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  1. There is a lot of turmoil in Gonzalez's country of Nicaragua. And the local hero has become a villain to some fans back home, because of his support for the Nicaraguan President. Fuentes plans to show his support for the people of Nicaragua by carrying the country's flag to the ring on fight night. "I have heard that that there is no money and no employment, that there is tyranny in Nicaragua, in the same manner that it was present in Mexico at a certain moment. It was difficult here, that is why I understand the people of Nicaragua. I know there are killings. How hard it must be for a country with six million inhabitants and so many have disappeared. I hope to God to win the fight and dedicate the triumph to the people of Nicaragua," Fuentes said. "I know they are having a hard time, that the government is hard. I understand the situation that they are now living in, that's why I'm with Nicaragua. Roman comes from the bottom, he knows what the shortcomings are and despite that he does not support the people of Nicaragua, but instead he's in favor of the President and the (para) military that is mistreating the people. I think Roman is a Christian and I think God is going to charge him the bill. "God gives you a talent, offers opportunities and accommodates fights, but when you do wrong God scolds you, because he knows how to reprimand. I think Roman has done wrong with turning away from his people and instead being in favor of the Government for their personal benefits. I accumulated 600 messages in the last two days. People [from Nicaragua] are writing to me: 'Moses we are with you,' 'Moses do not leave us alone, put the flag of Nicaragua up high.'
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  2. British Boxing Champion, retired and serves as a Jehovah's Witness.
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  3. A FORMER professional boxer was seen acting strangely moments before darting into the path of an oncoming lorry, an inquest heard. Dennis Harbon, 68, suffered head and chest injuries and died at the scene on the A58 Whitehall Road at Scholes on March 1 this year. Married Mr Harbon, a retired window cleaner who lived at Mayfield Place in Wyke, had a history of battling depression and his medication had recently been changed, the hearing was told. Witnesses described seeing him at the side of the road suddenly running and flailing his arms before jumping in front of the lorry. The inquest in Bradford yesterday heard the lorry driver swerved and braked but was left powerless to avoid hitting Mr Harbon. Shocked bystanders tried to help him, with one praying for him, until emergency services arrived. Mr Harbon, a Jehovah’s Witness, had been due to go to a bible teaching session that morning but had cancelled. His wife Amanda Harbon told Assistant Bradford Coroner Kirsty Gomersal her husband had been having good and bad days in the run up to his death but she had not thought it was bad enough for him to take his own life. Mr Harbon left three notes of apology at his home which led investigating officers to treat his death as a deliberate act, PC Luke Mitchell told the hearing. Summing up, Assistant Coroner Ms Gomersal said “much-loved” Mr Harbon had deliberately jumped in front of the lorry and concluded that his death was suicide. Mr Harbon boxed professionally from 1973 to 1975 at welterweight and light middle weight taking part in 14 bouts.
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  4. THE first thing that strikes you is the fuller face and features. Bradford’s former British lightweight boxing champion is no longer, ahem, light. But 12 years after stepping out of the ring, Bobby Vanzie has that glint in his eye again. Now 42, he has signed a 12-month contract with UBBAD bare-knuckle boxing. “It’s not Brad Pitt and Fight Club,” he smiled. “We’re not fighting in headlights in car parks, this is all above board and properly sanctioned.” From 1999 to 2003, Vanzie owned the Lonsdale belt at 9st 9lb. He currently tips the scales at just over 15 but that is already two stone down thanks to a regular walking regime near to his Saltaire home. He will shed more before his first scheduled fight in Coventry on January 28. Vanzie is tackling this new challenge full on. But then the Viper, as he was known for that slithering corkscrew punch, never did anything by halves. He walked out on boxing at 31, disillusioned with the politics and the violence which he argued went against his Jehovah’s Witness principles. But the fight bug never went away. “I’ve had this wrestling within me between boxing and the truth,” he said. “I fought it for six or seven years but it was too strong. “A lot of people could live a double life but not me. That’s why I extricated myself from the religion. “I fell into a bit of bother, like a lot of ex-fighters do, and I didn’t think I was being a great advertisement for the truth. “I still believe in my faith and in the Jehovah’s Witnesses but I couldn’t look in the mirror and say that I was living the life of a true Christian. “There wasn’t a closure on the boxing because I retired prematurely. I still had that yearning to fight.” Vanzie’s bitterness with the boxing establishment still resonates. He feels he was held back because his face did not fit. British champion