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NEWS ON: Cunningham-Visinia, Paul Littleton, Fight To Educate

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Steve “USS” Cunningham Fights

Natu “The Truth” Visinia on Oct. 18 at the

2300 Arena in Philadelphia

Tickets Available Now!

Cunningham

“USS” Cunningham

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Philadelphia, PA: Heavyweight contender Steve “USS” Cunningham (27-6, 12 KOs) takes on unbeaten Natu “The Truth” Visinia (10-0, 8 K0s) on Saturday evening, Oct. 18, at the 2300 Arena when NBCSN’s popular Fight Night boxing series returns to South Philadelphia.

Cunningham’s brutal battle with then-undefeated Amir “Hardcore” Mansour on April 4 in front of an electrified hometown crowd earned him the USBA Heavyweight Title and was an instant classic.

The Oct. 18 show also features a solid 10-round junior lightweight contest between Edner Cherry, of Wauchula, FL, and Jerry Belmontes, of Corpus Christi, TX. The Fight Night telecast will begin at 9 PM ET. The doors will open at 6 PM.

Mansour-Cunningham

Mansour & Cunningham

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Tickets priced at $50 and $75 are on sale at Peltz Boxing (215-765-0922). They also can be purchased through Wanamaker’s Tickets (215-568-2400). The event is sponsored by Rocco’s Collision.

Cunningham, 38, spent the majority of his career at cruiserweight before moving up to heavyweight two years ago.

“This is the third undefeated heavyweight that I am facing and he has more career heavyweight fights than I do,” Cunningham explained. “I have fought more undefeated heavyweight fighters than some heavyweights fight in their entire career. I am up for the challenge. It is always a challenge fighting a young untested fighter, but a job has to be done. We are going to do the job, get this victory and be impressive.”

Natu Visinia

Natu Visinia

Photo Courtesy of: Final Forum Promotions

Visinia, 28, of Lakewood, CA, is a former stand-out high school and college football player. He was all-state in Missouri for William Chrisman High School then went on to start at left guard for Southern Illinois University. He took up boxing in 2006 to stay in shape for football, but fell in love with the sport. He began his fighting career in MMA, where he became the #2 ranked amateur heavyweight in the US before making his pro debut on King of the Cage. He then switched to boxing and joined the All American Heavyweight camp. More recently, he signed with Final Forum Promotions, who delivered a reinvigorated Derric Rossy for the August 9, 2014 Fight Night main event against Czar Glazkov. Visinia has knocked out eight of his ten pro boxing opponents-seven of them in the first round. This will be the first 10-round fight of his career.

“Steve Cunningham is a long-time respected world champion and Natu is a young-rising heavyweight contender,” said Visinia’s promoter, Sal Musumeci, of Final Forum Promotions. “And on October 18 it will be out with the old and in with the new.”

Visinia: “I am extremely excited for the opportunity to fight former cruiserweight champ, Steve Cunningham. As much as I admire his experience and accomplishments in the sport, I do not intend on leaving Philly without the win.”

There also should be fireworks in the co-feature.

Cherry-Osiobe

Cherry & Osiobe

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Cherry, 32, has not lost in more than six years and is ranked No. 11 in the world by the IBF and No. 17 by the WBC. His 32-6-2 record includes 17 knockouts and he has beaten Vicente Escobido, of Woodland, CA; Stevie Johnston, of Denver, CO; Daniel Alicea, of Santurce, Puerto Rico, and Monte Meza-Clay, of Rankin, PA.

The last man to beat Cherry was Timothy Bradley for the WBC junior welterweight title in 2008. Cherry also lost on points to Paulie Malignaggi in 2007.

Cherry, who has never been stopped, beat Robert Osiobe, of Las Vegas, NV, earlier this year in Philadelphia.

“This is a solid match between two of the best in the world between 130 and 135,” said Hall-of-Fame promoter J Russell Peltz, who handles Cherry. “It’s nice to see fights like this at this level. No one gets a free pass and it’s on neutral ground–neither guy is from Philadelphia.”

Cherry: “I want to thank Russell Peltz and Main Events for this opportunity. I’m ready and hungry and I guarantee the fans are going to get an exciting fight, for as long as it lasts. I will show the world that I am the best 130 pound fighter in the world.”

