Takam guts out impressive victory over Forrest

By The Sports Pulse Staff

Photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

LAS VEGAS — Carlos Takam, at 39 years old, is still a heavyweight force.

Takam ended Week 5 inside the MGM Grand “Bubble” with a 10-round unanimous decision over Jerry Forrest by scores of 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94. A former world title challenger and 2004 Olympian, Takam notched his fourth consecutive win following back-to-back defeats at the hands of Anthony Joshua and Derek Chisora.

Forrest (26-4, 20 KOs) closed the fight strong as the aggressor and won three of the last four rounds on two of the judges’ scorecards. According to CompuBox, Takam landed 27 more power punches (84 to 57).

“My father passed away a week ago, so I came into the fight with a heavy heart. It may not have been a spectacular knockout, but most importantly, we got the win,” Takam said. “We took this fight on short notice, but the opportunity on ESPN was too big to pass up. We knew we could beat him regardless.

“I want anyone in the top five, or a title shot if that materializes.” 

— Carlos Castro (26-0, 11 KOs) defeated the most notable name of his career, knocking out former world title challenger Cesar Juarez (25-9-1, 19 KOs) after Juarez’s corner stopped the one-sided bout following the conclusion of the fourth round.

Juarez has now lost two fights in a row.

“I admire Cesar Juarez as a Mexican warrior and for everything he’s given the sport. I told him it was an honor to share the ring with him,” Castro said. “I want any title opportunity or an interim title shot. Whatever comes my way, I am ready. I am highly ranked and prepared for the next step.”

In a six-round battle of undefeated junior lightweight prospects, Joshafat Ortiz (8-0, 4 KOs) edged Joshua Orta (6-1, 2 KOs) by majority decision (57-57, 58-56 2x). Ortiz swept the first four rounds on two of the judges’ cards.

Nine days after losing his first professional fight, middleweight Donte Stubbs (7-1, 2 KOs) upset the previously unbeaten Fred Wilson Jr. (6-1-2, 2 KOs) by six-round unanimous decision (58-53 2x, 58-54). Stubbs scored knockdowns in the third and fifth rounds, and Wilson had a point deducted for holding in the fourth.

In a scheduled four-round welterweight fight that featured the rare double knockdown, Corey Champion (2-3, 2 KOs) knocked out Peter Cortez (2-2, 1 KO) in the opening round. Champion knocked down Cortez early in the round, then the double knockdown occurred. Champion roared back to stop Cortez in an instant undercard classic.

Pedraza defeats LesPierre in unanimous decision (Photos)

Pedraza in search of another title in third weight class

By The Sports Pulse Staff

Photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

LAS VEGAS  — Former two-weight world champion Jose Pedraza’s quest for a title in a third weight class is alive and well. Pedraza, from Cidra, Puerto Rico, toppled Mikkel LesPierre via unanimous decision (100-88 and 99-89 2x) Thursday night in a junior welterweight bout.

Pedraza and LesPierre were scheduled to fight June 18, but the bout was postponed after LesPierre’s manager tested positive for COVID-19. Pedraza returned to the MGM Grand “Bubble” in fine form, blunting his southpaw opponent’s offense.

Pedraza (27-3, 13 KOs) knocked down LesPierre (22-2-1, 10 KOs) in the fifth round and showed his class down the home stretch. Another knockdown the 10th was the exclamation point on a nearly flawless performance. For Pedraza, it was a much-needed win, as he was coming off a decision loss to Jose Zepeda last September on the Tyson Fury-Otto Wallin undercard.

“Mikkel was a tough opponent, but I stuck to my game plan. I wanted the knockout, but he stayed strong in there. I give him a lot of credit,” Pedraza said. “I would like to fight any of the world champions, but we have to see what happens next. I proved I belong with the top guys in the 140-pound division.”

— Revenge was officially served. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez (4-1, 3 KOs) dominated Adan Gonzales (5-3-2, 2 KOs) over six rounds in a featherweight rematch of their August 2019 bout, won by Gonzales via split decision. All three judges scored the bout 60-54, as Ramirez officially closed the chapter on his nightmarish professional debut.

“I wanted to put our first fight behind me, and I did that. Ever since our first fight, I wanted the rematch. I am glad this chapter of my career is behind me now,” Ramirez said. “A couple more rounds and I could’ve scored the knockout. But I’ll take the win and continue to work hard on my craft. I have the best trainer in Ismael Salas.”

— Toledo native and junior lightweight contender “Prince” Albert Bell (17-0, 5 KOs) outboxed Mark “Machete” Bernaldez over 10 rounds, claiming a unanimous decision by scores of 100-90 3x. 

— A straight right hand was all she wrote, as Dominican sensation Elvis Rodriguez (7-0-1, 7 KOs) knocked out Danny Murray (5-4) at 2:17 of the opening round of a junior welterweight bout.

— In a six-round heavyweight rumble featuring a pair of 280-plus-pound heavyweights, Kingsley Ibeh (5-1, 4 KOs) won his second “Bubble” bout in a week, edging Patrick Mailata (4-1, 2 KOs) by majority decision (57-57 and 58-56 2x). 

— In a 10-round featherweight slugfest, Jose Enrique Vivas (19-1, 10 KOs) defeated Carlos Jackson (16-1, 11 KOs) by unanimous decision. All three judges scored the bout 97-93, as Vivas swept the last three rounds on two of the judges’ cards to clinch the win.

