Han Dominates Joseph, wins IBF female belt

By David Finger at ringside

It was a long time coming for the city of El Paso, but she now has a world champion. There is arguably no better boxing town in America than the Sun City, but until last night at the Don Haskins Center, boxing fans from the border town never witnesses a local fighter win a major world title. There were many who came close. David Rodriguez seemed like he had the potential to end the drought when he built up his record to 36-0. But his career fell short after a pair of upset knockout losses derailed his title dreams. Antonio Escalante looked like he might pull it off after winning the NABO super bantamweight title in 2008, rocketing him into the WBO world rankings. But after an impressive decision over Mickey Roman in 2010 the dream came to an end for Escalante when he was defeated by Daniel Ponce De Leon in a WBO featherweight title eliminator. And prior to last night Juan Lazcano was the man who came the closest, having won the fringe IBA lightweight title in the same arena back in 2003 before he defeated Stevie Johnson in a WBC lightweight title eliminator. But Lazcano came up short the following year in his quest for a WBC title when he lost a close decision to Jose Luis Castillo.

But in front of an excited local crowd, the drought ended as Jennifer Han put forth the best performance of her career, dominating Nigerian Helen Joseph over ten rounds. There was no question going into the fight that this would be a classic boxer-puncher matchup. Han, having only scored one knockout in sixteen fights, was seen as a slick boxer who used speed and boxing to befuddle her opponents. Although little was known of Joseph here in the United States, what was known was that she was a head hitter, having pulled together a handful of impressive knockouts, including a first round knockout over Marianna Ulyas in her last fight for the IBF intercontinental female featherweight title.

But from the opening round Han was determined not to let Helen Joseph show the Sun City how much she packed in her punches, boxing effectively from the outside and quickly establishing her advantage in speed and skill. Han moved around the ring well, peppering the aggressive Joseph with jabs. On several occasions Joseph was able to cut the ring and land a few of her thudding shots, but by in large they had little impact on Han, who either smothered the punches or covered up. Jennifer Han then closed the round with a beautiful flurry to put an exclamation point on the round.

Han continued to dominate the second round behind her footwork and jab, but disaster nearly struck in round three. Midway through the round a short counter sent Han to the canvas. Although Han argued it was the result of a slip, referee Daniel Sandoval disagreed and administered the count. Regardless of if Han was legitimately knocked down or not (press row was split) it was enough to light a fire in Helen Joseph and she fought aggressively to close out the round. Han, perhaps angry at the knockdown and looking to make a point, seemed to want to exchange with Joseph, standing inside with Joseph, Han fired a hard two punch combinations as Joseph stalked her. But a hard hook in the closing second of the round that clipped the chin of Han cemented what would be a big round for Helen Joseph.

Han returned to what was working for her in round four and again boxed effectively against Helen Joseph, who started to show signs of slowing down. By round five it looked as if Han might be able to pull of the unthinkable and stop the rugged Helen Joseph as a wicked combination in the closing seconds of the round seemed to stagger Joseph slightly. But Joseph seemed to come back in the sixth as Han began to stand in front of Helen Joseph more and let the Nigerian land more shots than she had been to in the previous five rounds.

“Keep boxing!” Abraham Han yelled from ringside as Jennifer stood in front of Helen Joseph much to the chagrin of her corner, “stay away from her!”

Han seemed to respond well to the instructions from her brother as she returned to the jab to close out the round. It would be Helen Joseph’s last round as Han would close out the final four rounds by putting on a boxing clinic. Han peppered her visibly winded opponent with lightning fast combinations and jabs, and by round nine it was clear that all she had tro do was stay upright to win the fight. Still, Han was leaving nothing to chance and boxed effectively against her aggressive opponent in round nine. Although Helen Joseph fought with the desperation and determination of a fighter trailing badly going into the last round of a title fight, she was unable to find the chin of Han in round ten. Han continued to box well and refused to give the round to Joseph, even though she clearly had the decision in the bag.

The scorecards were academic as Han won by wide margins on all three cards. Joel Elizondo scored the fight 97-92 for Han, while Chris Flores scored the fight 98-92 for Han. Judge Joel Garcia scored the fight 98-91 for Han, with all three judges giving Joseph third round and two judges giving her the second round. With the win Jennifer Han improves to 13-3-1, 1 KO while Helen Joseph drops to 12-3-1, 7 KOs.

