Philadelphia’s Top Dozen Fighters!
By Ken Hissner (June 30, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
The city of Brotherly Love once a haven for world champions and more contenders then you can count only have a dozen fighters in about as many divisions in the WBO, WBA, IBF and WBC ratings as of the month of June!

Heading the list is their one world champion in Steve “USS” Cunningham, 23-2 (12), who regained his IBF cruiserweight title in June that he lost in 2008. There are few boxers in the world in the shape of Cunningham who signed with Sauerland Events of Germany recently. Considering he has wins over the three current champions in the other organizations including Marco Huck (WBO), Krzysztof Wlodarcyzk (WBC) and Guillermo Jones (WBA) he is considered the unification champ. Cunningham is a former National Golden Gloves champ.

Heading the list of the other eleven Philly boxers is a current resident of Delaware but he will always be known for being from Philly where he trains. I’m speaking of the former middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins, 51-5-1 (32), whose win over Roy Jones, Jr., in April put him in the number one spot of the WBO light heavyweights. The forty-five year old Hopkins would have to challenge Jurgen Brahmer of Germany for that title. He is trained by Naziim Richardson who also trains Cunningham.

The only Philly boxer who is in every organization’s rankings is unbeaten Mike “MJ” Jones, 21-0 (17), who will headline on Sho-Box July ninth in Atlantic City. Jones is number two in both the WBA and WBO while holding the number seven spot in the IBF and WBO ratings. Jones should be within a year of fighting for a world title. He holds the NABA and WBO NABO titles. He is trained by Vaughn Jackson.

Heavyweight “Fast” Eddie Chambers, 35-2 (17) originally from Pittsburgh made his Blue Horizon debut in 2002 and is unbeaten in eighteen fights there. He lost an IBF eliminator in 2008 and finally got his chance at a world title in March losing in the final round to IBF and WBO champion Wladimir Klitchko. Chambers is rated number five in the IBF and number fifteen in the WBO. He is trained by his father.

Talking about July ninth, “Hammerin” Hank Lundy, 18-0-1 (10), will be the feature bout on ESPN2 that night defending his WBO NABO title against John Molina. He is ranked number seven in the WBO and twenty seventh in the WBC’s rating. Since Molina is number twenty-two in the WBC. Lundy and Mike “MJ” Jones are the two hottest boxers in the city at this time. He is trained by Sloan Harrison.

Derek “Pooh” Ennis, 21-2-1 (13), is the USBA light middleweight champion. He is ranked twelfth in the IBF. Two of his last three fights have been wars at the Blue Horizon though he is known as a boxer. On July thirtieth he defends his USBA title against Gabe “King” Rosado at the Arena in South Philly which will be the first major fight pitting Philly boxers against each other in years.

Lajuan Simon, 23-2-2 (12), is another USBA champion but in the middleweight division. He is ranked number eight in the IBF and twelfth in the WBO. He challenged then IBF champion Arthur Abraham in 2009 and lost a very close fight. He just won a USBA non-title fight last week-end.

Teon Kennedy, 15-0 (6), is Philly’s third USBA champion. He defended his super bantamweight title in May. He is a former National Golden Gloves champion. He is ranked twelfth in the IBF and twenty-ninth in the WBC. Simon and Kennedy are trained by Wade and Randy Hinnant.

Demitrius Hopkins, 29-1-1 (11), challenged for the WBO light welterweight title in December losing a split decision. Though he has moved up to the welterweight division winning the Interim WC USNBC title in his last bout he is still ranked number eight by the WBO. He is the nephew of Bernard and like Ennis is trained by Bozy Ennis. He is fighting on ESPN2 Friday.
Yusaf Mack, 28-3-2 (17), won the NABA title in 2008 and the NABF title in 2009. He has lost IBF eliminators in the super middleweight division in 2006 and light heavyweight in 2010. He is ranked twelfth in the IBF. He won the USBA super middleweight title in 2004.

Rogers “Tiger” Mtagwa, 26-14-2 (18), came to Philadelphia in 2000 from Tanzania. He challenged for the WBO super bantam title in September and the WBA featherweight title in January though only half a pound over the super bantamweight limit. He is number eleven in the IBF ratings. He will fight July seventeenth in Mexico. He is trained by former contender Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts.

Last but not least is Danny “Swift” Garcia, 17-0 (11), ranked number thirteen by the WBC. He made his Philly professional debut in December winning the WBC Youth Intercontinental title. He has already appeared on ESPN2 and Telfutura several times. He is trained by his father Angel, and seconded by his brother Eric.

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