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Stakes Are High In Lundy-Beltran Battle

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (July 9, 2012) – Though he’s closer to the top than he’s ever been in his professional career, “Hammerin’” Hank Lundy’s journey is far from over.

Ranked No. 1 in the World Boxing Council (WBC) among lightweights, the Philadelphia native is on the doorstep of fighting for a major world title in 2012, but Lundy (22-1-1, 11 KOs) must first take care of business in front of a national television audience – again – on Friday, July 27th, 2012 at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City.

The reigning North American Boxing Federation (NABF) lightweight champion will defend his title for the third time against Mexican veteran Raymundo Beltran (25-6, 17 KOs) of Phoenix, Ariz., in the main event of “Title Wave,” presented by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports live on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, which will air live beginning at 10 p.m. (EST) on ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes.

“Even after I win a world title, my job still won’t be done,” Lundy said. “My work in the boxing game will never be done.”

The 10-round showdown between Lundy and Beltran will be one of two nationally-televised bouts; the other is a 10-round co-feature between hard-hitting super middleweights Richard Pierson (11-2, 8 KOs) of nearby Paterson, N.J., and rising star Farah Ennis (19-1, 12 KOs) of Philadelphia, who has scored knockouts in six of his last seven wins dating back to February of 2010.

Expect sparks to fly July 27th as the four fighters featured in televised bouts enter the night with 48 combined knockouts, a belated Independence Day treat for ESPN2’s worldwide audience, which has watched Lundy grow from a budding prospect to a championship contender within the past two years.

“I’ve got a lot of love for ESPN,” said Lundy, who’s appeared on the network six times since 2010 and seven times overall in his professional career. “After this fight they should rename it the ‘Hammerin’’ Hank network!”

With a win over Beltran, Lundy could have every network executive knocking on his door. The NABF titlist is still eyeing a shot at WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco, but since DeMarco is already scheduled to defend his belt in September against John Molina – the only fighter to beat Lundy – Lundy is instead putting his No. 1 ranking on the line against Beltran, sending a stern message to the champions who’ve yet to answer the bell.

“Once again, I’m going to show everybody that I don’t run or duck from anybody,” Lundy said. “The guy I’m fighting is solid. He’s coming to fight and he’s coming to win. He’s got a family to feed just like I have a family to feed.

“The difference between me and these other guys is a lot of other guys say it, but I’m a true throwback because I’ll fight anybody. I’m No. 1 right now, but you could sit on that lead and fall asleep, and then when you get your shot at a world title, you might not be ready. I want to stay busy and keep working.”

Beltran will certainly test Lundy’s endurance – and chin. The 30-year-old Sinaloa, Mexico native has stopped his opponent in each of his last nine wins, a streak that began in 2005 with a first-round knockout against Jaime Orrantia.

Even in defeat, Beltran is a handful; in his last two losses – both against previously-unbeaten opponents – Beltran went all 10 rounds, coming within two points on two of the three scorecards in a loss to Sharife Bogere in May of 2011 and in January losing by no more than four points on any of the scorecards in a unanimous-decision loss to undefeated Luis Ramos Jr.

This could be Beltran’s big break; having toiled in relative anonymity for years, he’s more known in some circles for being one of Manny Pacquiao’s sparring partners than he is for his own success inside the ring.

“I want to make a name myself,” Beltran said. “If I win, everything will change.”

The same goes for Lundy, who once again finds himself mixing it up with a dangerous puncher looking for his own signature win, similar to what he faced in March when he stepped to the plate against Dannie Williams, at the time a relatively unknown fighter who sent Lundy to the canvas in the opening round before the champion dominated the remainder of the bout en route to a unanimous-decision win.

“I saw his fight against Bogere,” Lundy said of Beltran. “He comes forward – nonstop pressure, but he’s a little slow. A guy like that, I can definitely handle, but I know he’s going to give it all he’s got. I’m ready for the challenge.”

While he prepares for Beltran, Lundy continues to keep his eye on the rest of the competition in the lightweight division, and the irony of DeMarco facing Molina in September certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed in Lundy’s camp. Lundy faced Molina in July of 2009 and led decisively on all three scorecards before Molina stopped him in the 11th round, capturing Lundy’s North American Boxing Organization (NABO) title.

