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NEWS ON: Andre Berto, Bryant Cruz, Don George

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Andre Berto Travels to Haiti with Fellow Professional Athletes and Global Ambassadors

(LOS ANGELES, CALIF.) – Haitian Olympian and former two-time World Champion Andre Berto (Winter Haven, Fla.) is driven to not only rebuild his native Haiti, but also promote the natural beauty and vacation opportunities that exist in the island nation. In an effort to accomplish both of those goals, he joined the Jack Brewer Foundation and several professional athletes for a trip to Haiti, April 26-29, as part of their Global Ambassador Tour.

Berto and his fellow ambassadors made several stops during their four-day trip, connecting with local citizens and young people at every visit. “I plan to have a consistent presence in Haiti, it's a beautiful place and I want to share everything it has to offer,” Berto said. “There's still a lot of rebuilding work to be done in certain areas and we will continue to assist in those efforts, but I also plan to showcase Haiti's beaches and stunning natural beauty as a legitimate travel option.”

As the first boxer ever to represent Haiti in the Olympic Games, Berto wants to provide the opportunity for aspiring athletes to represent their country in major international events as well. He had several meetings with local officials about his goal to build boxing gyms and a youth center in Haiti for the youngsters in the area. Berto met several children who are looking to become the next Haitian Olympian during the delegation's visit to Cite Soleil, one of the poorest slums in the world. In conjunction with a program called the Haitian Initiative, the JBF delegation provided meals to approximately 300 kids as well as participating in a large soccer game with the neighborhood children.

Berto was inspired by all of the kids who came to meet him and take pictures with their own Haitian champion. One young boxer even showed Berto his pugilistic prowess and the two-time World Champion put on the mitts and helped him hone his boxing skills during their visit.

In addition to Cite Soleil, Berto and the JBF delegation visited a facility operated by Helping Hands for Haiti, an organization focused on rehabilitative medical efforts that provides and fits prosthetics for those in need.

Last week's trip was Berto's second in the last six months and he looks forward to returning to Haiti following his next fight. Berto will travel to northern California in the next few weeks to resume training with Virgil Hunter in his Oakland area gym. He sparred for the first time just prior to his trip to Haiti and is excited to open training camp this month for his first fight of 2014, tentatively slated for late summer.

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BRYANT “PEE-WEE” CRUZ MEETS WITH FANS AHEAD OF UPCOMING MAY 16TH BOUT 

TAKES ON OSNELL CHARLES ON THE UNDERCARD OF

DIBELLA ENTERTAINMENT'S

SHOBOX: THE NEW GENERATION CARD

LIVE AT FOXWOODS RESORT CASINO

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New York, NY (5/6/14) – Last night, Westchester County's most popular and promising fighter, Bryant “Pee-Wee” Cruz (10-0, 6KO's), took time out of his busy training schedule to take part in a special meet-and-greet at his sponsor bar/restaurant – Mickey Spillane's, in Eastchester, NY – for a number of his adoring fans. The undefeated junior lightweight prospect sat for hours talking with fans, signing autographs and taking pictures. Cruz even received a surprise visit from his DBE stable-mate, undefeated and fast-rising female star Heather “The Heat” Hardy. Cruz, who recently signed an exclusive co-promotional deal with DiBella Entertainment and New Legend Boxing, is set to face Osnell Charles on DiBella Entertainment's upcoming ShoBox: The New Generation card live from the beautiful Foxwoods Resort Casino, in Mashantucket, CT. The bout against Charles is scheduled for six rounds and will be one of the featured undercard bouts of the evening.

“It was great for Pee-Wee to give back to his fans and to actually be able to have a conversation with them and interact with them. He is always so appreciative of their support, so this was a great way for him to thank them personally. We expect a big crowd to make the trip up to Foxwoods on May 16, and Pee-Wee is totally focused on the task at hand and putting on a spectacular performance for everyone coming out,” said manager Kevin Crowley.

“I am always in the gym, always training, so being able to do stuff like this is a nice breath of fresh air for me. It also gives me the opportunity to give back to my fans, who have been so supportive of me thus far during my career,” said Cruz.

While Cruz was all smiles yesterday, when asked about the upcoming fight his demeanor quickly changed.

“This is a huge opportunity for me and my career. When I beat Joshua Reyes back in February, the Showtime execs were there watching and from what I have been told, they were very impressed. Being on this upcoming ShoBox undercard will give me the opportunity to once again showcase my talents to them. I know how important it is for me and my team that I don't just win but that I do so in impressive fashion. That's what my trainer Ryan O'Leary and I are working toward everyday in the gym. I know that my manager Kevin Crowley and promoters DiBella Entertainment and New Legend Boxing will get me the opportunities that I need to bring my career to the next level and it is my job to not let them pass me by.”

Tickets for the upcoming ShoBox: The New Generation card are priced at $125, $85 and $45, and may be purchased online at Foxwoods.com, by calling the Foxwoods' box office at 800-200-2882, or in person at the Foxwoods box office. Tickets may also be purchased through any Ticketmaster outlet or online at Ticketmaster.com.

Chicago, IL Tuesday, May 6, 2014–Chicago boxing sensation Donovan “Don Da Bomb” George (25-4-2, 22 KOs) will get a shot at the vacant International Boxing Organization (IBO) Super Middleweight title on Saturday, May 17, when he travels to Colombia to fight Alexander Brand (22-1, 18 KOs) of Bogota, Columbia. George returned to the ring with a sixth round TKO of Troy Lowry (28-14, 17 KOs) on April 18, of this year.”This is a tremendous opportunity for Donovan, and he deserves this shot at a world title,” said Bobby Hitz. “He works so hard everyday and it is paying off for him.” George had been scheduled to headline Hitz Boxing's June 20th installment of “Fight Night at Horseshoe Hammond” when this bout was presented to his team. “I've been in the gym training for a June fight, but when this fight presented itself a couple of days ago I took it. You don't pass up a title shot, ever!” said George. “This is why I stay in shape, stay ready. I'm going to South America to represent Chicago, Hitz, Round 3, and Team Boom. I expect to return with a belt.”George signed with Hitz Boxing and Round 3 Productions earlier this year.”Donovan is a special fighter who is going to impress international boxing fans and bring the title back to Chicago,” said Frank Mugnolo, president of Round 3 Productions. “Bobby and I are proud of him.”

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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 –  -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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