Jerry Belmontes

Jerry Belmontes

Photo Credits: Kamil Krzaczynski

Belmontes, 25, who lost a disputed 12-round split decision to Omar Figueroa, of Welasco, TX, for the WBC lightweight title earlier this year, is 19-5, 5 KOs. He followed that with another split-decision loss, this one over 10 rounds against Abner Cotto, of Caguas, Puerto Rico.

Belmontes earned his title shot early in 2014 when he out-pointed previously unbeaten Will Tomlinson, of Australia, at the MGM in Las Vegas. He also has beaten Daniel Diaz, of Nicaragua.

“This is a huge opportunity for Jerry,” said manager Adrian Clark. “He loves Kathy [Duva], Jolene [Mizzone] and everyone at Main Events and he is excited to work with them again. He is looking to redeem himself after the loss to Cotto by beating Edner Cherry and getting back in the hunt and hopefully soon fighting for a 135 pound crown.”

“Once again our matchmakers, Jolene Mizzone and Russell Peltz, have come up with a pair of intriguing cross-roads fights to entertain the Fight Night fans,” said Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events. “Steve Cunningham is always in a great scrap and the undefeated Visinia is determined to make a statement. Meanwhile, the battle between Cherry and Belmontes promises a lot of action from two fighters who need to win in order to advance their careers.”

DBE

UNDEFEATED MIDDLEWEIGHT PROSPECT

PAUL LITTLETON FIGHTS THIS SATURDAY

AT THE AMERISTAR CASINO, IN ST. CHARLES, MO

Paul Littleton

New York, NY (9/11/14) – On Saturday, September 13, DiBella Entertainment’s (DBE) touted middleweight prospect, Paul Littleton (9-0-1, 5 KO’s), returns to action at the Ameristar Casino, in St. Charles, MO, for the first time since scoring an impressive fourth-round TKO victory over Jeffrey Combs this past June. He’ll be facing the tough battle-tested Lamar Harris in the card’s co-featured bout. Headlined by local bantamweight prospect Stephon “Showstopper” Young (10-0-1, 4 KO’s), this event is promoted by Steve Smith’s Rumble Time Promotions, in association with DiBella Entertainment.

The 28-year-old Littleton is a popular crowd-pleaser from Chicago with an aggressive style. After winning the Chicago Golden Gloves three times while accruing an amateur record of 85-20, Littleton turned pro in December 2011. He has since beaten three undefeated prospects, including having scored a six-round unanimous decision victory over the exalted 7-0 Roberto Acevedo. His lone blemish came via highly disputed split draw to the 9-1 Darnell Wilson in 2012, in a six-round bout most ringside observers felt Littleton clearly won. A troubled youth who moved in and out of group homes during his adolescence, Littleton is now focused on his goal of becoming a world champion, under the guidance of longtime trainer George Hernandez. In June 2014, Littleton signed an exclusive promotional agreement with DiBella Entertainment and the bout against Harris will be his second under the DBE banner.

“I’m excited to be a part of the DiBella Entertainment roster,” said Littleton. “It encourages me to keep working hard. I’m grateful for the opportunity that Lou DiBella has given me and I look forward to continue moving on to bigger things.”

“I’ve watched Paul develop since he was an amateur,” said Littleton’s trainer George Hernandez. “I first saw him competing in the Golden Gloves. He was an exciting, tough kid fighting his ass off, going toe-to-toe with his opponent. He really impressed me, and a year later, I was working with him. Combined with tremendous power in both hands, he has such an awkward style that they call him ‘the Matrix Man’ because he makes moves like Neo in ‘The Matrix’. He’s always in the gym and I believe that he brings a lot to the middleweight division. Now with DiBella Entertainment, I feel that Paul’s true potential will be realized and we’ll see great things from him.”

“Paul Littleton is a good young middleweight prospect,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “In Lamar Harris, he’ll be facing an extremely rugged opponent. We want Paul to get more experience and to be as active as possible as he rises toward contender status.”

Also appearing on the undercard in a four-round junior welterweight contest will be Puerto Rican sensation Kent Cruz (6-0, 4 KO’s), of St. Louis. Co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Rumble Time Promotions, Cruz will square off against the hard-hitting Joe Roye.

