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DiBella Running Show March 21 at Aviator

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BROADWAY BOXING COMPLETE CARD ANNOUNCED FRIDAY, MARCH 21ST AT THE AVIATOR SPORTS AND EVENT CENTER BROOKLYN, NY

New York, NY (3/13/14) – Next Friday, DiBella Entertainment's popular Broadway Boxing series returns to the Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn, NY, for an exciting eight-bout card. Headlining the card in separate eight-round bouts will be undefeated Brooklyn-native and popular female attraction Heather “The Heat” Hardy (8-0, 2KO's), “The First Lady” of DBE, and middleweight contender Lamar Russ (14-1, 7KO's). Hardy is set to square off against Bronx's Nydia Feliciano (7-4-3) in their female junior featherweight matchup, while Russ takes on upset-minded Tony Hirsch (15-6-2, 6KO's).

The bout on March 21 will be the first for Russ since suffering his first professional defeat at the hands of three-time world title challenger and top-rated middleweight contender Matthew Macklin. Though Russ took the bout on short notice, he was very competitive throughout. Ultimately, he dropped a 10-round unanimous decision to the much more experienced Macklin, in a bout shown live on HBO. The 27-year-old Russ proved that even with just 14 professional fights, he is able to compete with some of the top middleweights in the world and is looking to get his very promising career back on track with an impressive showing against Hirsch on the March 21. Hirsch is no slouch though, and has been in with a number of top fighters during his 23-fight career. Hirsch holds two victories over previously undefeated prospects and has been stopped only once in his career. He's gone the distance with 2008 Olympians Shawn Estrada and Demetrius Andrade, who is the current WBO junior middleweight champion.

Hardy is coming off of her first scheduled eight-rounder in her most recent bout when she won an absolute war against Christina Fuentes on February 12, at Roseland Ballroom in NYC. Hardy fought four times in 2013, picking up the UBF international female bantamweight title in the process and is looking to be even busier in 2014 as she closes in on her first world title opportunity. In Feliciano, Hardy will face her toughest opponent to date. The Bronx-native Feliciano has been fighting professionally since 2009 and is a former NY State featherweight titlist and International Women's Boxing Federation bantamweight champion. In 2012, she fought for the IBF bantamweight championship, dropping a 10-round unanimous decision. Feliciano is coming off back-to-back victories, and will be looking to make it three in a row when she takes on the undefeated Hardy.

Returning to action for the third time in just four months since signing with DBE will be hard-hitting light heavyweight Joe Smith (14-1, 11KO's). The Long Island-native and NY Golden Gloves champion has won eight consecutive fights since his lone professional defeat back in 2010. In that fight, Smith suffered a broken jaw in the fourth-round of his scheduled six-rounder and was unable to continue. Now fighting under the DBE banner, the 24-year-old Smith is looking to steadily move up the ranks of the light heavyweight division. In his way will be battle-tested fellow former New York Golden Gloves champion Newton Kidd (8-8-2, 5KO's). Despite his record, Kidd will be no pushover for Smith. Kidd has been on the wrong end of many bad decisions during his career, including a split decision loss to former WBA light heavyweight world champion Lou Del Valle. The bout between Smith and Kidd is scheduled for eight rounds in the light heavyweight division.

Another featured bout on the card will see highly regarded junior lightweight Joel Diaz Jr. (14-0, 12KO's) put his undefeated record on the line against 67-fight veteran Jose Angel Beranza. The 21-year-old Diaz Jr. comes from a family rich in boxing history. His father is renowned boxing trainer and former contender Joel Diaz Sr. (trainer of Timothy Bradley), and he is the nephew of former titlists Antonio and Julio Diaz. A standout amateur before turning pro in 2010, Diaz Jr. has continued to impress with each outing. Eight of Diaz' 12 career knockouts have come in two rounds or less, with six coming in the very first round.

Fighting in separate bouts on the card are DBE's former #1-rated U.S. amateurs and now undefeated junior middleweight prospects Patrick Day (6-0-1, 3KO's) and Christopher “Golden” Galeano (2-0). Both Day and Galeano won national, regional, and NY Golden Gloves championships and are now are two of the bright young stars on the DBE roster. Day is set to square off against Duane King (4-2, 2KO's) in a six-round junior middleweight matchup, while Galeano, who is co-promoted by 50 Cent's SMS Promotions, will take on Azamat Umarzade in a scheduled four-round contest.

Also seeing action on the card will be highly regarded former amateur standout Eduardo Alicea (5-0, 3KO's) who takes on once-beaten knockout artist James Johnson (7-1, 7KO's) in scheduled six-round middleweight attraction. The 23-year-old Alicea had an astounding amateur career, which saw him compile a 215-16 record on his way to becoming a six-time national champion and winning gold at the 2007 National Junior Olympics in which he was voted the most outstanding fighter by USA Boxing. Like Alicea, Johnson was a successful amateur, winning the 2004 US Amateur Championship before turning pro and reeling off seven consecutive knockout victories. Johnson then dropped a decision to Darnell Boone before stepping away from the ring. Johnson is now looking to throw his name right back into the mix of prospects to watch when he takes on the promising Alicea.

Rounding out the card will be 2011 US Olympic Team Trials silver medalist and the 2012 NY Golden Gloves heavyweight champion Joseph Williams (1-0, 1KO) squaring off against P.J. Cajigas (1-3, 1KO) in a four-round light heavyweight matchup. The Far Rockaway-native Williams got a late start to boxing, but has quickly progressed and just missed out on the opportunity to represent the US in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. 

Tickets are priced at $125, $85, $65 and $45, and can be purchased by calling the DiBella Entertainment office at (212) 947-2577.  For more information, please visit www.dbe1.com

Doors open at 6 p.m. ET, with the first bout scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.

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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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