“This was my best, toughest, most awesome fight I ever fought,” an ecstatic Han said at the post fight press conference. “I have no words for how happy I feel right now. This is the best feeling ever.”

Barthelemy-Shafikov Heads To November 14th Date

By Yuri Tarantin

Russian's Denis Shafikov (36-1-1, 13KOs) has a set date for his bout against Rances Barthelemy (23-0, 13KOs) of Cuba.

According to Ural Boxing Promotions, who co-promote Shafikov with Top Rank, they were advised that a date of November 14th was being finalized at a venue in Las Vegas.

Shafikov and Barthelemy will battle for the vacant IBF lightweight championship. The belt was vacated by Mickey Bey who refused to go forward with a bout against Shafikov.

Premier Boxing Champions is being discussed as the television platform for this match. The exact network has yet to be determined.

This will be Shafikov's second shot at a world title He previously challenged former champion Miguel Vasquez and lost a twelve round decision.

Barthelemy was competing in his last fight as a junior welterweight, where he dominated former champion Antonio DeMarco. Upon receiving news of a title shot opportunity, he announced that he would move down in weight to accept the fight.

Charlo challenges Bundrage for Title

Jermall Charlo of Missouri City will challenge Cornelius Bundrage for the IBF junior middleweight title at the Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. on Saturday. The bout, a classic youth-versus experience matchup, will be promoted by Dibella Entertainment and aired on NBC.

"All my life I've always wanted to be a world champion," Charlo said. "Every kid growing up who takes to boxing, their goal is to win a belt. I've been doing this since I was eight years old."

Since turning pro in 2008, Charlo's career has been riddled with starts, stops, surges and speed bumps.

He watched his identical twin Jermell steadily climb the rankings as his own career stagnated. But after signing with influential manager Al Haymon in 2012, Jermall's career began to take off.

Last March, with only 17 fights under his belt, he was given a title shot but the fight fell through after belt-holder Carlos Molina was arrested two days before the fight and subsequently deported to Mexico.

In August of 2014, it was is twin's turn to have a world title fight canceled at the last minute after his opponent Demetrius Andrade had a falling out with the promoter.

Jermall, in the meantime, had raised his record to 21-0, 16 KOs, positioning himself as the mandatory challenger to Bundrage (35-5, 19 KOs), who had dethroned Molina in Mexico.

"Canine (Bundrage's nickname) has to be ready for me," Charlo said. "I'm a different type of fighter and I'm a different style for him. I'm not necessarily worried about who he's fought or who I've fought to get to this point. That's all in the past. I'm only pushing forward.

"I'm not necessarily worried about my age or his age," Charlo added. "I'm just going in there to fight, persevere with force and see if the old man can take it."

A 20-year veteran of the ring, Bundrage, 42, placed third in season 2 of The Contender on ESPN in 2006 before winning the IBF belt on two separate occasions in 2012 and 2014.

The Detroit fighter is the perfect opponent for Charlo to rise to the occasion against, said trainer Ronnie Shields.

"At a certain point in your career, you'll want to fight a guy with a lot of experience," Shields said. "In order for you to get to that (world) stage you'll have to fight guys with experience, no ifs or buts about it. It's just the way boxing works. But just because you have experience it doesn't automatically mean you're going to win the fight. "

In preparation for Bundrage, Shields has had Charlo sparring against Erislandy Lara (21-2-2, 12 KOs), Edwin Rodriguez (27-1, 18 KOs), Steve Lovett (13-0, 11 KOs) and Don Moutan (14-9-1, 12 KOs). Shields was predictably guarded when asked about his game plan.

"Bundrage, sometimes he tries to put pressure on you, sometimes he tries to go on the outside and just plain box," Shields said. "The thing is, though, we're going to make him adjust to what we're doing, not us adjust to what he's doing. We're going to dictate whatever happens in the ring."

In his last outing, Charlo was extended the 10-round distance by Michael Finney (12-3-1, 10 KOs) in March.

Although it snapped a 14-fight knockout streak, Charlo said he was glad in retrospect that it unfurled that way rather than a knockout since it tested his stamina and endurance.

"It was a 10-rounder, the most I ever did," Charlo said. "I got to accomplish that and see I how I felt. I liked the work that I did for the 10 rounds and I got through it. I'm a strong fighter but I never look for the knockout."

He predicts dethroning Bundrage via 12-round decision on Saturday.