Saucedo shines against Fredrickson in unanimous decision (Photos)

By The Sports Pulse Staff

Photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

LAS VEGAS  — The fighting pride of Oklahoma City put forth a clinic in Las Vegas. Junior welterweight contender Alex Saucedo, fighting for the second time since falling short in a world title bid, bested Sonny Fredrickson by unanimous decision Tuesday evening at the MGM Grand Conference Center — Grand Ballroom. 

The scores (100-90, 99-91 and 98-92) were lopsided in favor of Saucedo (30-1, 19 KOs), who used sustained pressure to pile up the points.

According to CompuBox, Saucedo outlanded Fredrickson, 318-172. 

Fredrickson (21-3, 14 KOs), from Toledo, Ohio, dropped his second fight in a row.

“We worked on a lot of things in the gym. It was important for me to get the rounds in, and Sonny was a tough opponent,” Saucedo said. “I am ready to take over the 140-pound division. Whatever opportunity comes my way, I will take advantage of it. Most importantly, I got rid of the ring rust and went 10 hard rounds.”

— Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas hit Salvador Briceno with everything, including the kitchen sink. After 10 rounds, Briceno was still standing, and Vargas earned a unanimous decision by scores of 100-90 2x and 99-91. Vargas (17-1, 9 KOs), a rising junior welterweight contender, extended his winning streak to 11. Briceno (17-6, 11 KOs) fell to 2-3 in his last five outings.

— Junior welterweight prospect John “El Terrible” Bauza (14-0, 5 KOs) returned from a nearly yearlong layoff, besting “Lethal” Larry Fryers (11-3, 4 KOs) by eight-round unanimous decision (80-72 2x and 79-73).

— Two weeks after a decision loss inside “The Bubble,” Detroit native Isiah Jones (9-2, 3 KOs) rebounded to defeat the previously undefeated Donte Stubbs (6-1, 2 KOs) via majority decision in a six-round middleweight bout. Jones, the first Bubble returnee, prevailed by scores of 57-57, 58-56 and 59-55.

Our favorite photos from the Spring Sports Season


Baseball: Photos by Mike Clark/The Sports Pulse

The Coronavirus pandemic has swept the nation and has taken away sports altogether for us to enjoy.

However, we wanted to showcase the work of our award-winning photographers. Each week we will have them select their Top 10 favorite photos from each sport throughout the spring sports season.

We will run these galleries until every sport that we cover is represented to get you closer to the action until life returns to normal.

Our favorite photos from the Spring Sports Season


Baseball: Photos by Michael Smith/The Sports Pulse

The Coronavirus pandemic has swept the nation and has taken away sports altogether for us to enjoy.

However, we wanted to showcase the work of our award-winning photographers. Each week we will have them select their Top 10 favorite photos from each sport throughout the spring sports season.

We will run these galleries until every sport that we cover is represented to get you closer to the action until life returns to normal.

Our favorite photos from the Spring Sports Season


Baseball: Photos by Cory Royster/The Sports Pulse

The Coronavirus pandemic has swept the nation and has taken away sports altogether for us to enjoy.

However, we wanted to showcase the work of our award-winning photographers. Each week we will have them select their Top 10 favorite photos from each sport throughout the spring sports season.

We will run these galleries until every sport that we cover is represented to get you closer to the action until life returns to normal.

Our favorite photos from the Spring Sports Season


Baseball: Photos by Phillip Peters/The Sports Pulse

The Coronavirus pandemic has swept the nation and has taken away sports altogether for us to enjoy.

However, we wanted to showcase the work of our award-winning photographers. Each week we will have them select their Top 10 favorite photos from each sport throughout the spring sports season.

We will run these galleries until every sport that we cover is represented to get you closer to the action until life returns to normal.

Our favorite photos from the Spring Sports Season

Baseball: Photos by Mike Clark/The Sports Pulse

The Coronavirus pandemic has swept the nation and has taken away sports altogether for us to enjoy.

However, we wanted to showcase the work of our award-winning photographers. Each week we will have them select their Top 10 favorite photos from each sport throughout the spring sports season.

We will run these galleries until every sport that we cover is represented to get you closer to the action until life returns to normal.

Former DuVal High School, Maryland playmaker drafted by Steelers

By The Sports Pulse Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. University of Maryland defensive back Antoine Brooks Jr. was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft today.

Brooks becomes the second Terrapin chosen in this year’s draft, following the earlier selection of running back Anthony McFarland Jr., who was also taken by the Steelers in the fourth round. Brooks was the 17th safety drafted, selected No. 198 overall.

Maryland has had multiple players drafted in three straight and five of the last six years. The Terps have also had a defensive back selected in three of the last five NFL Drafts as Darnell Savage Jr. was chosen in the first round last year and Sean Davis was taken in the second round of the 2016 draft. 

Brooks, who participated in the Reese’s Senior Bowl, was a Second Team All-Big Ten selection for the second straight year in 2019. The senior led the Big Ten and ranked ninth nationally with 69 solo tackles. He ranked third in the Big Ten among defensive backs with 87 total tackles. Brooks also tied for the team lead with five pass break-ups.

Brooks suffered a gruesome injury during his high school playing career at DuVal High School where he almost had to give up playing the game he loves.

Fortunately for everyone, he bounced back and can now say that he will play in the NFL. Here are some photos from his time at DuVal and the University of Maryland.

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