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NEWS ON: Maysonet Jr., Rubio-Upshaw, Dovolani

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March 19, 2013 – It has been officially announced that undefeated Puerto Rican knockout specialist Jorge Maysonet Jr. (11-0, 10 KOs) will take on 26 year old southpaw Gabriel Tolmajyan (13-2-1, 3KOs) in the televised co-feature of ESPN's Friday Night Fights on April 5th, featuring Marvin Quintero (25-4, 21 KOs) vs. Ammeth Diaz (31-11, 22 KOs) in an IBF lightweight title elimination bout scheduled for 12 rounds. The fight will take place at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California.

The show will air live at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT on ESPN2, and will be available online through WatchESPN.com and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app. The card will also air live on ESPN Deportes +, the new digital extension of ESPN Deportes, and will air tape delayed on ESPN Deportes Saturday, April 6, at 2 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Both fighters will enter the fight looking to make a statement in front of a national TV audience, but the spotlight shouldn't bother Maysonet Jr. too much due in part to the time he spent on Puerto Rico's National Team. Also, Maysonet Jr. comes from a boxing family and grew up watching his father/trainer Jorge Maysonet Sr., a former Olympian who possessed a perfect knockout rating as a professional with 22KO/TKOs in 22 bouts.

Maysonet Jr. is earning a reputation for being a savage puncher as well, winning 10 of his 11 pro victories by way of KO/TKO. It's unique to see a father and son share such a distinct attribute, but Jr. is out to separate himself and make his own name in boxing.

“I'm my father's son, yes, that's true, but I'm my own man and I want to go even further than my father. I love him being in my corner because it's reassuring, but he is honest with me and I'm able to work off of the blueprint he created. This April 5th fight will be a good opportunity for me to show some distinction and have a new generation of fans get familiar with me,” Maysonet Jr. said.

His father has trained him since he was a child and helped Jr. develop a style of his own. Although the power may be genetics, the skill is wisdom handed down from a lifetime served in the ring and Jorge Sr. is adamant his son's talents beyond the power.

“He's a dangerous puncher, but he's more than that. Jorge Jr. has a very fan friendly style and we think it will come across very well on TV. My son can move, box, defend, and sharp shoot; he can fight on the inside and the outside. He's anxious to prove himself,” Maysonet Sr. said.

Gary Shaw is also excited about Maysonet Jr. appearing on ESPN and having his fight broadcasted as the co-feature.

“This kid is going to reinstate hope for all the old school guys that think true power is lost; Jorge Jr. is a true powerhouse in the ring. Some guys pack a strong punch, but let Jorge touch you with one of his bombs and you'll be seeing stars for weeks. I know that this performance is all it will take for the US fans to take notice because he is a fun fighter and ESPN will gladly have him back. Once again I want to thank Doug Loughrey of ESPN for giving us the opportunity,” Shaw said.

Maysonet Jr. is a member of “Team Puerto Rico”, a collaboration between Warriors Boxing, Gary Shaw Productions and Universal Promotions. Their goal is to gather Puerto Rico's best boxing talent.

MIAMI (March 19, 2013) – Underrated spoiler Marcus “Hurelius” Upshaw (15-8-2, 7 KOs) has returned to Mexico, seeking revenge on Saturday night (Mar. 23) for his last fight south of the border, against two-time world title challenger Marcos Antonio “El Veneno” Rubio (56-6-1, 49 KOs) for the vacant World Boxing Council Continental Americas middleweight title.

Upshaw is a true throw-back fighter, who will really fight anybody, anywhere, anytime. The 32-year-old Floridian has done just that throughout most of his seven-year professional career, earning a reputation as a dangerous opponent who has made a reputation for pulling-off major upsets.

“If I'm in the gym and in good shape,” Upshaw said, “I will fight anybody, anywhere, even on short notice. My problem was I'm a very late starter. I didn't get going until the fourth, fifth or sixth rounds. It just took me a few rounds to get going. I like to adjust to my opponents' style to decide what style I need to use. Since I've been with my head trainer, (two-time world champion) John David Jackson, I've decided to let it go early. He knows I'm a slow starter but, by the third round, I'm now firing.”

