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Bey-Molina Tops Friday “ShoBox”

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NEW YORK (July 16, 2013) — Two of Mayweather Promotions’ most talented boxers, lightweight Mickey “The Spirit” Bey Jr. and world-rated super middleweight Badou Jack, will try to keep their unbeaten records intact when they face John “The Gladiator” Molina Jr. and Farah “Quiet Storm’’ Ennis, respectively, in co-featured fights on ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME® this Friday, July 19 (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from The Joint At Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Bey, a former amateur standout from Las Vegas by way of Cleveland, is 18-0-1 with 9 KO’s. Molina (25-3, 20 KO’s) is a former world title challenger from Covina, Calif. Sweden’s Jack, a 2008 Olympian for Gambia who also resides in Las Vegas, is 14-0 with 10 KO’s. Philadelphia born-and-raised Ennis (21-2, 12 KO’s) is a former NABF champion who’s won four in a row. Both bouts are scheduled for 10 rounds.

Tickets for the event, which is presented by Mayweather Promotions and sponsored by Corona, are priced at $125, $100, $75, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes, fees and service charges, and are on sale at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (800) 745-3000. Doors open at 5:25 p.m. PT on fight night and the first fight begins at 5:30 p.m.

Typical of ShoBox, both Bey and Jack will be facing their toughest foes to date.

“I think in the case of Mickey Bey, he’s a little bit different than other prospects featured on ShoBox and the reason for that is that he was a legitimate and heavily hyped prospect when we first had him on six years ago,” noted ShoBox expert analyst and boxing historian, Steve Farhood. “But his career has stalled because of injuries and promotional issues. One thing that hasn’t changed since 2007 is that even at the age of 30, Bey still has the profile of a top prospect. He’s taking a big step up in class against power-puncher John Molina.

“Badou Jack has been looking better and better and showing good boxing skills to go along with his signature body-punching style and he too is stepping up against a veteran, yet still a prospect himself, in Farah Ennis. It’ll be interesting to see whether Jack can break down Ennis over 10 rounds.”

The 5-foot-9 Bey was a sensational amateur, a four-time national champion and a member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic team. He was unable to complete in the Olympic Qualifiers or Olympic Games, however, after he became ill with pneumonia after winning the Olympic Box-Offs.

Expectations were extremely high when Bey turned pro in April 2005, but his career has sputtered. Now, under the Mayweather Promotions banner, the eight-year pro seems primed for his best. A terrific boxer-puncher, he was sharp and dominant in his debut as a member of The Money Team last Feb. 2, winning his first fight in 15 months by impressive third-round knockout over Robert Rodriguez in Las Vegas.

However, the fight was later ruled a no-contest because Bey tested positive for elevated testosterone levels. It was a bitter setback for Bey, who maintains his innocence. While it is easy to look back, Bey has moved on and his focus is now totally on Molina. A convincing victory, he knows, will get him on track to the top.

“I should have been champion many years ago,” said Bey, who’s been reunited with his original trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr. “When I’m on point, there isn’t anybody who can hang in there with me. It’s just a relief to be signed with Mayweather Promotions, who’s got my best interest in mind on every level. You’re going to see better performances out of me just because of that.

“I think John Molina is a good fighter, tough and strong. He’s got a lot of punching power and he’s got a lot of knockouts. I think he’s a real solid opponent. He’s not the best technically, skill-wise, but he’s got experience and a lot of power. That’s always dangerous, although I’ve got a great defense. People fought him thinking they would beat him and left with a KO on their record. That's one thing I’m aware of.

“I think it’s a great matchup. We went through a lot of tough opponents who wouldn’t take the fight, so I’m just glad he took it.”

For all his natural talent, Bey knows that dedication and work ethic are major keys to getting to where he wants to be. “I’m always in the gym. I work out all year round, even if it’s not actually boxing,” he said. “I don't really do too much but train. Ninety percent of the time, everything I do involves some kind of working out. I’m a fitness freak and an all-around athlete. I’ve been preparing for this fight for (almost two months).”

The older brother of pro fighter Cortez Bey, Mickey Bey possesses good skills, speed, and movement. The sharp, accurate puncher will be making his third appearance on ShoBox and first since February 2008. He says he doesn’t study a lot of tape on upcoming opponents, but likes to watch videos of old fighters.

“I’m always watching tapes of guys like Ray Robinson,” he said. “I like Sugar Ray Leonard, Salvador Sanchez, Muhammad Ali, Jersey Joe Walcott and Willie Pep. I get a lot of different things from different fighters just by watching a lot. Tommy Hearns, too.

“It has a whole lot of influence on my style because I see a lot of things that they did back then that fighters don’t do today. I think that boxing is a lost art now, where a lot of fighters really don’t study the game. They can’t even name a lot of old fighters.

