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News On: Gradovich, ShoBox Bouts, Rousey



NEW YORK (February 21, 2013) – One of the best kept secrets in boxing, late replacement Evgeny Gradovich (15-0, 8 KOs), will be a live underdog on March 1 as he challenges International Boxing Federation (IBF) Featherweight Champion Billy “The Kid” Dib (35-1-0-1NC, 21 KOs), in the 12-round main event on ESPN Friday Night Fights, co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and 50 Cent’s SMS Promotions, airing live at 9 p.m. ET from the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.

In the 10-round ESPN Friday Night Fights co-feature, North American Boxing Federation (NABF) super welterweight champion Willie “The Great” Nelson (19-1-1, 11 KOs) makes his first title defense against Michael “El Magnifico” Medina (26-3-2, 19 KOs). The Nelson-Medina fight is being promoted in association with Rumble Time Promotions.

Australia-native Dib, who is promoted by hip-hop superstar 50 Cent, was originally supposed to fight Luis Franco who unexpectedly withdrew from the title fight. Gradovich immediately accepted the challenge without any reservations. “I train most of the time and I’m always in shape,” Gradovich said. “To fight for a world title in only my 16th pro fight is quick, but I have good experience and this is a great opportunity for me.”

Gradovich was discovered by rising Russian manager Egis Klimas, who first heard about his latest star from his most well known boxer, world light heavyweight title contender Sergei Kovalev. “Evgeny had more than 150 amateur fights and he was a member of the Russian National Team,” Klimas explained. “I went with Don Turner to scout him at the 2009 Russian National Championships. Evgeny lost but Don said that he was really good
and to sign him if I could. All of my Russian fighters are trained in North Carolina by Don (19 world champions) when they first come to America.

“I didn’t build up his record. I had him fight opponents with equal records. If Evgeny was 5-0, he fought a guy with a similar record and so forth as he developed. Gradovich is a punching machine. He’s going to pressure his opponent and throw a lot of punches, especially in good combinations. Being a late replacement won’t be a problem. He’ll have five weeks of training in Oxnard (CA) with Robert Garcia for this fight and he never blows up in weight between fights like other guys. We’re not going to Foxwoods to meet 50 Cent; we’re coming to take Dib’s world title belt back with us.”

Called the Mexican-Russian by other fighters in his gym because of their respect for tough style of fighting, Gradovich is living the American dream: promoted by Top Rank, managed by trusted fellow countryman Klimas, trained by Garcia, and fighting for the world title in only his 16th pro fight. “Yes, I am,” he agreed. “I like this country a lot. I wouldn’t be fighting for the world title now if I had stayed in Russia. Boxing is difficult in Russia but you can move forward in America. I have a good team here that helps motivate me. I’ve been working with Robert Garcia, who trains a lot of world-class athletes, for the past year and I think he’s the best trainer in boxing.”

Gradovich reports that Klimas, Kovalev and Turner will all be supporting him at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods on March 1.

Tickets priced at $200, $100, $75 and $40, may be purchased online at, by calling the Foxwoods’ box office at 800-200-2882, or in person at the Foxwoods’ box office.

NEW YORK (Feb. 21, 2013) — In anticipation of the highly anticipated doubleheader featuring Sharif “The Lion” Bogere and Gary Russell Jr. on Saturday, March 2, live on SHOWTIME® (10:00 p.m. ET/PT) fromThe Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., SHOWTIME Sports is offering a full-length replay from each of the world-class boxers’ recent fights on the premium network’s website.

The excellent, crowd-pleasing scrap between Bogere and Ray Beltran from May 13, 2011 which aired onShoBox: The New Generation replays in its entirety, offering fans a glimpse of what they can expect from the undefeated Ugandan contender. The unanimous decision victory for Bogere featured multiple momentum shifts and cut-inducing head-butts as the two battled for 10 hard-fought, bloody rounds.

An all-action fighter, the undefeated Bogere (23-0, 15 KO’s) will square off against Richar Abril (17-3-1, 8 KO’s) for the vacant WBA Lightweight World Championship in the March 2 main event.

The 24-year-old Bogere was a five-time African champion as an amateur and has continued his success as a pro with his aggressive style and impressive power. The 30-year-old Abril, a Cuban-born Miami resident, is looking to bounce back from a controversial split decision loss to Brandon Rios in a bout for the WBA Lightweight World Championship on April 14, 2012.

Featherweight Russell’s brutal one-punch knockout over Roberto Castaneda last November 9 on ShoBox: The Next Generation wound up near the top of many writers’ 2012 Knockout of the Year lists. The manner in which he impressively dispatched Castaneda served as a warning to viewers and potential opponents that the lightning-quick Russell also packed a dangerous punch to go with his blazing speed. The 2008 United States Olympian landed a picturesque right-hook to the chin of Castaneda at 1:25 of the third round — a vicious, explosive punch that instantly ended the fight.

One of boxing’s most talented contenders, Russell (21-0, 13 KO’s) will take a step-up in opposition againstVyacheslav Gusev (20-2, 5 KO’s) in the 10-round opening bout of the March 2 telecast. The 24-year-old southpaw of Capitol Heights, Md., knocked out three consecutive opponents to close out 2012 and is looking to kick 2013 with an impressive victory over the 26-year-old Russian who is a nine-year veteran.

Abril vs. Bogere, a 12-round fight for the vacant WBA Lightweight World Championship, will take place Saturday, March 2 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, sponsored by Corona and will be televised live on SHOWTIME telecast beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) with preliminary fights to air live on SHOWTIME EXTREME at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). The co-main event will be a 10-round featherweight bout between undefeated phenom Gary Russell Jr. and Russia’s Vyacheslav Gusev.

