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NBC Fight Night Boxers Predict Saturday Fights

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BETHLEHEM, PA – Just because the key players of next week's nationally televised NBC Sports Network Fight Night triple header inBethlehem, PA are locked away for their final preparations before their own fights, it doesn't mean they aren't looking forward to the two monster fights scheduled for this weekend – just like the rest of us.

For certain, all eyes will be on both the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Sergio Martinez and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Josesito Lopez world championship fights this Saturday night. So how does the crew on the Bethlehem card see these fights going down?

WHO WILL WIN THE JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ JR. vs. SERGIO MARTINEZ FIGHT?

Gabriel Rosado: CHAVEZ by KO
“I actually got Chavez winning that fight, probably stopping Martinez. I think Chavez is really coming along. 24/7 makes him out to be lazy, but I think they just do that for ratings. For him to be as big and strong and cut-up like he is, you don't get that being lazy. Chavez is a legit middleweight now and Martinez is probably slowing down a little bit. In his last couple fights he didn't really fight guys that were as strong as Chavez, and he didn't dominate those fights until the later rounds. So I think the pressure Chavez is going to apply and the body punches are probably going to break Martinez down.”

Charles Whittaker: MARTINEZ by DECISION
“It's going to be a very good fight. I like Martinez. He came up the hard-knocks way. He took his bumps along the path, and it took him a long time. He showed his desire and determination. He got there late in his career, and cannot be underestimated. In a lot of ways, Martinez is more a man now than Chavez. I think Chavez is a better fighter than he's gotten credit for, but I like Martinez because he has the better skills. He has the ability to move his feet and keep punching. He's very busy.”

Billy Briscoe (Trainer of Gabriel Rosado): CHAVEZ by KO
“I'm leaning toward Chavez. He's a big guy. His size and his body punching is going to break Martinez down. And if you look at Martinez, he's starting to look old. He's got crow's feet and everything else.”

Ronald Cruz: MARTINEZ by DECISION
“Chavez looks really strong, but he's a little wild. He's really not a technical fighter, he just a pressure fighter. He comes forward, sort of like his Dad did. But he looks strong and looks like he can put a lot of pressure on Martinez. But Martinez can maybe outbox him. I think in the later rounds the pressure will give Martinez some problems, even though I think Martinez will come up with the win, but not look very good toward the end of the fight. He'll win the decision, but barely.”

Antwone Smith: CHAVEZ by KO
“I think Chavez. I think if he catches Martinez early, he can take care of him. He's a big dude.”

Indio Rodriguez (Trainer of Ronald Cruz): CHAVEZ WILL WIN
“My personal opinion is that it can go both ways, but I think the way Chavez came in for his last fight (against Andy Lee), means he can beat Martinez. Martinez did not look good in his last fight. But Martinez proved that he can end a fight with one punch. But when you pressure him, he doesn't know what to do. So if Chavez can make him go backwards, Martinez will be in a little bit of trouble. “

Sergey Kovalev: MARTINEZ WILL WIN
“It's very hard to say. In boxing, anything can happen. But I favor Martinez because he has very strong boxing legs. We have a saying in Russia that goes, 'the legs feed the wolf'. If a wolf has strong legs, he eats well. It's the same thing in boxing. Martinez has the strong legs, so I'm going with Martinez.”

Lionell Thompson: MARTINEZ by KO
“I got Martinez winning hands down. Chavez is not really what people think he is. In my opinion, he's been babied, and pampered because of who his father is. Who has he fought? All you have to do is outbox him. Martinez is a very mentally strong fighter. He boxes, he doesn't get tired, and he throws punches in bunches. And that's the blueprint you need to beat Chavez. He can eat him up all night. I actually got Martinez stopping Chavez in the later rounds. He gets tired because he has a hard time making weight. If the right Martinez shows up, I got him stopping Chavez, or winning a 12-0 decision.”

TOTALS: 4-4 EVEN

WHO WILL WIN THE SAUL “CANELO” ALVAREZ vs. JOSESITO LOPEZ FIGHT?

Gabriel Rosado: ALVAREZ by DECISION
“I like Josesito Lopez. He's got a lot of heart. But I think the size is just too much. If he did it gradually it might be more natural. But this being his first time at 154, he's not going to be a strong guy. I think Canelo is just going to overpower him. Canelo should stop him, but Josesito has a lot of heart. So I can see him making it through.”

Charles Whittaker: ALVAREZ by KO
“You have to like Canelo. Now you can't underestimate a guy like Lopez because he's coming off a fight he wasn't supposed to win, but I like Canelo. I think it becomes a grind down fight and I like Canelo. I like Canelo all day.”

Billy Briscoe (Trainer of Gabriel Rosado): ALVAREZ by KO
“I think Canelo is just going to be too big for him. Josesito is really a 140 pounder. Later on in the fight, the size and the pressure of the bigger man will break him down. Maybe 10th, 11th round.”

Ronald Cruz: ALVAREZ by DECISION
“I don't see Lopez coming up two weight classes and beating a stronger fighter like that. Lopez has a lot of heart. So he'll probably finish the fight, but who know? Canelo is pretty strong, so he might stop him, but I think Lopez will make it to the end.”

Antwone Smith: ALVAREZ by KO
“I think Canelo should win easy, but Josesito will be in there for a little bit.”

Indio Rodriguez (Trainer of Ronald Cruz): ALVAREZ by KO
“Canelo Alvarez is going to kill Josesito Lopez. There's no doubt about it, because Joseito Lopez, that's not his weight. Josesito Lopez should have nothing to do with Canelo Alvarez. I don't like that match.”

Sergey Kovalev: NO PICK
“I really don't follow anybody else's career, and I'm not a big expert with a prediction.”

Lionell Thompson: LOPEZ by DECISION
“That's a toss-up. That's going to be a good fight. I can't wait to see that fight. They are both tough, and they both levy punches with murder on them. Lopez is coming off that Ortiz win, and Canelo has got a lot on his hands. But Canelo is tough. It comes down to who has the better conditioning. I'm going to go with Lopez.”

TOTALS: 6-1-1 for ALVAREZ

ABOUT SEPTEMBER 21

The Smith-Cruz, Kovalev-Thompson and Whittaker-Rosado fights top a seven-bout card at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. First fight is 7.15 pm (ET). Tickets priced at $80 and $55 can be purchased through the offices of Peltz Boxing (215-765-0922), all Ticketmaster outlets (800-745-3000) or at the box office at the Sands Event Center (610-297-7414). Tickets also can be purchased online at www.peltzboxing.com, www.SandsEventCenter.com and www.Ticketmaster.com. Luxury suite tickets at $130 apiece also are available. In Bethlehem, tickets are available at Deja Brew, Inc., 101 West 4th Street (610-865-2739) and at Pronto Insurance Notary, 232 East 3rd Street (610-419-6790).

NBC Sports Network will televise the Cruz-Smith, Kovalev-Thompson and Rosado-Whittaker fights, beginning at 9 pm (ET).

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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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Press Releases

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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