“They feel as though since John beat me they’ll fight him to get ready for ‘Hammerin’’ Hank,” Lundy said, “but like I tell everybody, John was taking a beating in that fight. That’s why he’s scared to fight me. John is old news. They know he’s done.

“Everybody talks about Molina in a rematch with me. I’d love to avenge that loss, but, at the end of the day, he wouldn’t get back in the ring with me.”

Molina wouldn’t have a choice if he were to pull off the upset against DeMarco in September and Lundy were still the No. 1 contender for the WBC title, which would more than likely set up a rematch for the world title, but, as Lundy said, “[DeMarco] knows John is shot, so that ain’t going to happen.”

Instead, Lundy is focusing on the task at hand, which is defending his title against another hungry opponent looking to bump him off the path to greatness.

“I know what I’m fighting for,” Lundy said. “I’ve got this fire burning inside me. I’m going to be great. I’m destined to be great. No one is going to put that fire out.”

“I’m ready to win this fight,” Beltran added. “The key is not to fight his fight and do my own thing – make him follow my lead. To me, he’s a future world champion, and once I beat him I know I’ll one day be a world champion, too.”

Tickets for “Title Wave” are on sale now at $40, $65, $75 and $125 and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at www.cesboxing.com and www.ticketmaster.com, or at the Resorts Casino Hotel Box Office.

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Three Punch Combo: What’s in the Cards for Spence, Kell Brook, and Cotto?

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 THREE PUNCH COMBO: Errol Spence Jr. scored an impressive knockout victory against Kell Brook on Saturday to take Brook’s IBF welterweight title. Both fighters now face interesting possibilities as they move forward in their respective careers.

Spence, who entered the fight with a lot of questions, not only showcased his tremendous skills but proved he has a very good chin as well as the willingness to dig deep when needed. He is without a doubt a future superstar in this sport. With momentum strong right now, he would be wise to be as active as possible even if not landing one of the big names his next time out.

I sense that Spence’s advisor, Al Haymon, will in fact get him back in the ring this summer. One name I would speculate as an opponent is Adrian Granados. Coming off a debatable loss to Adrien Broner, Granados has earned another shot at a top fighter. Granados is not a big puncher, but will put forth a good effort. The translation here is that he is someone that can be sold to the public as an opponent for Spence while bigger names are lined up, and also someone against whom Spence can in all likelihood look impressive once again.

After a summer tilt, I would expect to see Spence back in action towards the end of the year in a more substantial fight. Keith Thurman will still be on the mend at this point, recovering from elbow surgery, so that fight is out until next year. But Haymon has plenty of other welterweights and one that I suspect he steers toward Spence will be Lamont Peterson. Peterson is a name and has a belt. He also has a stated desire to want one of the big names next along with the payday that it would command. With Thurman out, this would seem the likely immediate path for Spence as such a fight would draw plenty of attention and be easy to sell.

As for Brook, he is going to need an extensive rest before restarting his career. He suffered a beating as well as an eye injury in September against Gennady Golovkin and then suffered another beating as well as injuring his other eye against Spence. After a rest, expect to see a tune- up bout followed by a massive fight in the UK against Amir Khan. The Khan fight has always been big and one of the reasons it has not been made is that it could frankly be made anytime with it still being a very significant event. Considering where both fighters are presently in their respective careers, the timing seems right for it to happen sooner rather than later. They both get a big payday and the winner gets well positioned for another big payday in what is a loaded territory at welterweight and junior middleweight.

Errol Spence Jr. and Kell Brook gave us a great fight on Saturday. While their career paths will head in different directions, expect to see both involved in big events once again down the road.

 Miguel Cotto’s Future

 Miguel Cotto announced this week that he would be returning to the ring on August 26th to face Japanese brawler Yoshihiro Kamegai for the vacant WBO junior middleweight championship. Cotto, who split from his promoter Roc Nation last week, will work with Golden Boy Promotions for this fight which will be televised by HBO.

This is an interesting development in the career of Cotto. Reportedly HBO had not been interested in televising the proposed Kamegai fight unless it received assurances from Cotto that it would lead to a bigger fight to be televised by the network. Also, Golden Boy’s involvement in the promotion signals that they could be involved in Cotto’s future. Obviously, this would mean the opponent for a big fight for Cotto would come from under the Golden Boy banner.