In 2001, Upshaw derailed 19-1 James McGirt's ascent to the top with a controversial 10-round majority draw, in which many felt Upshaw should have had his hand raised. Two fights later, Upshaw upset 10-0 prospect Ashandi Gibbs (10-0) by way of a fourth-round technical knockout for the Florida State middleweight championship. Upshaw traveled to Quebec City in 2010 and won his signature fight to date, a stunning 10-round decision over 21-1-1 local hero Renan St. Juste, which catapulted Upshaw into the world ratings (IBF #6, WBO #9, WBC #11).

In his next fight, though, Upshaw was stopped in the fourth round by future world title challenger Osumanu Adama (18-2) for the USBA and IBO Inter-continental middleweight titles. The dream-breaker returned this past January in his last fight, as Upshaw registered am eighth-round technical knockout of local favorite Vladine Biosse (14-1-1).

“I know what they expect,” Upshaw spoke about fighting favored opponents in their backyards. “It's not a surprise to me. I don't get upset. They talk tough, right up until the time we step in the ring, but once I touch them, they know. I have had a few fights taken away from me.”

Upshaw acknowledges undefeated super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez and Gilberto Ramirez Sanchez as the best he's ever fought. Last November, Upshaw lost a 10-round decision in Mexico to Sanchez (23-0) for the WBC Youth World middleweight championship.

“After the fifth round,” Upshaw noted, “I thought I had him. He's a helluva fighter, like a southpaw Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. We went 10 hard rounds. I hurt him and should have beaten him. I haven't been the same since that fight. Now, I'm out to destroy. I'm a changed fighter. This time I'm going there (Mexico) to get revenge. After my first experience fighting in Mexico, I'm going for a knockout this time. If we go 10 rounds everybody will know that we duked it out.”

Rubio lost world title fights to Chavez (DEC12) and Kelly Pavlik (RTD9). The rugged Mexican has defeated Carlos Manuel Baldomir, David Lemieux, Jose Luis Zertuche twice, Enrique Ornelas, Frankie Randall, Fitz Vanderpool and Saul Roman during the course of his 13-year prizefighting career.

“As you can see by his last fight, you can't go by Marcus' record,” explained his manager for the past four years, Si Stern. “Earlier in his career, his management team didn't have a plan in terms of what weight class to fight him. He was fighting light heavyweights and super middleweights, thrown to the wolves as a fill-in fighter. It took us some time to get him on the right track but, today, Marcus is a very good middleweight. There is no doubt in my mind that he is going to win this fight.”

The son of a career military man, retired U.S. Navy E6 Harry Upshaw, Jr., Marcus has rich athletic DNA in his system. His uncle, the late Gene Upshaw, was an NFL Hall of Fame offensive guard for the Oakland Raiders; younger sister, Antonette, played professional basketball in the WNBA and Europe; brother Harry III played basketball in Italy, and his 15-year-old cousin, Braden, is a blue-chip Maine running back/defensive end who'll reportedly be playing college football in a few years for the University of Miami.

Tough shoes to fill, for sure, but an upset of Rubio could very well position him for the biggest fight of his life.
Everyone knows that Dancing With the Stars champ and pro dancer, Tony Dovolani has had a major impact in the world of ballroom dance, but Dovolani has another life as a boxing manager. Dovolani, a major fan of boxing his entire life, is very serious about getting more involved in the sport of the Sweet Science.

Dovolani partnered with his uncle Reggie Dovolani, cousin Ajet Dovolani and longtime business associate Louis LaRose to form Dovolani Boxing. The latest edition to the Dovolani Boxing stable is Kosovo's Sevdail Sherifi, 9-1-2, 8 KO's. Sherifi will be fighting at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on Saturday afternoon, April 20th Tyson Fury – Steve Cunningham undercard in a 6 round cruiserweight match.

Dovolani learned that 6'9″ Tyson Fury has incorporated dance into his training and was delighted with the revelation. He immediately issued a challenge to Fury to participate in a Dance Off.

When Fury learned of this challenge at a press conference to announce the April 20th fight, he did not hesitate to accept and asked Dovolani to name the time and place.

Check in every Monday for more of “Tony Dovolani's Weekly Boxing Muse” at www.youtube.com/meboxingseries

Tony Dovolani's “Dancing With The Stars” partner for season 16 is country music legend Wynonna Judd.

Tony and his partner, Melissa Rycroft, were season 15 “Dancing With The Stars: All-Stars'” Mirror Ball champions.

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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.

IBF welterweight title

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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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