Boxing all over and the return of the ‘Vanilla Gorilla’


There’s plenty of boxing on this weekend, from the “L.A. Fight Club” at the Belasco Theater, the card on Telemundo and the “ShoBox” telecast that took place on Friday night to Saturday, which has various promotions that will be televised on HBO and FOX, along with other cards that will take place internationally.


But none of those aforementioned fights and the boxers involved were featured in the Washington Post like cruiserweight hopeful Sam “Vanilla Gorilla” Crossed, who has built a cult following in his local area and on Twitter. He faces James Jones on Saturday night at the Sphinx Club in Washington D.C.


Hey, not bad for a guy facing a fighter with a 4-10 (3) record.


Crossed is admittedly dipping his toe gingerly back into the water after being out since last fall with a damaged right hand.


“My power hand,” said Crossed, with a chuckle. “It happened in October, in my last fight.”


(Yeah, Sam still finds time to talk to us small guys like


After seeing two hand specialists, he was basically told to take five-to-six weeks off and an aspirin. Soon a bout in February was scheduled but the discomfort in his hand persisted. According to Crossed, “I hurt it every week, it turns out. I go get an MRI and it turns out that I had a broken bone in there the whole time that wasn’t diagnosed.”


So, with that, Crossed spent six weeks in a cast but avoided surgery. He has adjusted how he trains in the gym. For the time being, the traditional mitts/pads are out and punch paddles are his preferred apparatus on the floor. “It’s not as hard on my hands and that helps a lot. But we have to be careful but it feels good now,” said Crossed, 5-0 (3). “I just wish it didn’t take so long (to heal). I wish they would’ve diagnosed it then.”


During his time away from the ring, he regularly worked his shifts as a bartender at Madam’s Organ.


“Life had to go on but I still ran and stuff like that and I worked on my  jab a lot,” said Crossed, who fights from the orthodox stance. “I still exercised. I lifted weights on my legs. It’s not like I sat around.”


The only thing really lost was time.


“We’re going to get three or four more fights by the end of the year,” said Crossed, who finds it easy to get placed on various club shows because of his ability to move tickets. “If that doesn’t happen, it’s not the end of the world. We’re not going to rush it We’re going to take the right fights.”





As was mentioned earlier, there’s a plethora of boxing today. And for those so inclined, there is a small pay-per-view card that features the super middleweight bout between veteran Arthur Abraham and Chris Eubank Jr. The winner of this gets inclusion in the “World Boxing Super Series” 168-pound tourney. Here’s more information on the broadcast (which will also feature IBF featherweight titlist Lee Selby):


“Integrated Sports Media will distribute “Eubank Jr. vs. Abraham” live in the United States on cable and satellite pay-per-view via iNDemand, Vubiquity and DISH, for a suggested retail price of only $29.95. In Canada, the event will be available on television to fight fans that subscribe to premium pay television network Super Channel.”


This broadcast will begin at 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 p.m. PT.


– Then at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, Premier Boxing Champions on FOX returns from the Nassau Coliseum, featuring a main event between welterweights Robert Guerrero and Omar Figueroa Jr., which could actually be a fun fight in a demolition derby-type of way. However, “The Ghost” lost twice in 2016, once to journeyman David Emanuel Peralta, while Figueroa, a former WBC lightweight titlist, didn’t fight at all in 2016. His last appearance was in December of 2015 when he defeated the faded Antonio DeMarco.


The co-main is a light heavyweight feature between Seanie Monaghan and Marcus Browne.


Hey, at least it’s…FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! (Sorry, hadn’t done that in awhile and had to get it out of my system.)


Following this card on FOX, FS1 has a show featuring Jamal James versus JoJo Dan.


– At 9:50 p.m. ET/6:50 p.m. PT, HBO goes on the air with “Boxing After Dark” from the Forum in Inglewood, California. It’s a solid tripleheader and at least Golden Boy Promotions has done its best to promote this while most of the media focus has been centered on the press tour touting Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor.


But again, this should be a good night of action.


– Then, for you “Hardcore Harrys” (and that’s no knock on you guys. Hey, it’s because of you that I have this gig), there is another edition of “FightNight Live” from Phoenix, Arizona, promoted by Roy Jones Jr. Boxing and will feature John Vera and Rico Ramos. It will be presented on Facebook Live, at 10:27 p.m. ET/7:27 p.m. PT.


Here’s some more info about the broadcast (from a press release):


“Bringing fight fans even closer to the action, Roy Jones Jr. Boxing, Linacre Media and ULTRACAST will partner to stream the Saturday, July 15 FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Phoenix showdown not only live in H.D. on Facebook, but in ULTRACAST 360˚ and in ULTRACAST Virtual Reality as well.


“Supporters of the Sweet Science can take advantage of the multi-camera FIGHTNIGHT LIVE broadcast on Facebook – completely free wherever Facebook is available – and also check out all of the action in ULTRACAST 360˚ or ULTRACAST VR by downloading the ULTRACAST app and subscribing to the PPV feed for only $.99. Available for IOS and Android, fans simply need to download the ULTRACAST app in the App store or by visiting”





Here’s this week’s edition of “The Next Round,” hosted by Gabe Montoya and Yours Truly.





On the latest episode of “The 3 Knockdown Rule,” Mario Lopez and I preview the upcoming HBO card and look ahead to the newest season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”





On August 19, on ESPN, WBC/WBO champion Terence Crawford will attempt to unify the junior welterweight division against IBF/WBA titlist Julian Indongo from the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska. For those interested in attending, tickets go on sale this afternoon. (Here’s some info from a press release.):


“Priced at $128, $78, $53, and $28, tickets can be purchased online via, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at the Pinnacle Bank Arena main ticket office, located in the south lobby, Monday -Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CT. Doors will open at 5:00 p.m. CT.”





2016 U.S. Olympian Mikaela Mayer has signed a promotional deal with Top Rank and will make her pro debut, August 5 on the Vasyl Lomachenko-Miguel Marriaga undercard at the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live…Freddie Roach says he’s been paid for the Manny Pacquiao bout, so all’s good…Lonzo Ball is Mr. July…College football media days are here. Yes, the season is near…I can be reached at and I tweet (a lot) at I also share photos of stuff at and can also be found at





Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,