The obvious choice for Cotto’s big fight opponent is David Lemieux. Lemieux has been chasing a fight with Canelo Alvarez. However, with Alvarez deciding to go after Gennady Golovkin, Lemieux gets left on the outside looking in. In need of a big fight for Lemieux, Golden Boy saw an opportunity with Cotto having been previously negotiating the Kamegai fight with Roc Nation. A fight between Cotto and Lemieux makes sense for both as Cotto wants a name who isn’t a slick boxer and Lemieux wants a big fight with the payday it commands as well as the opportunity to put a signature win on his resume to bolster his future ambitions.

But I also think Golden Boy has another potential plan for Cotto. Golden Boy’s main cash cow, Canelo Alvarez, is in a high risk, high reward fight with Golovkin in September. There is no rematch clause if Alvarez wins and, of course, a win by Alvarez cements him as a mega star in the sport. He will be eyeing a return in May 2018 during Cinco de Mayo weekend. With momentum behind him, Alvarez would be wise to seek a name opponent to further boost the event. A rematch with Cotto would not only do huge business but keep the momentum going. For Cotto, it would be a chance to avenge the loss from 2015 to Alvarez and give him one massive payday as his career nears a conclusion.

Miguel Cotto is determined to close his career out with something big and it appears likely he will get his wish.

Kudos to Golden Boy

 When Golden Boy announced its new series on ESPN this winter, I was cautiously optimistic in the fights they would produce. I must say that the matchmaking thus far on this series has been superb and is getting even better with some recently announced cards. These are the types of televised shows the sport needs to generate some badly needed positive buzz.

On June 17th, Pablo Cesar Cano takes on Fidel Maldonado in a junior welterweight contest. This fight is not only very evenly matched but can’t be anything except a slugfest given the styles of the two fighters. Cano is a high pressure fighter who is willing to exchange to get his own punches home. Maldonado has the ability to box, but often gets drawn willingly into wars. In 2015, he had a back and forth shootout with Amir Iman in a fight that got some talk in fight of the year chatter. As a matter of fact, round three was probably round of the year that year. Maldonado has a tendency to fire back when he gets hit and with Cano’s style Maldonado is going to get hit a lot. This one is guaranteed action and a perfect fight for television.

About two weeks later, Golden Boy returns with another ESPN card featuring a high stakes junior featherweight contest between Randy Caballero and Oscar Negrete. Caballero is an undefeated former bantamweight belt holder and is a very skilled boxer puncher. Negrete, also undefeated, has shown much improvement inside the ring in his last few contests. The styles of these two should mix well to provide an entertaining fight. It is also evenly matched, and with so much at stake we should see the best of both men inside the ring.

One point I harp on a lot is the importance of good matchmaking, especially in televised fights. Golden Boy is doing an excellent job so far with their new ESPN series providing high quality, well-matched fights. The boxing public is taking notice and Golden Boy deserves much praise in delivering excellent events for the fans.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.

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George Foreman Youth Center in Houston Hosts Amateur Event

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George Foreman Youth Center

George Foreman Youth Center –  -Starting with the ring of the bell on October 22nd, local area boxers will be fighting for a spot to represent the Gulf Coast Region at the USA Boxing National Championships & in International Travel.

Weight categories will include: Pee Wee 8-9, Bantam 10-11, Intermediate 12-13, Juniors 14-15, Youth 15-16, & Elite 18-40 in both Open and Novice divisions. Winners will represent the Gulf area at the 2016 USA Boxing Elite, Youth and Junior National Championships to be held in Kansas City Missouri December 4-10, 2016. This tournament is a sanctioned event through USA Boxing the National Governing Body of Amateur Boxing and is a feeder to National and Olympic recognition.

The George Foreman Youth and Community Center was founded 32 years ago in 1984 by Olympic Gold Medalist and 2-time heavy weight champion George Foreman. The GFYCC is dedicated to providing a safe and secure location for youth to participate in sports and after school activities.

