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A Deeper Look At Fridays' ShoBox

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shobox1-15-2014 5b7d3 NEW YORK (Jan. 15, 2014) – ShoBox: The New Generation made its reputation by matching up-and-coming prospects in their toughest fights to date.

Since its inception in July 2001, 50 fighters have advanced from prospect to contender to eventual world champion after appearing on ShoBox. Most recently, Shawn Porter became the 50th member of this elite group after he defeated DevonAlexander on December 7.Conversely, a total of 111 boxers suffered their initial defeat on the popular, critically acclaimed series.

This Friday, Jan. 17, eight fighters with a combined record of 96-1-5 with 57 knockouts will compete in a quintessential “ShoBox” telecast live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tenn.

Undefeated, highly regarded, lightweight Ivan “The Terrible’’ Redkach (15-0,13 KO’s), of Los Angeles, by way of Ukraine, takes on Tony “Lightning” Luis (17-1, 7 KO’s), of Cornwall, Ontario, Canada, in the 10-round main event.

Redkach is regarded by many as a “can’t miss’’ prospect and a future world champion with significant power. But the virtually untested 27-year-old has never been in the ring with the likes of Luis, setting the stage for the first real test of the Ukrainian’s career.

In a battle of unbeaten junior middleweights in the ShoBox co-feature, John “The Apollo Kidd’’ Thompson (14-0, 5 KO’s), of Newark, N.J., faces “The Brooklyn RockyFrank “Notorious” Galarza (11-0-2, 7 KO’s), of Brooklyn, N.Y., in an eight-round bout. Two more eight-rounders, all featuring undefeated fighters, round out the telecast: Antoine “Action” Douglas (11-0, 7 KO’s), of Burke, Va., by way of Washington D.C. squares off against Marquis “MD Goodnite” Davis (8-0-2, 5 KO’s), of Tampa, Fla., in a middleweight match and Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (12-0-1, 9 KO’s) of Dallas will be opposed by Abel Ramos (8-0, 4 KO’s), of Casa Grande, Ariz., by way of Gettysburg, Pa., in a junior welterweight scrap.

Regarding the telecast’s top two fights, ShoBox expert analyst Steve Farhood said: “In the main event, Ivan Redkach is a fighter everybody in boxing will be watching. The southpaw fights with a ferocity and meanness that separates him from other unbeaten prospects. He's moving up in class, and his lightweight bout with Canada's Tony Luis figures to be a must-see main event.

“John Thompson has fought once before on ShoBox, and he impressed. He's a tall boxer who has a tendency to bang with his opponents, which isn't always ideal for him, but satisfies fans. He's facing an unbeaten opponent in Frank Galarza, so Thompson has the opportunity to make a serious statement and establish himself as a prospect to watch.’’

Among many who readily acknowledge Redkach’s aggressive, fan-friendly style and ability are columnist Steve Kim of MaxBoxing and Francisco Salazar of Ventura County Star Newspaper and Boxingscene.com.

“Ivan, like many other fighters from the former Soviet Union, brings a hard-nosed, fan-friendly style that I think will resonate with the public,’’ Kim said. “He really attacks the body and is a fighter that isn't hesitant to let his hands go. I don't think he'll be in a lot of boring fights as he moves up the boxing ladder.”

Said Salazar: “Ivan is as explosive a fighter at a prospect level as one could find and has a television-friendly style that would make casual fans more intrigued to watch him. What I like about his game now is that he has developed and enhanced his boxing skills to compliment his punching power. I think he has a great upside and has not hit his window yet. Ivan still has a way to go to be considered a serious contender, but I can only imagine what the 'finished project' will be when he becomes a complete fighter.”

The 5-foot-9-and-one-half-inch Redkach won the vast majority of his approximately 300 amateur bouts and was a 2008 Olympic Games alternate for Ukraine before turning pro in November 2009. Redkach started to box at the age of six.

“I started right after kindergarten,’’ he said. “I moved to Brovari (a suburb of Kiev) when I was 12. I went to a special sports school. All of the most talented athletes from all over Ukraine go there. They have great boxing – Sergiy Dzinziruk was there, the Klitschko brothers were there. It's like a boarding school – you live there, you train there.”

The WBC’s No. 13-ranked contender, Redkach has had his way as a pro, winning all but two of his fights inside the distance. He possesses decent skills and movement, but power is his game. Twelve of his 13 knockouts have come in three rounds or less, with six coming in the first.

A confident Redkach is looking forward to his ShoBox debut.

“So many world champions started out fighting on ShoBox, and now it's my turn,’’ said Redkach, who trains in Southern California at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood and Ponce de León's gym in Montebello. “National exposure in the U.S. is why I uprooted my life and moved (to America).

“Tony Luis is fast, throws a lot of punches, but that's all. It doesn't matter. I'm going to fight my fight and do my job. My style is very, very tricky. I'm more of a pressure fighter, a puncher.”

Luis, 26, is an ambidextrous boxer with quick hands and feet who’s at his best when he pressures his opponents and wears them down with body punches. The 5-foot-7-and-one-half inch former WBC Continental Americas super lightweight champion has won two in a row since suffering his lone defeat on an upset ninth-round TKO to late substitute Jose Hernandez in a thrilling affair on Jan. 25, 2013. Hernandez once fought a draw with world-ranked Mickey Bey, but he took this fight on less than two weeks’ notice and was definitely the underdog.

“After my loss, I did have a lot of anger in the beginning,’’ said Luis, who outpointed Rafael Luna across six rounds in his last outing on Nov. 9. “ I was very bitter. But then I realized that had I fought the right fight and listened to my corner, I never would have lost. I truly believe that I turned that fight into an unnecessarily difficult one because I fought the wrong game plan.”