“I feel that if this is the sport that you’re in, then you should know a lot about the history of boxing. I think Ray Robinson has influenced my style more than the others because I stay glued to him. I’ve been watching him since even before I started boxing. I watched his tapes for months straight every day and I still do. I’ll watch his tapes at least eight days a month because I’ve got his whole DVD collection.”

Molina will be making his fourth start on ShoBox. The 5-foot-10 ½-inch, 30-year-old turned pro in March 2006 and won his first 18 fights before losing a 10-round decision to Martin Honorio in his last appearance on ShoBox on Nov. 28, 2009. He’s gone 7-2 since and registered a couple of impressive victories (TKO 11 over Hank Lundy in July 2010 and KO 4 over Dannie Williams on Jan. 11, 2013).

The aggressive-minded, hard-punching Molina has registered 15 victories inside three rounds, but he’s lost two out of his last three, including an upset, majority 10-round decision defeat to Andrey Klimov in his last outing this past June 7. Molina’s other defeat came in a world title fight, a 44-second, first-round KO loss to then-WBC Lightweight World Champion Antonio DeMarco on Sept. 8, 2012.

“Molina was really disappointed after his last fight,” said matchmaker Tom Brown of Molina’s promoter Goossen Tutor Promotions. “He said he was going right back to the gym the following Monday, which he did. Right after the loss, he decided to go back to trainer Joe Goossen. John kept asking us to please find him something immediately. He wanted to get right back in there and try to get a victory.

“His back’s up against the wall. He knows he needs a victory. This is a tough, dangerous fight, but it’s what John asked for – to put him into something meaningful. Now he’s got to do his job.”

Jack trains at the Mayweather Boxing Club under the watchful eye of former WBA world light heavyweight champion Eddie Mustafa Muhammad. He’s steadily ascended the 168-pound world ratings in the last year-and-a-half and is currently rated No. 6 by the WBA and No. 13 by the WBC. This will be his second ShoBox start and third on the network. He is coming off of a dominant third-round knockout win over Michael Gbenga on the Floyd Mayweather vs. Robert Guerrero undercard last May 4 in a preliminary fight that was featured on SHOWTIME from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Vegas.

On May 11, 2012, Jack won his ShoBox debut with an eight-round split decision over previously undefeated Alexander Brand (17-0). In his bout after Brand, Jack flattened Jonuel Tapia in the first round on Feb. 2, 2013 and followed that with an eight-round unanimous decision over Don Mouton on Feb. 22. Next, he overpowered Gbenga.

“I always expect a tough fight,” he said. “I don't know much about Ennis, but I saw about one minute of a fight of his. He seems to be a good boxer. It’s going to be a good fight. I’m not worried about his style. I had 150 amateur fights so I’ve seen a lot of different styles. I can adapt to anything.”

Jack became a member of Mayweather Promotions stable in late 2012. “I went back home to Sweden a month after the Brand fight and I stayed there for six months,” he said. “I had some management problems, but Floyd helped me out. That's when I signed with Mayweather Promotions. He basically saved my career. I came back in December 2012.”

The 6-foot-1, 29-year-old Jack was a European amateur standout, compiling an outstanding record of 122-28. He represented his father’s country, Gambia, in the Olympics and is the only boxer ever to represent Gambia in any Olympic Games. He turned pro in June 2009, fought his first five fights in Sweden and Finland, but has fought exclusively in the United States since.

Ennis is a 6-foot-tall, 30-year-old who’ll be making his ShoBox debut. In his last fight, and his first in 11 months, he scored a knockdown in the final round to secure a close, 10-round unanimous decision win over former world-rated contender Anthony Hanshaw (96-93 twice and 95-94) on June 7 in Shelton, Wash.

A natural counter-puncher who is proven at the 10-round distance, Ennis has a strong boxing background. His brother Derek fights professionally and his father/trainer Bozie, was also a fighter. Farah feels he will benefit from the quick turnaround between bouts. “I took a week off and got right back in the gym after my last fight,” he said. “I think I got the call (right after that). I want to stay busy. I don’t want any long layoffs like before. That probably had a little effect on my performance.”

Ennis only had a handful of amateur fights, and he hasn’t exactly been highly hyped in a pro career that began when he was 23. He’ll be the underdog in this one, but don’t look for the boxer-puncher with good skills and movement to be in awe of the surroundings or his opponent.

“I’m training hard,” said Ennis, whose lone defeat in a seven-year pro career came on a 10-round majority decision loss to southpaw Alexander Johnson on April 2, 2011. “I’m patient in the ring, but if I hurt you I’m going to get you out of there. I’m ready to go.”

Mauro Ranallo will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Farhood and former World Champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

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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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