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Adonis Stevenson, Andrzej Fonfara, Yvon Michel, Leon Margules & Stephen Espinoza Media Conference Call Highlights

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NEW YORK (May 20, 2014) – WBC Light Heavyweight World Champion Adonis Stevenson and Andrzej Fonfara participated in a media conference call on Tuesday as they reach the apex of preparation for this Saturday’s world title showdown live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.

The 36-year-old Stevenson (23-1-0, 20 KOs) laid his claim as the world’s No. 1 light heavyweight with an exceptional 2013 campaign that included knockout victories over Chad Dawson and Tavoris Cloud, earning him The Ring Magazine award for “Fighter of the Year.” The 26-year-old Fonfara (25-2-0, 15 KOs), of Chicago by way of Warsaw, Poland, is the No. 3 contender in the WBC and holds victories over three former world champions in his last five fights. Fonfara has won 15 fights in a row, 12 by knockout, and has never been defeated as a light heavyweight.

In co-featured fights this Saturday, May 24, on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, power-punching, world-ranked Montreal middleweight David Lemieux (31-2, 29 KOs) meets Fernando Guerrero (26-2, 19 KOs) of Salisbury, Md., in a 10-round bout, and Houston’s unbeaten rising star Jermell Charlo (23-0, 11 KOs) takes on Japan’s Charlie Ohta (24-1-1, 16 KOs) in a 12-round junior middleweight match.

On SHO EXTREME (7 p.m. ET/PT) from the Bell Centre, Julian “J-Rock” Williams (15-0-1, 9 KOs), of Philadelphia, faces Michael Medina (26-4-2, 19 KOs), of Modesto, Calif., in a 10-round junior middleweight scrap and world-ranked Eleider Alvarez (14-0, 8 KOs), of Montreal by way Colombia, collides with Alexander Johnson (15-1, 6 KOs), of Washington, D.C., in a 10-round light heavyweight bout.

Here’s what the participants had to say on Tuesday’s call:

Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President & General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports:

“This event is a long time coming, at least for us here at SHOWTIME. We’ve wanted Adonis to fight on SHOWTIME for quite a while. Personally, I became interested a few years back when Emanuel Steward first mentioned Adonis to me. We had Adonis scheduled to fight on SHOWTIME back in 2012 until some bad luck intervened. So, we’ve been waiting for Superman, if you will, for some time.

“Andrzej is not someone to look past. He is a very good puncher. He is a very good boxer and I think his boxing skills are underrated. I believe this Stevenson-Fonfara main event is going to be a lot tougher than many of you may think. I said it about Matthysse-Molina a couple of weeks ago. And I said the same for Mayweather-Maidana. I expect a very competitive fight in our main event.”

Q: How devastating would it be if Adonis was to lose this fight?

“I don’t think devastating is the right way to describe it. My sense of Adonis is that he’s got his own motivation; whether it’s losing the title or a unification fight, that’s all secondary. He wants to win because he’s used to winning and he wants to keep winning. … No one should be ashamed in losing this fight. This is a well-matched, competitive fight. Here at the network, our goal is to televise a title unification fight eventually. We don’t have any particular preferences on who the titlists are. We would just like to be able to televise and bring to the fans a fight that would result in a unified light heavyweight title. I will say that a good amount of the fascination with Adonis and his popularity is that he is such a big puncher and he has these highlight-reel knockouts. That’s something that’s not going to go away with a loss here or a loss there. It does throw a wrench in his plans for a unification fight, but there’s still plenty of value and interest in Adonis as a fighter.”

Yvon Michel, Adonis Stevenson’s promoter:

“Adonis has won his last 10 fights by knockout. While you progress in the rankings and when you get better opposition, usually the knockout ratio starts slimming down. But it has been the other way around for Adonis. The better the opposition, the more he wanted to win the fight, and the easier it became to get better timing and knock out his opponent.

“(Adonis) is an exceptional puncher with both hands and can hurt you and knock you out with one punch at any time in the fight. Anytime a fighter comes into the fight with a plan, all that strategy goes out the window the very first time he gets hit by Adonis.”