Should that happen, Charlo would bring an end to a seven-year dry spell of world titleholders in the Houston area. Houston boxers have gone 0-5-1 in world title fights since Juan Diaz lost his three lightweight belts in March of 2008.

"Everybody has a job to do when they get up in the morning and mine is to go and fight," Charlo said. "I've been giving it 100 percent. I'm ready for a world title shot and I've trained hard enough for it."

Sosa Celebrates IBF Ranking

Sosa celebrates IBF ranking, signs new contract with Peltz Boxing/Top Rank

Hard-hitting junior lightweight contender Jason Sosa, of Camden, NJ, has signed a new promotional agreement, this one with Peltz Boxing and Top Rank, Inc., as he prepares for his Oct. 2 fight with Jorge Pazos, of Guamuchil, Mexico, on Friday evening, Oct. 2, at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.

The 27-year-old Sosa also has moved into the No. 10 slot among junior lightweights (130 pounds), according to the International Boxing Federation (IBF).

“This is a big day for me,” said Sosa, who has knocked out his last 12 opponents. “This motivates me to do bigger and better things in my career as a professional boxer. I am more than happy and blessed to have signed a new agreement with Peltz Boxing and Top Rank. With that being said, I am very excited knowing I am ranked No.10 in the world.

A pro since 2009, Sosa is 17-1-3, 13 K0s, including the big one in his last fight, a first-round blowout of former world-title challenger Jerry Belmontes, of Corpus Christi, TX, on Aug. 15 in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

“I first did business with Bob Arum (Top Rank CEO) in 1974 when Bennie Briscoe fought Rodrigo Valdes in Monte Carlo,” said J Russell Peltz, president of Peltz Boxing, “and we always have worked well together. Top Rank is still at the top of their game and no one promotes Puerto Rican fighters better than they do. I’ve been working with Carl Moretti (Top Rank VP) on this deal for months.”

Top Rank has promoted Sosa’s last three fights—the K0s over Belmontes, Herbert Quartey, of Ghana, on April 25 in Guaynabo, PR, and over Santiago Bustos, of Spain, on June 13 in Madison Square Garden.

“With another year of development and continued exposure on our platforms, Jason and his explosive punching power will rise to the top of the already talent-rich junior lightweight and lightweight divisions,” said Moretti. “Signing him with our good friend Russell Peltz, who still today is one of the smartest boxing minds in the business, was a no-brainer. Welcome aboard, Jason; we look forward to promoting your career in the years to come.”

Sosa turned pro in 2009 after only three amateur fights—he lost two of them—and he has developed into a world-class fighter since teaming up with manager/trainer Raul “Chino” Rivas in 2012.

The Oct. 2 card, the first official one joining Top Rank with Peltz, is billed as the Puerto Rican Boxing Classic and the seven-bout program figures to attract a sold-out crowd.

From bantamweight Sixto Escobar, who became the first Puerto Rican world champion in 1935, to current title-holder Danny Garcia, of Philadelphia, Puerto Ricans have had a long and storied history in boxing.

Among area fighters looking to display their talents on the Oct. 2 card are local Puerto Rican fighters from Philadelphia and New Jersey. Many of them bring a loyal following to their fights.

In addition, invitations to attend and sign autographs will be sent to outstanding Puerto Rican fighters up and down the East Coast.

First fight is 7 pm.


Election Notice


Each year, on one of the business days of the Annual Convention, there is an election to fill three seats of those directors whose terms have expired on the IBF/USBA Board of Directors.   Article 3.3 of the Bylaws provides that “Only persons who are former United States State Commissioners, former Executive Directors of United States State Commissions, members of the Corporation for five consecutive years immediately preceding the election, or former members of the Executive Committee or board of directors of the Corporation or its predecessor corporation (the IBF/USBA) shall be eligible to be elected a director.” Under the Bylaws, the newly elected directors shall hold office until the third successive annual meeting after their election and until their successors shall have been elected and qualified.

Article 3.6 of the Bylaws describes the mechanism for nominations for election to the Board of Directors:

Nomination of Directors.--Nominations for election to the board may be made by or on behalf of the board by any member entitled to vote for the election of directors. Nominations, other than those made by or on behalf of the board, may not be made unless a written notice of the member's intent to make the nomination shall have been received by the secretary of the corporation not less than thirty days nor more than sixty days prior to the membership meeting at which the nomination will be made.If the corporation furnishes less than forty days notice of any meeting, however, the notification by the member must be received not later than ten days following the date on which the corporation provided the notice of the meeting, but in no event less than five days prior to the meeting.

