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Quotes From Thurman, Matthysse, Figueroa Ahead of Sat. Bouts

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MEDIA WORKOUT QUOTES FOR SATURDAY’S TRIPLEHEADER ON SHOWTIME®, SHO EXTREME® FROM STUBHUB CENTER IN CARSON, CALIF.

THREE-FIGHT SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING TELECAST STARTS AT 9 P.M. ET/6 P.M. PT, FOLLOWING EPISODE 2 PREMIERE OF “ALL ACCESS: MAYWEATHER VS. MAIDANA”

First Live Fight is 1 p.m. PT; Tickets Still Available!

LOS ANGELES (April 23, 2014) – Nine of the talented boxers who will fight on a top-notch, action-packed Golden Boys Promotions’ fight card this Saturday, April 26, at the StubHubCenter in Carson, Calif., participated in a Media Workout Wednesday at the Westside Boxing Gym.

In Saturday’s main event live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, following the premiere of ALLACCESS: Mayweather vs. Maidana Episode 20, undefeated, hard-hitting Keith “One Time” Thurman (22-0, 20 KOs), of Clearwater, Fla., will defend his WBA Interim Welterweight Championship against former world champion Julio “The Kidd” Diaz (40-9-1, 29 KOs), of Coachella, Calif.

Former world champion Lucas “The Machine” Matthysse (34-3, 32 KOs), of Trelow, Arg., and John Molina (27-3, 22 KOs), of Covina, Calif., clash in an important collision of power-punching junior welterweights in a 10-round bout, and unbeaten WBC Lightweight Champion Omar “Panterita” Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs), of Weslaco, Texas, risks his 135-pound belt against a nemesis from his amateur days, Jerry The Corpus Christi KidBelmontes (19-3, 5 KOs), of Corpus Christi, Texas, on the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast.

The main event on SHO EXTREME® (7 p.m. ET/PT) will pit promising unbeaten junior welterweight Antonio “Relentless” Orozco (9-0, 15 KOs) of San Diego, Calif., against Mexico City’s Martin “El Brochas” Honorio (32-8-1, 16 KOs). Other SHOWTIME Extreme scraps will include Jermall Charlo (17-0, 13 KOs) against Albuquerque’s Hector Munoz (22-12-1, 14 KOs) in a 10-round junior middleweight match and time-permitting, 2012 Brazilian Olympian Yamaguchi Falcao (0-0), of Sao Paulo, against Carlos Badaldua (pro debut), of Tijuana, Mexico, in a 4/6-round middleweight fight.

Unbeatens Frankie “Pitbull” Gomez (welterweight, 16-0), of East Los Angeles, and 2012 U.S. Olympians Joseph “Jo-Jo” Diaz Jr. (super bantamweight, 9-0), of South El Monte, Calif., and Cleveland’s Terrell Gausha (super welterweight, 8-0) will appear in non-televised fights. Also, Sharif Bogere (lightweight, 23-1), of Las Vegas, will box off-TV. The first live preliminary begins at 1 p.m. PT.

Tickets priced at $150, $75, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges, are on sale now and available online at AXS.com, by phone at 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849) and at StubHub Center Box Office (Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. PT to 6 p.m. PT). VIP Suites are available by calling 877-604-8777. For more information on group discounts or VIP packages, please call 877-234-8425.

What the boxers said Wednesday:

KEITH THURMAN, WBA Interim Welterweight World Champion

“What excites me most is being in the main event. They could have put me on other cards as a co-feature, but this shows me respect and I want to thank Golden Boy for that.

“Every fighter has to take it one fight at a time, and I’m going in Saturday to do my job.

“Diaz had some great performances against Shawn Porter and he gave Amir Khan a great fight. Diaz is a former world champion. They say he’s a veteran with a lot of experience. But I’m 25 and have been at this for 18 years, so I’m a veteran, too.

“Winning on Saturday is obviously very important. Others in my division are already name-fighters, but I’m just starting to build mine. I’m still coming up in the world of boxing. So this is a chance for me to show that I’m not like all others.

“I expect Diaz to fight his heart out. He says he plans to knock me out. I don’t know if that’s fight hype or his strategy, but I’ll be ready. I want guys who come to fight. I want to make and be in the best fights. On my record I have an ‘O’ but I’m not afraid to let it go.

“I’ve known Shawn Porter and his Dad for years. I know they’re calling me out. When the time is right, we’ll fight. I expect to fight for maybe another 10 years.

“I work very hard and count my blessings that I’m where I’m at. I love the support the fans give me. We’re going to give them a real fight on Saturday.”

JULIO DIAZ, Former World Champion

“They said I was an old man three years ago and said it was time for me to retire. Actually, I’ve been hearing the same thing for 15 years. They said it when I lost my title. They said it when I got knocked out. But I’m still here and Saturday I’m getting a shot at another world title.

“I’ve always felt like a world champion, which is a reason that I’m able to come back and win fights no one thinks I can. The biggest mistake I made, I think, was staying at lightweight too long. I think I fought at 135 for 12-13 years.

“They say I have no chin but since moving to 147 I haven’t been dropped. I haven’t even been moved.

“I definitely feel I beat Porter the first time (December 2012), but they called it a draw. In the second fight he outpointed me but in both fights I know I hurt him, and I dropped him. People forget that, and look at Porter now. His status has really grown.

“Going against Thurman is a very dangerous opportunity for me, but one I have to take. I have to take a big risk in any fight that comes my way to get the big reward.