Adonis Stevenson:

“I’m very focused for this fight. I’m not overlooking him. I know he’s going to be ready and I’m training for just him. I take it one fight at a time and I will take care of business. I’m ready for this fight.

“I’m not here to lose. I’m a champion and I’m here to win. By knockout. That’s it and I’m not concerned about anything else.”

Q: What are your motivations for seeking a path that would lead you to a fight with Bernard Hopkins as opposed to one that was talked about with Sergey Kovalev?

“You know, I want to be a legend and I want to be on par with all the boxing legends so that gives me a lot of motivation to push my body very, very hard and at a high level and keep training and focus fight by fight. I’m very motivated.”

Q: How do you respond to some of the people who look at the decision you made and say, ‘Bernard is a great name and (Adonis) has a tough fight with Fonfara, but he’s ducking Kovalev because of the deal that you accepted.’ How do you respond to those people?

“Those people don’t understand that boxing is a business. That’s our mentality. That we negotiate with the network and we make sure that everyone gets paid. That’s why I took it because I’m working with the best managers in the world and they make sure everything is right with the network, and everything. It’s not about ducking, it’s about business. I don’t have a problem fighting Kovalev. I have a feeling that Yvon Michel will one day make that happen.”

Q: You came up as a fighter who worked with Emanuel Steward. What affect did he have, not only on your professional career, but what impact did he have on you as a person inside the ring and outside?

“You know, Emanuel gave me a lot of advice and motivation. And it’s not just about training. He was a friend to me and we spent a lot of time talking about life. And we talked about boxing and what it would be like to be a world champion. A couple of years ago he didn’t have any money, he didn’t save nothing. And he explained that to me and I took his advice. He told me I was going to be the world champion and that I was going to be a star.”

Q: What is Fonfara’s style, his strengths and his weaknesses?

“I don’t know. I’m gonna knock him out. That’s what I’m going to do. I don’t know his game plan. I’m going to knock him out.”

Q: Is Bernard Hopkins next up for you?

“I don’t care about Hopkins now. Fonfara is in front of me, and that’s it. After the fight we can talk about Hopkins.

“When you used to watch Mike Tyson fight, you knew someone was going to get knocked out. That’s what is going to happen on SHOWTIME. Somebody’s going to get knocked out.”

Leon Margules, Andrzej Fonfara’s promoter:

“Andrzej is a great young fighter and we believe a future champion. We’re not discrediting the year Adonis Stevenson had and we’re certainly not predicting an easy fight, but Andrzej believes, and I believe, that he can win the world title on Saturday night.

“When I first saw Andrzej Fonfara I asked him of all the champions and all the fighters and all the opportunities that you may have, who do you want to fight? Anybody you want. And for any world title you want. And he said, ‘I want to fight Adonis Stevenson for the WBC light heavyweight championship.’ So, he is very, very excited and I know he’s thrilled to be on SHOWTIME because it will be his first experience on premium television.”

Andrzej Fonfara:

“Everything is going right. My training camp is almost ended. We trained for a couple of weeks in Chicago and then we flew to Big Bear in California. We trained in Abel Sanchez’s gym in Summit for like three weeks and then we came here. I’m ready for this fight and I’ve had good sparring partners and have had good preparation.”

Q: Do you think you’ve been overlooked by Adonis, and if so how is that beneficial to you?

“No. I don’t think like that. This business is like that and you must think about your next fight. Adonis should think about his next fight. I want to focus on this fight and it’s not a problem to talk about that. It’s normal.”

Q: What is your game plan?

“I don’t want to say it here. You will see when I get into the ring. I don’t want to say anything about my plan.”

Q: Is there a different preparation or approach you have to take when facing a guy with the knockout power as Adonis Stevenson?

“No. We do the same preparation as always. We change a little bit because he’s a southpaw and he has a different style. We have good sparring partners and I am ready physically and mentally.”

Argentina

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.

IBF welterweight title

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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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