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fight-to-educate

Legends coming out to support

13th annual Pro-Am ‘Fight To Educate’

Sept. 18 in Manchester, NH

Vito Antuofermo, Chuck Wepner, Earnie Shavers & John Ruiz

MANCHESTER, N.H. (September 11, 2014) – Four boxing legends will lend their support to the 13th annual Fight To Educate (FTE), on Thursday night, September 18 at Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester, New Hampshire.

This year’s legends are former world middleweight champion Vito Antueofermo (50-7-2, 21 KOs), world heavyweight title challengers Chuck “Bayonne Bleeder” Wepner (25-14-2, 17 KOs) and Earnie “The Acorn” Shavers (74-14-1, 68 KOs), and two-time World Boxing Association heavyweight champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz (44-9-1, 30 KOs).

Fight To Educate, presented in part this year by Matrix Aerospace, is a unique charity event that combines a love of boxing with the vision of assisting children and seniors in need who without fundraisers like this could be ‘down for the count.’ During the past 12 years, Fight To Educate has raised more than $750,000 in donations benefitting local New Hampshire non-profit organizations.

Antueofermo captured the WBC/WBA middleweight title in 1979, winning a 15-round split decision over Hugo Corro. Italy-born Antuofermo, who lives in New York City, fought a draw with “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler before losing the title to the Brockton fighter in 1981 when Vito was unable to continue after four rounds.

The movie character, Rocky Balboa, was based on Wepner and his world title fight with Muhammad Ali (Apollo Creed), in the original movie. In their 1975 WBA/WBC heavyweight title fight, Wepner shockingly dropped Ali in the 9th round, only to lose by 15th round technical knockout.

Shavers is recognized as one of the hardest punchers in boxing history. A two-time world title challenger, he extended Ali 15 rounds in 1977, losing a unanimous decision in their WBC/WBA title fight, and two years later was stopped by WBC champion Larry Holmes in the 11th round of one of the most exciting heavyweight fights ever.

Past Fight To Educate legend Ruiz, who now lives in New Hampshire, defeated Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield by 12-roiund decision in 2001 to become the first (and to date the only) world heavyweight champion of the world of Hispanic heritage. Ruiz became a two-time WBA champion in 2003.

Past Fight To Educate legends have included Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran, Tommy “Hit Man” Hearns, Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, Gerry “The Gentleman” Cooney, Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Paz, “Irish” Micky Ward, “Dangerous” Dana Rosenblatt, Michael and Leon “Neon” Spinks, James “Buster” Douglas and promoter Butch Lewis.

World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior middleweight champion Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade and former WBO middleweight title-holder Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin have fought in past Fight To Educate events.

This year’s professional fights will feature Vermont junior middleweight Chris Giilbert (11-1, 9 KOs), Maine middleweight Russell Lamour (9-0, 4 KOs) and junior welterweight Brandon “The Cannon” Berry (6-0, 4 KOs), and Massachusetts middleweight Mark “The Italian Bazooka” DeLuca (10-0, 7 KOs) in separate bouts. Several amateur matches will open the action, showcasing many of New England’s up-and-coming young boxers.

All fights and fighters are subject to change.

Proceeds from the 13th annual Fight To Educate will benefit SEE Science Center (www.see-sciencecenter.org), The Bobby Stephens Fund for Education (www.stepheneducationfund.com), and New Horizons for New Hampshire.

Tickets, priced at $50.00 and $25.00 (general admission), $10 tickets for Veterans and Senior Citizens 60+, are available to purchase at the Verizon Wireless Arena Box office, by going online at http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/8748/1616837/?brand=verizonarena

Call Stephen Singer at 603.669.4100 for more details about sponsorship opportunities, including VIP table (of 8 for $1000) sponsorships for a night of professional boxing and Black Tie dinner. This special offer also includes an auction and meet-and-greet with the aforementioned boxing legends Antueofermo, Wepner, Shavers and Ruiz.

The dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. ET, doors for boxing open at 7:30 p.m. ET with the first bout scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.

Visit www.fight2educate.com or www.verizonwirelessarena.com for additional information.

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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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