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Barthelemy-Saucedo On Showtime Oct. 4

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SHOWTIME BOXING SPECIAL EDITION ANNOUNCED FOR OCTOBER 4TH

RANCES BARTHELEMY SET TO DEFEND IBF SUPER FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE AGAINST FERNANDO SAUCEDO IN MAIN EVENT

WILLIE NELSON VS. VANES MARTIROSYAN IN CO-FEATURE

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4TH LIVE ON SHOWTIME

New York, NY (9/5/14) – On Saturday, October 4th, DiBella Entertainment and Warriors Boxing will stage a thrilling SHOWTIME Boxing Special Edition with reigning undefeated IBF champion Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy (20-0-0-1NC, 12KO’s) defending his super featherweight title against former world title challenger and IBF #3-rated Fernando Saucedo (52-5-3, 8KO’s). The main event is promoted in association with Sampson Boxing. This card will air live on SHOWTIME beginning at 9 pm ET/PT from the Fox Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino, in Mashantucket, Conn.

In the co-feature, two highly ranked junior middleweights will collide in an exciting 10-round matchup when Willie Nelson (23-1-1, 13 KO’s) faces Vanes Martirosyan (34-1-1, 21 KO’s). This contest is promoted in association with Rumble Time Promotions and Goossen Tutor Promotions.

After defecting from his native Cuba, former amateur star Barthelemy successfully made his pro debut in 2009 and immediately began turning heads with his electric performances. Nicknamed “Kid Blast”, the highly gifted boxer with devastating knockout power in both hands quickly moved up the ranks of the 130lb. division. In June 2013, Barthelemy moved himself to the #1 spot in the IBF world ratings when he scored a second-round knockout over contender Fahsai Sakkreerin with a single body shot in their official IBF title eliminator.

Next up for Barthelemy was IBF champion Argenis Mendez this past January. Barthelemy took the fight right to Mendez and had him in trouble almost immediately in the first round. In the second, Barthelemy landed a barrage of punches to drop Mendez with just under 15 seconds to go in the round. Mendez was able to beat the count, but, as the bell was sounding to end the frame, Barthelemy landed a vicious combination that knocked Mendez out cold. Initially, referee Pete Podgorski ruled Barthelemy the victor by way of knockout. However, following review of the bout weeks later, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry determined that Barthelemy’s final blows came after the bell had rung and changed the result of the fight to a ‘No Contest.’ The IBF ordered an immediate rematch and the two met sixth months later, with Barthelemy winning by unanimous 12-round decision, officially taking the IBF belt from Mendez. Now, the 28-year-old Barthelemy is ready to make the first defense of his title when he takes on the tough Argentinean Saucedo.

Saucedo is no stranger to championship opportunities, having fought for the Super WBA world featherweight championship against long reigning champion Chris John back in 2010. The bout against John was the last time that Saucedo tasted defeat, with the dogged Argentinean moving up in weight and reeling off 14 consecutive victories. The move up in weight also seemed to have brought more power to Saucedo’s punches, as seven of his eight career knockouts have come during his current winning streak. Last year, Saucedo claimed the vacant WBC Silver super featherweight championship with a 12-round unanimous decision over Sergio Medina. Now, he is looking to rip Barthelemy’s IBF strap from around his waist when the two meet on October 4th.

“We are so excited that Showtime Boxing will be televising Rances Barthelemy’s first defense,” said Leon Margules, President of Warriors Boxing & Promotions, LLC. “We believe that Rances will be a star for many years to come and is showing his mettle by fighting #3-ranked Fernando Saucedo in his first defense, who is on quite a roll himself. Working with a great resort like Foxwoods and with my friend Lou DiBella on this stellar show is a pleasure for us.”

A native of Cleveland, OH, Willie Nelson, rated #5 by the WBC, is one of the most talented and dangerous 154-pounders in the world. Since his lone loss to once-beaten Vincent Arroyo via majority decision on ShoBox in 2011, Nelson has switched trainers, moved up in weight and has never looked better, winning seven straight bouts. Following a 10-round unanimous decision over the 12-0 Yudel Johnson on Showtime, Nelson has scored sensational victories against the 13-0 John Jackson and 32-2 Luciano Cuello via unanimous decision as well as a brutal first-round TKO of Michael Medina. After annihilating Darryl Cunningham inside one round on the Cotto-Martinez undercard this past June, Nelson last fought and defeated the gritty Mexican 17-2-2 Luis Grajeda on August 8. Showing tremendous heart, Nelson overcame a couple moments of adversity, getting tagged by Grajeda’s heavy hands, to outbox him the rest of the way en route to winning a 10-round unanimous decision. Nelson is on the doorstep to challenging for his first world title and is hungrier than ever to get his shot, but Vanes Martirosyan is standing in his way.

Martirosyan, an eight-time National champion, finished his amateur career with a stellar 120-10 record prior to turning pro in 2005. Amassing several minor title belts, Martirosyan soon built a reputation as a dangerous 154lb. contender and potential future champion. Between 2009-’11, Martirosyan picked up the NABF, NABO, WBA International and WBC Silver junior middleweight titles, including an impressive 10-round unanimous decision victory over the 22-0 Joe Greene held at Yankee Stadium. In November 2012, Martirosyan challenged Cuban prodigy Erislandy Lara, breaking him down with pressure and a powerful right hand. However, following a fight-ending severe cut over Martirosyan’s left eye resulting from an unintentional clash of heads, the bout was halted and ruled a draw on the scorecards. One year later, Martirosyan received a shot at the vacant WBO title against the 19-0 Demetrius Andrade, but he would ultimately suffer his first defeat via close, split decision. In his last bout, on March 21, 2014, Martirosyan scored a 10-round unanimous decision win over a tough Mario Lozano. Currently ranked #4 by the WBO, #8 by the IBF and #9 by the WBC, Martirosyan is zeroing in on another title opportunity, but he must first get by the resolute Nelson.

“I am excited to be co-promoting this event with Leon Margules and Warriors Boxing,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Willie Nelson versus Vanes Martirosyan is a great matchup between two of the better fighters in the stacked 154lb. division. It is a tremendous opportunity for the winner to catapult himself to a world title shot in his next fight.”

“As Foxwoods strives to maintain our market leadership position in casino sports, boxing remains an important part of our overall entertainment platform. Lou DiBella is one of the best boxing promoters in the world and never fails to deliver a world-class event,” said Scott Butera, President and CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Additional undercard bouts will be announced shortly.

Tickets, priced at $150, $90 and $45, are currently on sale and can 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. Doors open at 6:00pm, with the first bout scheduled for 6:30pm.

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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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