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Thompson-Kalajdzic Tops Kovalev-Agnew Undercard

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Thompson-Kalajdzic Fight Tops Loaded Undercard March 29th at Boardwalk Hall

Atlantic City, NJ: Light-heavyweight contender Lionell “Lonnie B.” Thompson (15-2-0, 9 KOs) hopes to continue his climb into the world title picture when he boxes Radivoje Kalajdzic (14-0-0, 10 KOs) in a 10-round contest next Saturday evening, March 29, at Boardwalk Hall.

The Thompson-Kalajdzic match tops a stacked card in support of the scheduled 12-round main event between WBO Light Heavyweight Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 KOs) and undefeated challenger Cedric “L.O.W.” Agnew (26-0-0, 13 KOs) in a HBO-televised contest.

“Lonnie B” Thompson

Photo Credits:

Larry Levanti/Main Events

Thompson, 28, of Buffalo, NY, gave his career a boost in 2013 with wins over Chuck Mussachio, of Wildwood, NJ (a second round RTD at Bally's in Atlantic City, NJ); Yathomas Riley, Panama City, FL (an eight round unanimous decision at the Paramount Theatre in Huntington, NY) and Ryan Coyne, of St. Louis, MO (a ten round unanimous decision at Resorts International Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ).

A pro since 2009, Thompson is ranked No. 8 by the WBA. Thompson was a five-time Golden Gloves Champion in New York State. He has trained with world champions and top contenders including Chad Dawson, Carl Froch and Lucian Bute.

Kalajdzic, 22, is from Zenica, Bosnia, but now lives in St. Petersburg, FL. He has won all 14 of his pro fights, 10 by knockout, since turning pro in 2011. He has knocked out his last three opponents in the first round: Samson Onyango of Newark, NJ; Charles Hayward of Philadelphia, PA; and Otis Griffin of Sacramento, CA (all in Tampa, FL). All three were quality opponents with a combined record of 53-26-2 at fight time.

In an eight-round junior middleweight match, Wilky Campfort (16-1-0, 9 KOs) returns to Atlantic City for the second time this year when he takes on Khurshid Abdullaev (6-0-1, 3 KOs).

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Wilky Campfort

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Campfort, 29, of Ft. Lauderale, FL, earned an eight-round split decision over Atlantic City's DeCarlo Perez in a toe-to-toe brawl on Jan. 24 at Resorts International Casino and Hotel in Atlantic, City, NJ. Abdullaev, 24, is originally from Russia but now resides in Oxnard, CA. He is undefeated in six professional bouts with three knockouts (third round against Khalik Memminger May 11, 2013; third round against Alexey Kulikov on April 27, 2010; and first round against Dmytro Bolotskyy on February 27, 2010).

Local favorite Ismael Garcia (5-0-1, 3 KOs), of Vineland, NJ, and southpaw DuShane Crooks (6-0-0, 4 KOs), of Brooklyn, NY, meet over six rounds in a battle of undefeated junior middleweight prospects. Garcia has knocked out his last three opponents (Michael Sunkett in the second round on August 24, 2013; Alando Swain in the sixth round on June 1, 2013; and Kenneth Moody in the first round on July 27, 2012).

Crooks has a tendency to knockout is opponents early. In six professional bouts he has four knockouts. He knocked out Michael Taylor on November 12, 2011 in the first round, he finished Tyrone Braswell in the first round on August 12, 2011 and then took out his brother, Tyshone Braswell, in the first round a month later on September 17, 2011 in Tyshone's professional debut. In his professional debut, Crooks also knocked out On'rey Towns on May 21, 2011 in the second round.

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Wellington Romero

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Wellington Romero (2-0-0, 1 KO), who represented the Dominican Republic in the 2012 Olympics, takes on Gerald Smith (3-0-0, 1 KO), of Philadelphia, PA, in a four-round junior welterweight match. The 23-year-old Romero is coming off a first round knockout of Ismael Serrano, of Bethlehem, PA on January 24th at Resorts International Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ. Smith, 28, is.

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Adam Kownacki

Photo Credits: Mike Gladysz

Popular heavyweight Adam Kownacki (5-0-0, 5 KOs), of Brooklyn, NY, looks for his sixth knockout in six pro fights when he meets Excell Holmes (2-2-1, 1 KO), of Buffalo, NY, over four rounds.

Super middleweight Rafael Jastrzebski (4-7-1, 1 KO), 32, of Atlantic City, and Mike Mitchell (2-3-2), 36, of Paterson, NJ, collide in a four-rounder.

The total combined records for the entire event is 91-11, 64 KOs vs. 76-5, 42 KOs.

About March 29th:

March 29th features the WBO Light Heavyweight World Title showdown between Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (23-0-1, 21KOs) and Cedric Agnew (26-0-0, 13 KOs) from the Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic, City, NJ. The broadcast will begin live on HBO Boxing After Dark at 10:00 PM ET/PT with the Thomas Dulorme vs. Karim Mayfield co-feature. The event is presented by Main Events in association with Caesars Atlantic City. Tickets are on sale now through TicketMaster online at www.ticketmaster.com or via phone (800) 736-1420. Fans can also contact Main Events for tickets at (973) 200-7050. Ticket prices are $26, $51, $77 and $152. Doors will open at 6:30 PM 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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