Oscar De La Hoya was criticized for running in the final rounds against Trinidad and Vargas wanted to prove that he could stand and fight. Vargas would bite off more than he could chew as Trinidad would get the better of him in exchanges throughout the late round.

In the 12th round, Trinidad put Vargas down three times before referee Jay Nady stepped in to stop the bout. It was a crushing defeat for Vargas and it would seem to affect him for the rest of his career. He returned to the ring just five months later and scored a sixth round TKO against Wilfredo Rivera in which Rivera put him down in the fifth. Four months later, he was back in line for another titleshot and he would stop Shibata Flores in the seventh round, claiming his second world title. This would set up another title unification bout with another boxing superstar in Oscar De La Hoya.

There was a lot of bad blood between the two fighters coming into the bout which had the Mexican-American community split. They met on 09/14/02 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Vargas came in very cut and muscular as if he did a lot of weight training for the bout. He came out in the first round and made a statement as he rocked De La Hoya late in the round. The fight was very even for the first half of the round, however Vargas ran out of gas late and De La Hoya began to pick him apart. After rocking Vargas at the end of the 10th, De La Hoya, put Vargas down in the 11th with a left hook. Moments later, De La Hoya went in for the kill, causing referee Joe Cortez to stop the bout.

A post fight drug test detected steroids. Vargas claimed he was unaware he was given steroids, however he took responsibility and was suspended for nine months as well as fined $100,000 of his purse. He would return to the ring in August of 2003 and would score back to back TKO wins over Fitz Vanderpool and Tony Marshall. During the Marshall fight, Vargas injured a disc in his back which would keep him out of the ring for all of 2004. He would make a comeback in 2005, moving up to Middleweight in which he would win unanimous decisions over both Raymond Joval and Javier Castillejo.

He would then face “Sugar” Shane Mosley in a crossroads bout between 2 former champions. They met on 02/25/06 in Las Vegas. In the first round, Mosley landed a sharp right hand that caused Vargas‘ left eye to swell. The fight was close and competitive for 10 rounds; however Vargas‘ left eyes was nearly swelled shut when referee Joe Cortez stepped in and stopped the bout. At the time of the stoppage, one judge had Vargas ahead by one point. A rematch was inevitable and Mosley and Vargas would meet again five months later in Las Vegas and Mosley would score a sixth round TKO. It was pretty much the end of the road for Fernando Vargas.

He would fight only once more in 2007, losing a majority decision to Ricardo Mayorga. He would retire with a record of 26-5 with 22 KO’s. Today Vargas is the subject of his own Reality TV show, “Welcome to Los Vargas“, which focuses on his family life and the training of his son. Vargas‘ boxing career was short and bittersweet. He gave it his all, each time he stepped into the ring, sometimes too tough for his own good. What would have happened had he been handled better? Would his career have been different if he would have chose to box more instead of slug. What we got is a career that started off too fast and ended too soon.

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