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Heather Hardy Wins on DiBella Show in NYC

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HEATHER “THE HEAT” HARDY REMAINS UNDEFEATED ON SPECIAL EDITION BROADWAY BOXING CARD

YELEUSSINOV, BARANCHYK, LITTLETON, GOLUB & CRUZ ALL SCORE IMPRESSIVE VICTORIES

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 3 – B.B. KING BLUES CLUB & GRILL, NYC

New York, NY (12/4/14) – On Wednesday night, DiBella Entertainment (DBE) hosted an action-packed Special Edition Broadway Boxing card at NYC’s famed B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, sponsored by Manfredi Auto Group and Everlast, headlined by female boxing sensation Heather “The Heat” Hardy, known as the “First Lady of DBE”, putting on an impressive performance against a very determined opponent in Salt Lake City’s Elizabeth Anderson. Appearing on the undercard, the trio from the former Eastern Bloc, Ivan Golub, Ivan Baranchyk and Dauren Yeleussinov, co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc., all kept their undefeated records intact.

(photo credit: Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment)

In the evening’s main event, Hardy challenged the spirited Anderson in an eight-round junior featherweight bout. Once again, Hardy displayed vastly improved boxing technique, landing countershots with great accuracy and bobbing and weaving to avoid returning fire. Anderson, though, was not deterred, continuing to trade leather no matter how often and hard she was hit, making for some very exciting rounds. Hardy wisely threw combinations to the body to slow Anderson down, which proved the difference during the later rounds. Often, Hardy would bend at the waist to make Anderson miss then pay with powerful overhand rights.

At the conclusion of eight heated rounds, the judges’ scores of 79-73, and 78-74 twice, awarded Hardy, now 12-0 (2 KOs), a unanimous decision victory, while Anderson dropped to 3-6. Hardy, who stayed busy in 2014, winning all five of her bouts, picked up the WBC International female super bantamweight title in October. She was also the subject of a documentary film, titled “HARDY” that was executive produced by Lou DiBella, which followed her around as she set out on her professional boxing career, beginning in 2012.

(photo credit: Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment)

DBE-promoted New York Golden Gloves champion and Bronx-native Louis Cruz dominated a very game Rogelio Casarez, of Batesville, AR, in a six-round junior welterweight contest. During the first three rounds, Cruz outboxed Casarez landing combinations behind a consistent jab. However, over the second half, the resolute Casarez was still exchanging power shots, forcing Cruz to increase the volume of his offense, with a strong focus on body punches. In round five, one such shot strayed below the belt, resulting in a point deduction for Cruz. After six rounds, the judges tallied 59-54, and 58-55 twice, all for Cruz, now 10-0 (4 KOs), via unanimous decision. With the loss, Casarez’ record fell to 7-3 (3 KOs). Following a second-place finish at the 2011 National Golden Gloves, the 23-year-old Cruz competed in the 2012 US Olympic Trials before turning pro later that same year.

The 25-year-old Ukrainian middleweight southpaw Ivan Golub needed just 47 seconds to demolish Joshua Williams, of Batesville, AR. Golub began throwing in combination and blasting the body and head with his straight left. It was that shot thrown to the temple that twice sent Williams to the mat resulting in the stoppage victory for Golub, who is now 4-0 (3 KOs). The loss brought Williams’ record to 9-6 (5 KOs). Golub amassed an astonishing record of 270-32 during his amateur career. He became a five-time Ukrainian National champion, and won bronze medals at the Junior World Championships in 2006 as well as at the World Championships in 2009. He also participated in the World Series of Boxing, winning all five of his bouts.

The undercard also featured a rematch between undefeated DiBella Entertainment-promoted middleweight prospect Paul Littleton and Lamar Harris, in a six-round contest. The two engaged in a captivating battle that ended in a disputed draw, on September 13, that many felt Littleton deserved to win, in Saint Charles, MO, near Harris’ hometown of St. Louis. The 28-year-old Littleton, originally from Chicago and now living in Miami, FL, trained by Melvin “Chico” Rivas, began backing Harris up right away with a stiff jab and hooks to the body. Harris threw a few wild shots attempting to fend off the attack, but much of his offense missed the target. Trapping his opponent against the ropes, Littleton threw a series of combinations to upstairs and down until Harris fell the canvas in a heap. Seeing that Harris was badly hurt and in no condition to beat the count, the referee waved off the contest at 2:20 of the opening stanza, bringing Harris’ record to 8-11-4 (4 KOs). After winning the Chicago Golden Gloves three times while accruing an amateur record of 85-20, Littleton, now 10-0-2 (6 KOs), turned pro in December 2011. He has since beaten three undefeated prospects, including the 7-0 Roberto Acevedo. In June 2014, Littleton signed an exclusive promotional agreement with DiBella Entertainment and the rematch against Harris was his third under the DBE banner.

Belarusian-native junior welterweight Ivan Baranchyk stepped back into the ring less than three weeks after his professional debut, taking on Alfonso Olvera, of Tucson, AZ. Baranchyk, a short but solid all-out brawler, pressured Olvera from the outset banging away from all angles. In round two, Baranchyk threw a barrage of punches upstairs until his adversary hit the canvas. A second trip to the mat that frame was ruled a slip. The cagey Olvera survived the knockdown and managed to make it to the final bell of the four-round contest, but was outworked throughout. All three scorecards read 39-37 in favor or Baranchyk, who improved to 2-0 (1 KO), while Olvera suffered his first defeat, dropping to 1-1 (1 KO). As an amateur, Baranchyk won gold at the 2010 Class A Vilnuse tournament, 2011 and 2013 Match Event tournament, 2011 Kostukovichi International tournament, 2011 and 2012 Soligorsk Open International tournament, 2012 Class A Liventsev tournament, 2013 Active Military tournament, 2013 Republic of Belarus Open Cup, 2014 Vitebsk University tournament in Belarus, and was an amateur champion of Belarus from 2009-2014.

In his pro debut, Kazakhstan’s 28-year-old southpaw Dauren Yeleussinov charged out of his corner searching for openings to land his powerful left hand against Biloxi, Mississippi’s Anthony Madden. Bringing down Madden’s guard with shots to the body, Yeleussinov threw an overhand left to drop his foe hard early in round one. Madden arose but was felled again by the same shot prompting the referee to halt the bout at 1:56 of the very first round, awarding Yeleussinov a TKO victory. Madden’s record is now 1-7-1 (1 KO). Yeleussinov had an extensive amateur career that saw him compile a 397-23 record, with more than 100 knockouts. He is a four-time National champion for Kazakhstan and has won gold twice at the Universiade Championships as well as at the National Junior Championships.

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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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