in his 12th fight, he was denied the bigger pay-days he thought his talent warranted. While recalling the great nights against Steve Murray, Stephen Smith and Anthony Maynard, he can just as readily reel off those fights that never happened like Billy Schwer, Michael Ayres and Colin Dunn. “I shouted them out all the time in this paper but they didn’t want to know. It was like I was the chairman of the ‘who needs him’ club. “I was British champion for so long and I feel like they just wanted a new face.” Three times he prepared to fight Sandro Casamonica for the European title. Three times the Italian pulled out. “Eventually somebody else stepped in (Jason Cook) and got my shot and knocked the guy out. “All these things were contributing factors. I had so many voices in my head screaming for me to retire.” Things came to a head after losing his domestic belt to Graham Earl and a controversial rematch when a flash knockdown was never counted in the scoring. “Had it just gone on ability, I’ve no doubt I would have been a world champion. That’s all I wanted since I was eight. “I wanted to follow in Marvin Hagler’s footsteps and trained like a monster for every fight. I just believe I wasn’t given the opportunities I should have been and I lost a bit of love for the sport.” The past decade has not been easy for Vanzie. A short spell in prison was followed by a month in the psychiatric care unit at Lynfield Mount Hospital. He takes eight tablets a day to manage the bipolar disorder that was diagnosed in 2003. There were still requests to train other boxers but Vanzie was worried they would not match his own work ethic. Instead he went along to a couple of bare-knuckle contests with Frank Bruno. The emerging pro sport peaked his interest; so much so that he penned a contract to “dip his toes in the water”. Fights are condensed to three rounds of two-and-a-half minutes, increasing to five rounds for titles. But Vanzie will prepare as fiercely as he did in his prime. “I have a blank canvas now, the weight’s coming off and I can start to build the muscle and the speed. “I’m not going to be the whippet I used to be. But I won’t be changing my style. “By the time the fight comes, I’ll be as fit as a butcher’s dog.”
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  5. Roman Gonzalez wins the WBC junior bantamweight title in what he says was his toughest fight to date CHOCOLATITO WINS. Roman Gonzalez defeats Carlos Cuadras in what he admits was his toughest fight to date. Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images/AFP LOS ANGELES, USA - Unbeaten Roman Gonzalez won the World Boxing Council junior bantamweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated champion Carlos Cuadras on Saturday, September 10 (Sunday Manila time). The 29-year-old Gonzalez became the first fighter from Nicaragua to win world titles in 4 weight divisions, surpassing his hero and mentor Alexis Arguello. Gonzalez improved to 46-0 by holding on in the late rounds for the win in an entertaining showdown between the two unbeaten champions at The Forum arena in Los Angeles. "This was the most difficult fight I have had," said Gonzalez. "It was complicated and we both were in very good condition." Mexico's Cuadras proved to be a surprisingly difficult opponent for Gonzalez, who some consider to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Cuadras looked to be the fresher of the two in the 12th round as the boxers traded punches in the center of the ring right up to the final bell. Gonzalez, who moved up in weight class to fight for the title, won on all three judges' cards by scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113. "I have never fought at this weight before. But the important thing is we won the fight," he said. The 28-year-old Cuadras had defended his title seven times before losing for the first time in his pro career. His record fell to 35-1-1. Gonzalez can credit his victory to a superb start as he dominated the first half of the fight with a relentless forward attack accompanied by a variety of punches. But Cuadras proved to be a very difficult opponent, giving Gonzalez the most formidable test of his 11-year career. He landed straight jabs, combinations and took the heaviest punches that Gonzalez could dish out in the 12-round slugfest. Gonzalez's face showed the marks of the battle, especially around his swollen eyes. He said Cuadras hurt him with some head shots. "I caught some blows to the cheeks and I felt those," he said. "I am always thinking about my family, my children." Until Saturday, no Nicaraguan had ever won a world title in four weight classes and that includes the late legend Arguello. Arguello took Gonzalez under his wing and mentored him after his boxing career ended. He trained him as both an amateur and pro prior to his death in 2009. "I will never be better or above him. He will always be number one. I am just following his legacy," said Gonzalez. Arguello lost a pair of junior welterweight title fights to Aaron Pryor in 1982 and 1983 in a failed bid to capture his fourth world title. But seeing how he struggled somewhat Saturday in the heavier super flyweight division might leave some in his camp wondering if another jump in weight might prove to be too much for Gonzalez. – Rappler.com
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