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“Friday Night Fights” in NH July 19

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ESPN FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS RETURNS TO HISTORIC ROCKINGHAM PARK IN NEW HAMPSHIRE WITH CAN'T-MISS CARD FEATURING AJOSE OLUSEGUN VS. HANK LUNDY IN MAIN EVENT

UNDEFEATED PROSPECTS IN CO-FEATURE RYAN KIELCZWESKI VS. MIGUEL SOTO

New York, NY (6/24/13) – On July 19, ESPN's Friday Night Fights returns to the historic 107-year-old Rockingham Park in New Hampshire, with a scintillating main event featuring WBC #3-rated junior welterweight Ajose Olusegun (31-1, 18KO's) taking on longtime lightweight contender “Hammerin'” Hank Lundy (23-1-1, 11KO's). The bout, promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Jimmy Burchfield's Classic Entertainment, is scheduled for 10 rounds in the junior welterweight division.

In the co-feature bout, undefeated up-and-coming prospects Ryan “The Polish Prince” Kielczweski (16-0, 3KO's) and Miguel “Mikito” Soto (11-0, 11KO's) put their unblemished records on the line in an eight-round super featherweight showdown. The Kielczweski-Soto bout is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Rumble Time Promotions.

“This fight is a great opportunity for both of us to show the world just how good we are,” said Olusegun. “It is going to be a fire-for-fire fight, an exciting one that the boxing fans want to see. I am excited and I can't wait to put on a great performance.”

“We know all about Ajose,” said Hank Lundy. “I was supposed to fight Lucas Matthysse, but that fell through. I thought I would've beaten Matthysse. Ajose fought him and we all saw what happened. This fight is going to be a good win for me. I'm coming to win. I'm coming off an upset loss in the Ukraine. I actually won the fight. I know what's going on now; I'm moving up to 140, so everyone thinks I'm going to be the smaller guy. Come fight night, they're going to see a new Hank Lundy. I started my career at 140 pounds. At 140, I'm actually stronger, more powerful. I was killing my body to make 135 pounds, coming down from 160. I'm a muscular guy. I don't have a lot of body fat. I'm going to be a powerhouse and I'm going to display some of my punching power that night.”

“This is an absolutely fantastic card for ESPN,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “In the main event, you have two proven contenders, with the winner taking a major step toward challenging for a world championship in the loaded 140lb. division. In the co-feature, you have two undefeated prospects, taking a major step up in their respective careers. We are also going to load the undercard with local talent, making this a truly action-packed card from top to bottom.”

“There's nothing Hank Lundy wants more in life than to be a world champion, and in order to do so, he realizes that he needs to fight the biggest and the best in his weight class,” said Lundy's promoter, Jimmy Burchfield. “No fighter between 135 and 140 pounds has a more impressive resume than Lundy. Not only is he facing elite competition every time he steps into the ring, he's going to other fighters' backyards and winning against all odds. He's grown up before our eyes in front of millions of homes worldwide on ESPN. Since 2010, the combined record of his opponents is a staggering 187-16-3. I challenge anyone to find a fighter who has put himself to the test and faced tougher competition than Hank Lundy. Not only does he have the heart, guts and determination to fight anyone at any given time, he's as fan-friendly as any fighter in this sport. He gets knocked down, he gets back up and then he knocks you out. He's exactly what TV is looking for and exactly what boxing needs. He always comes to fight and always puts on a show. July 19 will be no exception.”

“Coming off two consecutive loses, junior welterweight contender Hank Lundy is in danger of becoming irrelevant. He will need his good speed and great urgency to beat a bigger, more physical south paw opponent, Ajose Olusegun. That's the tough news for Lundy. The good news for the fans of Friday Night Fights is that both these experienced fighters are not hard to find-they will be right in front of each other all night and that should make it a good night of fights,” said esteemed ESPN Friday Night Fights ringside analyst, Teddy Atlas.

Ed Callahan, the President and General Manager of Rockingham Park, said, “We are very pleased to be able to bring quality boxing back to the NH area. We look forward to working with DiBella Entertainment and ESPN again in providing a great show.”

The matchup between Olusegun and Lundy is a can't-miss fight, featuring two all-action fighters. The WBC #3-rated Olusegun is certainly one of the most talented and exciting 140-pounders in the world. A 2000 Olympian for his native Nigeria, Olusegun has held Commonwealth and British junior welterweight titles.

Olusegun won a dominant, near shut-out 12-round unanimous decision over Ali Chebah (35-1) on Showtime in 2011, in an official WBC junior welterweight title eliminator. The win propelled Olusegun into his first world title opportunity, as he squared off against fellow top-rated contender, and one of the most devastating punchers pound-for-pound in the sport today, Lucas Matthysse.

In an all-out war, Olusegun was stopped in the 10th-round of their scheduled 12-round championship contest. From the opening bell, both fighters stood toe-to-toe, exchanging monstrous blows for nearly every second of every round.

Showtime commentator Al Bernstein, who was calling the bout, proclaimed Olusegun to be one of the top three junior welterweights in the world, and commended him on his warrior performance against the devastating and feared puncher Matthysse.

Olusegun bounced back from the loss with an eight-round unanimous decision victory in April of this year, and is now looking to put himself back into title contention in the talent-laden 140lb. division.

A longtime staple on ESPN's Friday Night Fights, Lundy began his career 18-0-1, claiming the WBO NABO lightweight title and gaining a top-10 rating in all four major sanctioning bodies. A title shot was looming, but then Lundy suffered his first pro defeat at the hands of knockout artist John Molina in a bout aired on ESPN. Lundy was winning the bout handily, before being stopped in the 11th round.

Lundy bounced back nicely from the defeat, winning his next four bouts, all of which were aired on ESPN and picking up the NABF title in the process. On July 27, 2012, in an upset, Lundy lost his NABF title, via majority decision, to IBF #3, WBC #6 and WBO #8-rated Raymundo Beltran.

After the loss to Beltran, Lundy decided to move up in weight. In his first bout as a junior welterweight, Lundy traveled into enemy territory to take on the undefeated Ukrainian Victor Postal (23-0), ultimately dropping a close 12-round decision in Postal's backyard for the vacant WBC International junior welterweight title. Now Lundy is hoping to get back to his winning ways when he takes on the very talented Nigerian Olusegun.

The co-feature matchup pits two young undefeated and highly regarded up-and-coming prospects looking to make the transition to legitimate contender status in the division.

Both fighters have similar styles and will have their foot on the gas as soon as the opening bell sounds. Soto is a devastating puncher and has the ability to knock you out with either hand. Despite his low KO ratio, Kielczweski is an aggressive fighter who loves to mix it up, easily throwing upward of 100 punches per round.

Kielczweski had a stellar amateur career, sporting a 118-26 record, as well as being the runner-up in the 2008 National Golden Gloves Tournament. Kielczweski won both the 2007 and 2008 New England Golden Gloves Tournaments, and was named the 'Outstanding Boxer' in 2008.

The event on July 19 will be the first ESPN Friday Night Fights card at the historic Park since 2007 and third ever in its long history.

Tickets are priced at $75 VIP reserved, $45 reserved and $35 for general admission. Tickets can be purchased by calling 603-898-2311 and will be on sale later this week.

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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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