The chief sparring partner for world featherweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, Luis is ecstatic about the opportunity presented him.

“My comeback comes full circle on Jan. 17,’’ the five-year-pro said. “It's going to be exactly a year since my first loss. Last year, I was the undefeated prospect and I was the favorite coming in. This year, it's Ivan in that same position, and I'm the opponent coming in. Last year, José Hernandez didn't care. This year, I'm José Hernandez.’’

And Luis’ game plan for Redkach? “I think I have to take him deep into this fight,’’ he said. “Ten rounds is a long night for anyone. I've got to fight smart in the early rounds and take him deep.’’

Thompson, a well-conditioned 6-foot-1, 24-year-old, continues to improve under the watchful eye of trainer, former world champ Buddy McGirt, and is currently ranked No. 20 in the WBC. Thompson had an excellent amateur career, winning the 2007 Golden Gloves tournament and was the bronze medalist at the 2007 National Golden Gloves. He had wins in the tournament over 2008/2012 Mexican Olympian Oscar Molina and Detroit prospect Domonique Dolton.

A fast, quick-handed boxer, Thompson has stayed busy since turning pro in June 2011. He fought three times that year, seven times in 2012, and four times in 2013.

Thompson has won two straight since winning his ShoBox debut on a unanimous eight-round decision over previously undefeated Giovanny Rodriguez on May 10, 2013. In his last outing, a scheduled 10-rounder, he scored a third-round TKO over Jonathan Batista on Nov. 14.

Outside the ring, Thompson respects Galarza but he feels his experience will be the difference.

“I've watched Galarza fight. I know he's a pretty cool person,’’ Thompson, a natural right-hander who can switch to lefty, said. “He does a lot of positive things for the community. I like that. I do the same thing for my community – like feeding the homeless. But as far as boxing goes, he needs more experience. He makes a lot of simple-minded mistakes. He tries to box, but he's looked at as a puncher, so he's probably going to try to rely on that.

“Expect something new from me. Working with Buddy is the best thing that ever happened to me. He brings so much to the table. Everything has just developed 100 percent.’’

Galarza, an offensive-minded, six-foot, 28-year-old, is the least experienced boxer on the telecast. He didn’t turn to boxing until his late teens and had just 11 amateur fights. But the three-year pro likes to brawl and has made good progress since his prizefighting debut in June 2010.

“I don't know anything about Thompson,’’ said the physically-strong Galarza. “Style-wise, I know this will be a good fight. He’s 14-0, undefeated like I am. He’s been on ShoBox. But I'm mentally prepared as far as what I need to do. I need to go win.

“I'm prepared for anything. I'm hoping to keep myself on ShoBox. I want to put on a show.”

Galarza, who was raised by an aunt and uncle after his parents died, owns and runs his own youth organization in Brooklyn, 'Youth Fighting Forward.'

“We work with kids who are affected by crime and violence,’’ he said. “We use boxing as a way for them to get in, but it's mainly about education. We want to build youth leaders out of it. It was just an idea that I came up with, something I wanted to do based on my past. I lost my parents at a young age. I lost my father when I was seven, and my mother when I was nine. My mother OD'd on drugs. My father passed away from a gunshot wound complication in his leg.’’

Burke, 21, is competing in his first scheduled eight-round match. An outstanding amateur who compiled a record of 110-20, he was the bronze medalist in the 2011 U.S. National Championships and the 2011 Golden Gloves before going on to fight in the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Burke’s sister, Tyrisha, is also an undefeated pro boxer and she, too, went to the U.S. Olympic Trials. “We were the first brother and sister team to make the Olympic Trials,’’ said Antoine, who is coming off an eye-catching third-round TKO over Colby Courter last Dec. 4.

Describing his style, Burke said, “I would say I adjust. If I can out-will you and you let me beat you down, then I'll do that. If I can box and pick you apart, that works just as well. We work on things to adjust to what the other fighters bring. Everybody does their homework.’’

Davis, who turns 25 on Feb. 5, is trained by ex-world lightweight champion Nate Campbell. The 5-foot-9 Davis is stepping up to eight-round status for the first time and taking a significant step up in class.

 “I've been preparing nonstop for this fight,’’ said the aggressive-minded Davis, who started boxing at the age of 17. “This is a great opportunity for me. I’ll be ready.’’

Hooker, 24, has trained with some good great fighters in recent years including former world champion Miguel Cotto and Ruslan Provodnikov. The two-year pro will be making his eight-round debut against Ramos.

“I’m a boxer who can punch,’’ Hooker said. “I've been getting ready for this fight since the beginning of November. I’m ready to fight now.’’

Ramos, 22, an accomplished, top-rated U.S. amateur before making his pro debut in September 2011, has never been scheduled to fight more than four rounds. He’s also never fought outside of Arizona and he accepted this assignment on short notice.

“After my last fight, we were back in the gym the following week and we've been training ever since,’’ Ramos said. “So when this opportunity came along I was already in the gym.

A prospect who utilizes a good jab but can box or brawl, Ramos has gained experienced by working in training camps with Jessie Vargas and Jesus Soto Karass. Ramos, who hails from a fighting family, certainly won’t be in awe of the surroundings this Friday.

“We saw a couple of videos of Hooker sparring,’’ he said. “I know he's tall, and he likes to fight tall. He's undefeated, so I think he's a good opponent.’’

The event is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, in association with GH3 Promotions, Greg Cohen Promotions and Prize Fight Boxing.

Barry Tompkins 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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Press Releases

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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