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NEWS ON: Redkach, Fletcher-Bursak

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WORCESTER, Mass. (January 23, 2014) – Newly crowned United States Boxing Association (USBA) lightweight champion Ivan “The Terrible” Redkach (16-0, 13 KOs, 1 NC) picked up more than hardware last week headlining ShoBox: The New Generation. The ferocious southpaw firmly established himself in Memphis as an exciting “television fighter” for the future with tremendous upside.

Redkach may not have made the quantum leap from prospect to legitimate world title contender, yet, but he gained invaluable experience going 10 rounds for the first time against a game and somewhat awkward Tony “The Lightning” Luis (17-2-1, 7 KOs), who is rated No. 9 by the World Boxing Association (WBA) and has been chief sparring partner for world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux.

Redkach won a unanimous decision (99-90, 97-93, 97-93), dropping a game Luis once in an action-packed fight from start to finish.

“I was pleased with my performance and I'm very happy and proud to be the USBA champion,” Redkach said from his home in Los Angeles. “We both showed a lot of heart and I think we gave TV fans a show. I want to thank Showtime, my promoter Lou DiBella and manager Larry Army for that great opportunity. I went 10 hard rounds against my toughest opponent and learned a lot that will help make me an even better fighter. I know I could have made it a lot easier on myself if I had fought in the middle of the ring and stayed away from the ropes. But boxing is all about learning and improving and fans will see that in my next fight. I'll take a week or so off and go right back into the gym to get ready for my next fight.”

Redkach, rated No. 13 by the World Boxing Council (WBC), fell short of achieving his goal of making the quantum leap from top prospect to legitimate world title contender in only his 17th professional fight.

“A world champion in the making like Ivan needs to be taken into deep waters under stressful conditions,” Redkach's manager Larry Army explained. “Fighting in his first ShoBox main event certainly was stressful but he went the full distance and won a real war. We had never seen Ivan go deep, so in that respect, it was a perfect fight for us. We learned that he's three or four more fights away from a world title shot, but we believe in him even more than ever as a future world champion. He now realizes that he can't knockout every opponent but he can still win fights. Ivan needs some fine tuning and more big-fight experience as he continues to chase his dream of winning a world title.”

The 27-year-old Redkach is going through a normal maturation process in the ring, developing as he tests himself against more talented opponents, in order to eventually reach his full potential.

His Ukrainian star is still rising. It just may not reach its zenith as quickly as initially anticipated. Someday he will get to where he ultimately wants to be, standing in the middle of the ring with his arms raised, and a coveted world title belt wrapped around his waist.

                                                                        ••••

Monte Carlo (January 23, 2014) Jarrod Fletcher is taking next weekend’s WBA Continental middleweight title bout against Max Bursak so seriously that he has already set up fight camp in Nice, France – the first fighter to do so ahead of the Monte Carlo Boxing Bonanza on February 1.

Rated number four by the WBA, Fletcher (17-1, 10 KOs) was in line to fight highly-regarded Martin Murray, but the Briton withdrew, a development that doesn’t faze the Australian.

“It’s disappointing, I was focused on him,” he said from his training base in Nice. “Murray has his own agenda and is doing what he must do. It’s no good being sulky about it. This is the world stage and I’ll fight whoever I must.”

Fletcher said he travelled early to France to prepare for what he calls the biggest fight of his career. “My preparation has been faultless, it’s all on track after seven weeks of hard work in Australia. I’m the fittest I’ve ever been. Everything is going really good; I’m more than ready.”

In Bursak (29-1-1, 12 KOs), he meets an experienced boxer who has fought almost exclusively out of his hometown of Kiev in the Ukraine. In one of his rare ventures abroad, last year he beat the UK’s Prince Arron in another Golden Gloves tournament in Monte Carlo, impressing with his strength and ringcraft.

“I’ve seen his tapes and he’s very, very experienced,” said Fletcher. “He has a big amateur background. He’s a pressure fighter and will be there the whole 12 rounds. It’s a very tough fight, but I’ve got a solid gameplan.”

In his only overseas fight to date, in 2012, Fletcher suffered his lone professional defeat – an inside-the-distance loss to Billy Joe Saunders. But Fletcher says he has no qualms stepping out of his backyard for this assignment.

“Definitely not. I had 180 amateur bouts and fought all over the world. The Billy Joe fight was stopped way too early. Not much went right, I got caught good. No excuses. But the result made me stronger and more determined.”

Fletcher, who grew up admiring Oscar De La Hoya, describes himself as “fast, and a good mover”, saying he can box too if circumstances demand it.

He has rebounded well since his 2012 reverse, reeling off five wins, the best of them against former WBA world title challenger Randy Suico of the Philippines.

“I plan to leave it all in the ring,” says the man known as “Left Jab”. “This is my biggest opportunity to date. I have a young family at home and I hope this sets up big things and bigger paydays. This is my time.”

The Monte Carlo Boxing Bonanza takes place at the beautiful Salle des Etoiles venue on the peninsula of Monte Carlo.

This world class event is exclusively distributed internationally by leading boxing rights distributor and sports marketing firm, Octapixx LIVE.

Situated on the Mediterranean Sea, Monaco is one of the most exclusive vacation destinations in the world and attracts millions of visitors each year. The Casino de Monte-Carlo, owned and operated by the Monte-Carlo SBM Group, is the premier casino destination in Europe. It continues to attract gamblers among the wealthiest and most well-known celebrities. For further information please visit their website at www.MonteCarloSBM.com

A country rich in sports history, Monaco is home of the world famous Formula 1 Grand Prix motor race and many major international events such as the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.

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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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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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