“This year for the first time in Houston boxing history, we are developing an elite international youth boxing team,” said George Foreman, IV. “The team will be selected for the sole purpose of training and traveling to other countries to gain experience on an international platform and promote cultural diplomacy! Utilizing grant and donor funding this team will be representing the George Foreman Youth and Community Center and will be announced Saturday October 22, at the Gulf Region’s Boxing Championship. The team will be reviewed by my father, 1968 Olympic Gold Medalist and 2-Time Heavyweight Champion, George Foreman Sr. The first international trip for this new Houston team is scheduled for Jan. 2017.”

Doors open for the Gulf Gloves Championships on Saturday October 22nd at 11:00 am with announcements and the presentation of the colors by the United States Army Houston Recruiting Command Baytown Beaumont Company at 12:45 pm. The national anthem will be performed by the internationally acclaimed Houston Brass Quintet! Boxing will begin at 1:00 pm. Championship finals will begin at 1:00 pm on Sunday October 23rd.

Media open workouts for Houston amateur standout boxers will be held Wednesday October 19th at the George Foreman Youth and Community Center at 2202 Lone Oak Road Houston, Texas 77093 at 4:00 pm.

Confirmed attendees for interviews will be:

George Edward Foreman IV: Son of 2 Time Heavy Weight Champion, President of Foreman Public Relations

Marlen Esparza: 2012 Olympic Games Bronze Medalist, 2014 Amateur World Champion, 2006 & 2016 Amateur World Championships Bronze Medalist, Nine-Time USA Boxing National Champion.

Rocky Juarez: 2000 Olympic Games Silver Medalist, 1999 Amateur World Champion, WBC Silver Featherweight World Champion.

Raul Marquez: 1988 Amateur World Championships Bronze Medalist, 1992 Olympic Games Quarter-finalist, IBF Light Middleweight World Champion.

Frank Tate: 1984 Olympic Games Gold Medalist, IBF Middleweight World Champion, NABF Light Heavyweight Champion.

Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz: WBA Lightweight World Champion, WBO Lightweight World Champion, WBA Super-Lightweight World Champion, IBF Lightweight World Champion.

“Sweet” Reggie Johnson: WBA Middleweight World Champion, IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion.

In addition to many Houston area professional boxers and Gulf Boxing Association alumni. Event is sanctioned by USA Boxing – Gulf LBC: 16-25-14268

George Foreman Youth Center / Check out more boxing news and videos at The Boxing Channel.

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Michelle Corrales-Lewis Named New CEO of NV Boxing Hall of Fame

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Michelle Corrales-Lewis

LAS VEGAS, NV (October 5, 2016) – The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame (NVBHOF) a non-profit charitable organization which donates to boxing-related causes, is happy to announce Michelle Corrales-Lewis as its new CEO/President. Respected boxing announcer, Rich Marotta, who founded the NVBHOF in 2012, steps down after devoting years of his life to get the organization off the ground.

With a number of boxing greats already inducted, which include world champion fighters, judges, coaches and promoters, the NVBHOF has rapidly established itself as prestigious group not only here in Las Vegas, but around the world. The NVBHOF has multiple fundraising events throughout the year, helping local boxing organizations fulfill their goals to keep boxing alive within the community.

“I took this organization as far as I could and I’m very comfortable where it is at today,” said Rich Marotta. “Michelle is on the scene in Las Vegas, has a myriad of contacts, both in business and with the boxing community, especially the fighters, and is more than ready to completely run the company. She is incredibly capable and has been an indefatigable agent for growth of the NVBHOF the past three years, taking on additional responsibilities each and every year. It brings me great pleasure to announce her as the new CEO of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame.”

After serving as the NVBHOF Chief Operating Officer for many years, Michelle Corrales-Lewis, is thrilled at her new position within the organization.

“It’s an honor to be chosen as the new CEO of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame,” said Michelle Corrales-Lewis, widow of former multiple world champion and 2013 NVBHOF inductee, Diego Corrales. “Rich Marotta did a fantastic job building the organization from ground up. His immense work ethic is a great example of how I plan to continue the vision he set forth. My goal is to find a home for the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, one where fans from all around the world can visit on regular basis. The boxing community is filled with wonderful people that we will honor as inductees each year. I’m truly grateful for the wonderful opportunity that has been presented to me by my dear friend Rich Marotta.”

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