3.6.1 The notification of intent to nominate shall contain the following information to the extent known to the notifying member:

(a) The name and address of each proposed nominee;

(b) The principal occupation of each proposed nominee;

(c) The name and residence address of the notifying member;

(d) The written consent of each nominee to serve as a director of the corporation if elected;

(e) A brief statement of the background and qualifications of each nominee that evidence their interest and competence in professional boxing; a

(f) The basis on which the nominee meets the qualifications required by paragraph 3.3 of these bylaws.

 3.6.2 No nomination of a candidate for director, except candidates nominated by or on behalf of the board, shall be valid unless the member who proposes to nominate a candidate has provided notification to the corporation within the time limits and containing the information specified above. The chairman of the meeting, for good cause shown, may waive one or more of the foregoing requirements. In the absence of such a waiver, however, no nomination by a member shall be valid and all votes cast for persons not duly nominated shall be disregarded.

 Article 2.12 provides the same time frame for a member to submit a proposed action to the membership for its approval or disapproval, that is, between March 20, 2015 and April 19, 2015. Therefore, any other action you would like to propose to the membership for approval or disapproval should also be sent to the IBF to arrive between these dates.

The Bylaws were approved at the annual meeting on May 29, 2002 and were distributed to the membership at that time. They can be reviewed on the IBF/USBA web site at

 We anticipate that the election to fill the seats presently held by Paul Artisst, David McCullough and Al Meier will be held on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. In the event the date for the election changes, you will be notified in advance.

 Thus, the written notices described above must be received at the IBF office, 899 Mountain Avenue, Suite 2C, Springfield, New Jersey 07081 no sooner than March 20, 2015 and no later than April 19, 2015.

32nd Annual Convention Registration


Members & Friends:

       We are looking forward to the IBF/USBA 32ndAnnual Convention in Montreal, Canada, as so many of you have expressed such enthusiasm to join us.  We, at the organization, are optimistic that this convention in Montreal will be a successful one.  Montreal is an exciting city with so much to do.  It is a city full of culture and history with something going on at all times.  Our sport is also very much a part of the fabric of this city and we are enthused by this opportunity to connect with the boxing community there.

    Our staff is planning great events for your enjoyment.  Additionally, a tour of the city has been added to the schedule for this year.  The 3.5 hour tour consists of an overview of Montreal and its historical sites, where you will discover all this city has to offer.  A knowledgeable tour guide will present you with one of the world’s largest French speaking cities with numerous museums restaurants, and shops. The tour will include stops at the city’s most interesting attractions where you will have some time to explore and take pictures.

    Our focus nevertheless, is to have successful seminars that you find informative, insightful and useful to your craft.  The Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) certification for judges and referees will be offered during this convention.  During our convention in Hawaii in 2012 we offered the ABC certification for judges and the opportunity was well received by our members.  The referees seminar will be presented by Mark Nelson, and the judges seminar will be presented by Duane Ford. 

    Each year during the convention we raffle prizes to raise funds for our SARB/Education fund which provides financial assistance for retired professional boxers with financial difficulties, and provides scholarships for the children and grandchildren of members.  For the last two years our fundraising efforts have been quite successful and we will follow the same format this year of selling the raffle tickets prior to the convention.  If you purchase the raffle tickets in advance you will have the opportunity to purchase 5 tickets for $20.  Each single entry costs $5.  The winners will be announced during the Awards Diner.  The raffle tickets will be distributed along with the other registration materials at the convention.  We hope we can count on your support.  If you or your company are interested in donating items for the SARB raffle it would be greatly appreciated. The prizes are as follows:

 Registration Fee for 1 person for Convention 2016

One hotel night at the site for Convention 2016

Money Hat ($100 Value)

Collections of Assorted IBF/USBA Logo Merchandise

2 Night stay at Le Centre Sheraton

2 night stay at Sheraton Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

and more.....

You can register and purchase ads for the journal online as well.  Follow this link:!/c/0/inview=category12254024&offset=0&sort=priceAsc

From there you can select if you want to register and purchase ads for the convention journal. 

Please feel free to contact the office with any questions or concerns.

We look forward to seeing you in Montreal!