Tickets priced at $150, $100, $75, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges, along with a limited number of VIP suite seats priced at $125, are on sale at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, online at or by phone at (800) 745-3000. An exact on sale date will be announced as soon as determined.

NEW YORK (Feb. 21, 2013) — For the first time in a long time, UFC and Mixed Martial Arts superstar Ronda Rousey will not be attendance for a fight that features undefeated super featherweight boxer, Art Hovhannisyan, her stablemate and good friend who faces Alejandro Perez in the main event Friday, Feb. 22, on ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME® (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).

Rousey would like to be there, like always, but she has a fight of her own the next night against Liz Carmouche at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Her weigh-in is the same day as Hovhannisyan’s fight.

“If I wasn’t fighting on Saturday, I’d definitely be going to Art’s fight,’’ said Rousey, the first female fighter signed by the UFC who’ll be making her highly anticipated debut for the organization in the main event against Carmouche. “But Friday is a fighting day for me. It’s the day of the weigh-in.’’

Rousey and Hovhannisyan have known each other for several years. They belong to the same gym, Glendale Fighting Outfit, in Glendale, Calif., and are both coached by Edmond Tarverdyan. They spent a few weeks together recently preparing for their upcoming fights at a training camp in Big Bear, Calif.

“We have a great bunch of people at our gym,’’ Rousey said. “We all pull for each other. There is no hierarchy. Nobody’s jockeying for position. We’re just simply a team, and a family and we’re always there for the other one. Art usually trains with Edmond in the morning right before I do.’’

No, Rousey and Hovhannisyan have never seriously sparred. “I learn a lot just watching Art,’’ she said. “He’s such a big puncher; I just watch the way he sets down on his punches. Sometimes, he’ll try and work with me on my footwork. I don’t know what I’d do if we ever actually sparred, probably try for a takedown or something.’’

The incredibly popular Rousey is impressed with Hovhannisyan inside the ring and out. “Art is very respectful and a pleasure to be around,’’ she said. “He’s just the biggest sweetheart. You’d never guess he was a cold-blooded killer during a fight.’’

Hovhannisyan will be ringside for Rousey’s fight on Saturday. “Of course, after my fight I plan to go and support her,’’ he said. “We all support each other. We’re a team. I think she’s seen me fight three times, and I’ve seen her fight three or four times. I met her at the gym the first time she went there. You could say we’ve had light sparring, but mostly we’re just working on technique.’’

The Armenian-born Hovhannisyan gets to witness a side to Rousey that many accustomed to her brash attitude and trash-talking ways don’t often see.

“As a person, she’s a good friend of mine,’’ he said. “She may learn from me in the ring, but the things I learn from her are humanly characteristics. I see her drive and total dedication. To watch how far she’s come from when she was just an average judo fighter to what she’s now become, an MMA superstar and UFC World Bantamweight Champion is an absolute inspiration. As an athlete, she’s the best of the best, I can tell you that.

“My fight on Friday will start a big weekend for the Glendale Fight Club. We’re going to go 2-0.’’

In the middle of this is the trainer, Tarverdyan, who along with George Bastrmajyan has been instrumental in the lives and careers of all the fighters at Glendale Fight Club. They’ll be at both fighters’ weigh-ins and fights, making the approximately 75-mile, one-way trip between Cabazon and Anaheim a couple times.

“We’ll be at Art’s weigh-in on Thursday in Cabazon, than go to Ronda’s weigh-in on Friday in Anaheim,’’ Tarverdyan said. “After the weigh-in, we’ll go back to Art’s fight in Cabazon, but then we’re going to Glendale for an engagement party before heading to Ronda’s fight on Saturday.’’

That’s a lot of drive time but Tarverdyan, whose passion for combat sports cannot be understated, has made this kind of trek to back-to-back events in the past.

“It’s exciting,’’ he said. “Actually, we were supposed to have two fighters on each card, but their fights fell out, or we’d be dealing with double duty on both nights. We’ll be in the car for something like two-and-a-half hours in Friday traffic, but we’ve been doing this for 12 years so we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again. There’s no pressure. I’m confident both Ronda and Art are the superior fighters and will win.’’

Tarverdyan, 31, is a fighter himself. He was 27-2 in Muay Thai and retired as the WBC International Champion. He’s 2-0 in MMA with his next fight scheduled for April 13 at Hollywood Park Casino in Inglewood, Calif.

“I’m fortunate to be doing what I truly love; it’s also all about trying to be a successful coach,’’ he said. “We’ve had our share of hard times and disappointment, but we’ve had success, too. I love working with the fighters, and trying to keep them motivated. Even just holding the mitts or talking with the fighters is exciting for me.’’

Coaching dedicated athletes like Rousey and Hovhannisyan makes it even more special, he says.

“Ronda is so fun to work with,’’ Tarverdyan said. “She’s cool with whatever you say. I’ve seen a lot of difference in her, the way she’s changed in her training the last couple years. When she first came here, she just mostly sparred. Now, she does everything in a most professional manner and we bring in top people to work with her. Of course, she gets mobbed wherever she goes. But her focus in the gym has always remained totally focused. I actually think her boxing at this point is better than Cris Cyborg’s.

“Art’s been with us since his third pro fight. We’re like brothers. If he has a problem outside the ring, he can call me or George. It’s been a hard road for Art because of injuries and fights falling out, but he’s really easy to work with and never complains. He’s basically very quiet outside the ring, but he hits like a truck and is a real crowd-pleaser inside. I think Art will stop Perez inside 10 rounds, probably in the fifth or sixth.’’


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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