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Bantams On Friday ShoBox



NEW YORK (Sept. 19, 2012) – Four promising, talented super bantamweights with a combined record of 62-1-1 will share the spotlight in important fights this Friday, Sept. 21, on ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME® (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif.

One of the three unbeatens on the telecast, Colombia’s world-ranked Jonathan Romero (21-0, 12 KOs) will seek his 22nd consecutive victory when he meets Efrain Esquivias Jr. (16-1, 9 KOs), of Gardena, Calif., for the No. 2 ranking in the IBF and the WBC Latino championship in the 10-round main event.

The opening bout of the telecast will match Roman Morales (12-0, 6 KOs), of San Ardo, Calif., and Jonathan Arellano (13-0-1, 3 KOs), of Ontario, Calif., in an eight-round match.

ShoBox expert analyst and boxing historian Steve Farhood weighed-in on the event:

“This is a classic ShoBox card with two good matchups featuring fighters in the same division,”. “The 122-pound division is very strong overall, and it is also a very strong division for young prospects. Let’s see where these guys fit in.

“Romero scored an upset win over Chris Avalos last December on ShoBox and will be looking to continue to build off that. Romero is a boxer-puncher so it’ll be interesting to see how he does against Esquivias, who’ll be in his face all night.

“Morales is back on ShoBox after an impressive debut in July. He was a good amateur and seems to be progressing as a pro, but he’s matched against a very good boxer who’s also undefeated.’’

Tickets for the Gary Shaw Productions event, priced at $35, $45, $55, $70 and $85, are on sale and can be purchased at Chumash Resort Casino Box office or online at

The 5-foot-9, 25-year-old Romero is making his third start in a row in the United States, and fourth overall. In 2008, he won the Colombian National Amateur Championship at 119 pounds and represented his country in the Olympics. He turned pro in May 2009.

In an action packed slugfest two outings ago, he rebounded from an opening-round knockdown to win a questionable 10-round split decision over former contender, Avalos, last Dec. 2 on ShoBox at Chumash. He got a narrow decision by the scores of 96-93, 95-94 and 94-95.

Romero earned a lopsided eight-round decision over Adolfo Landeros in his most recent effort, this past May 11, where he fractured his left thumb. This is the first fight back for a solid up-and comer ranked No. 5 in the IBF and WBO and No. 9 in the WBA.

Romero is expecting a rough go Friday. “I've seen Esquivias fight,’’ he said. “He's a tough guy who’s going to be right in front of you, putting pressure on you. That's what we're preparing for, and we're going to be ready for it. I'm going to have the same approach I had against Avalos. I'm going to box, not stand right in front of him. If we have to adjust, we'll adjust.”

Regarding the spelling of his first name, he said, “My name is spelled j-o-n-a-t-h-a-n.”

Esquivias, who is ranked 12th in the IBF, has also fought Landeros and Ramos. Like Romero, he won an eight-round decision over Landeros. But unlike Romero, he came up on the wrong end of a close decision to Ramos, losing a split 10-round nod in a spirited and competitive affair on June 23, 2012.

He’ll be looking to rebound in this one. “I'm aggressive but at the same time, smart,’’ the 5-foot-4, 29-year-old, five-year-pro said. “I’m a boxer-puncher. I can switch up. I can box, I can brawl. It depends on the opponent. I like to keep a hard pace, though, and entertain the fans. We know this is a tough fight, but this is a fight that can get me a world ranking and back in contention.’’

The ambidextrous Esquivias gets great sparring; he’s been in camps with WBC champs Abner Mares (Super Bantamweight) and Ponce De Leon (Featherweight), and former two-division world titleholder Jorge Linares.

After a mediocre amateur career, Esquivias went pro in September 2007. Although being at a height disadvantage in the division, he has stayed active and continues to make good progress despite the close loss to Ramos.

“I’ve had a little over 100 amateur fights,’’ Esquivias said. “I started off pretty bad and didn't have many wins. But I took every fight as a learning experience, and I fought the best. I knew I could do better. I never gave up, and I kept learning something new off every loss. I won the National Golden Gloves in 2006 and I went pro, and I said, ‘I'll never lose again.’

“As of right now, I'm fully focused on fighting full-time. I was going to college, but I couldn't concentrate after I lost my father. All I was thinking about was making a promise that I made to him come true: to be a world champ. That's all that was on my mind, to train and make it happen. So I dedicated myself full-time to boxing. I've got a lot of weight to carry, and I'm working hard to make this dream come true.”

The aggressive, switch-hitting Morales is making his second start on ShoBox at Chumash and seventh overall at Chumash since he went pro in February 2011. The good-looking youngster is fighting for the fifth time this year after fighting eight times in 2011.

Morales showed promise in his ShoBox debut, winning a crowd-pleasing, hard-fought but dominant eight-round decision over the Roger Mayweather-trained Alexis Santiago last July 20. Going eight rounds for the first time, Morales registered a knockdown in the third and combined a steady body attack with a big edge in power punching to outpoint Santiago by 80-71 on the three judges’ scorecards.

“I've been training really hard for this fight,’’ said the 5-foot-7, 23-year-old Morales, a former amateur standout and 2010 U.S. National Champion at 119 pounds who is coming off an eight-round unanimous decision victory over Jonathan Alcantara on Aug 24.

“I just had a fight about two weeks ago and took maybe three or four days off. I still train at the San Ardo Boxing Gym at home, but I also trained in San Carlos, Calif. I was there sparring with Nonito Donaire. There are a couple local fighters in the Fresno area but mostly I travel. I go to Oxnard and Maywood (both destinations, one way, are several hours away).’

Morales is familiar with Arellano. “I know he's kind of slick and moves around,’’ he said. “He's a boxer – hit and move. I plan is to push ahead and put the pressure on him. I like to use good power and speed and move a lot. I keep my hands up and move forward – nothing sloppy.”

Arellano is trained by Henry Ramirez with an assist from Danny Zamora. A stablemate of Josesito Lopez and Chris Arreola, he’s won nine in a row since a four-round draw in March 2010, and is coming off an eight-round unanimous decision over Jose Beranza last June 22.

“I've had a good eight weeks to prepare,’’ he said. “I took a couple of weeks off after my last fight and just relaxed. I took some time off for my birthday, so I was able to enjoy that. It was the first time I wasn't in training camp or preparing for a fight in a long time. I got back in the gym, and that's when I found out we were on SHOWTIME.”

Regarding his style and goals, the 5-foot-6, 25-year-old Arellano said, “I'm more of a boxer-puncher. I've definitely gotten much smarter, just through experience in the ring. I’m being more calm and collected instead of being ruthless and reckless. In boxing, everyone has a reason why they do the sport. Growing up as an amateur, it's fun. You have dreams and goals. But being a pro is a little different. I feel I'm fighting for completely different reasons now. I feel I'm not fighting just for myself. As much as those dreams and goals are still intact, now I'm fighting for my family. It's more serious.

“At times when I'm in the ring, I feel like I have a complete advantage, I feel I fight for different reasons. If I'm in the ring and the guy is fighting for the same reason I am – he has a family and kids — the fights become brutal. Those are the fights that are tougher. I'm going to go in there on Friday and give it all I've got.”

This will be the toughest test for a slick boxer-puncher with good movement who has fought just 25 amateur fights.

Barry Tompkins will call the action from ringside with Farhood as analyst. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.


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



 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.

IBF welterweight title

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Canada & Usa

George Foreman Youth Center in Houston Hosts Amateur Event



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



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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