“Keith Thurman is for real. He’s getting all the attention. But that’s the way it always is before my fights. Let’s see what they’re saying after our fight on Saturday.”

LUCAS MATTYHSSE, Former World Champion

“All fights are important but this one is especially very important for me to win so that I can get back to where I was in the division.

“In my last fight (a points’ loss to Unified Super Lightweight Champion Danny Garcia), I thought everything was going my way until I caught an elbow in my right eye. I don’t think it was a punch, but it turned the fight around.

“I felt I was dominating, fighting with two eyes, but with one eye he got the momentum. It was disappointing, I thought my career was on the fast track and I gave it 100 percent, but I could not fight like I wanted.

“I don’t believe the defeat has derailed me too badly, but I need to win against Molina to show that I am back.

“Molina is a strong, confident fighter who comes forward. In his knockout victory against Mickey Bey, I saw a very hungry fighter. But I didn’t really see a whole lot more from him. I have fought and beat much better.”

JOHN MOLINA, Junior Welterweight Contender

“I feel like I’ve come full circle and I’m right where I should be.

“Fighting at 140 is a gift for me. This is my second fight at junior welter but I feel better than I ever have. So moving up from 135 will not be a factor.

“The bad loss to (then lightweight world champion Antonio) DeMarco was a few years ago (August 2012) but I needed that to become the pro that I am today. I now have the experience of fighting on the big stage that I didn’t then.

“The odds are against me each time out but I have a fighting spirit and I have a desire to win against all odds that others don’t. There was never any self-doubt.

“Against the kind of fighter Matthysse is, I have the opportunity to show what I’m really all about. I showed it once against Bey on SHOWTIME and I’m confident I can do it again on Saturday.”

OMAR “PANTERITA’ FIGUEROA, WBC Lightweight Champion

“One difference between when Belmontes and I used to fight and now is that I’m a full-grown man. Now, I have the size advantage. I’ve sparred with the likes of Amir Khan, Tim Bradley, the late Edwin Valero and Julio Diaz. Working with them has helped me cover all my bases and now I’m a world champion.

“Jerry’s been talking forever about fighting me. But it hasn’t just been a one-way street. I’ve been wanting to fight him, too, since the amateurs. Believe me, it got to the point where I would have settled just to spar a few rounds with him. I’m very vengeful when it comes to boxing.

“On Saturday, I’m looking forward to shutting him up for good. To be able to do it on television and get paid for it, well, what’s better than that? My goal in every fight is to punish my opponent and hurt them.

“I had a hard fight against (Nihito) Arakawa in my last fight but I think I showed I could deal with a great deal of adversity and still win. I hurt both my hands in the fight which is why I had to cancel a title defense. But my hands feel great now and my preparation for this fight has been great.”

JERRY BELMONTES, Lightweight Contender

“He says we fought three times in the amateurs but I say five and I beat him all five times. As far as I can tell, he still fights the same way. He comes forward, possesses no defense and likes to get hit. He’s always fought like that.

“Our fights were 12-13 years ago, but I remember beating him easily, basically by out-boxing and out-moving and out-working him. If he gets frustrated on Saturday, just like he always does, I know I’ll have him again.

“I always wanted this fight. My confidence is way up. I’m faster, quicker, and love to fight in the pocket. I’m finally listening to my corner. They brought me in as an opponent for Will Tomlinson in my last fight, but I defeated him on a decision.

“I only have five knockouts, but I’ve hurt everyone I’ve faced. I just didn’t finish them. I’ll be more than willing to exchange on Saturday.”

YAMAGUCHI FALCAO, 2012 Olympic Games Bronze Medalist From Brazil

“I cannot tell you how excited I am about fighting. I really want to show the world and my country, Brazil, that the Yamaguchi they saw in my debut on Jan. 25 in Brazil was not me. The fight ended in a no-contest and it was very, very disappointing. It was not good for me and I felt terrible about what happened. That’s why I am so looking forward to Saturday.

“After winning a bronze medal and my brother a silver, we came back and were treated like heroes. My first fight was supposed to be all about me, like a coming out party. I was in the main event, an eight-rounder. The buildup was great.

“I won the first three rounds, but in the fourth round my opponent spit on me. I raised my hands up in the air in front of my face, like ‘what the heck was that all about.’ Then the referee stepped in and my opponent spit on him too. The ref then sent us to a neutral corner. Then, he disqualified us both and the fight was ruled a no-contest.

“I was so embarrassed.”

JARMALL CHARLO, Undefeated, World-Ranked Junior Middleweight

“Ever since my world title fight fell through (against Carlos Molina, due to Molina’s legal issues), it’s been back to square one for me. But that’s part of boxing and I’m learning from it. I’m still young and this is part of my job. As bad as I wanted it, it came and went. I know I’m gonna get my world title shot sooner or later. They can’t keep dodging me forever.

“I’ve been training and I’m just excited to be fighting again, I’m hungrier than ever, feel I’m at the top of my game. I set a goal to be a world champion, and that is still my goal. But I am starting all over again.

JOSEPH JO-JO DIAZ, Promising, Unbeaten Super Bantamweight

“This is by far the most experienced opponent I’ve faced. He has 50 fights. I expect him to come out and try to use his experience, show me some head movement, vary his attack, anything to try and get me out of my game plan.

“But I’m prepared and ready to do what I do best. I’m really looking forward to this opportunity and ready to show everybody that I am ready for these kinds of guys and can compete with them.”

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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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