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Dibella Running March 17 Card at Mohegan, on ESPN

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ESPN FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS RETURNS TO MOHEGAN SUN WITH AN EXCITING DOUBLE-HEADER

FAST-RISING UKRAINIAN AMATEUR STAR SERGEY DEREVYANCHENKO HEADLINES AGAINST FORMER WORLD TITLE CHALLENGER ELVIN AYALA

WORLD-RATED RYAN KIELCZWESKI SQUARES OFF AGAINST DANNY AQUINO IN TELEVISED CO-FEATURE

FRIDAY, APRIL 17TH

MOHEGAN SUN – UNCASVILLE, CT

New York, NY/Uncasville, CT (3/16/15) – On Friday, April 17th, DiBella Entertainment, in association with Fight Promotions Inc. and New Legend Boxing, returns to the beautiful Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT, for that week’s edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights.

Headlining the card is blue-chip middleweight prospect Sergey Derevyanchenko (4-0, 3KO’s) taking on hometown favorite and former middleweight world-title challenger Elvin Ayala (27-6-1, 12KO’s) in the 10-round feature bout of the evening.

In the co-feature, WBA #10-rated super featherweight Ryan Kielczweski (22-0, 6KO’s) puts his undefeated record on the line against Connecticut’s own Danny Aquino (16-2, 10KO’s) in an eight-round featherweight matchup.

ESPN will begin live coverage beginning at 10 p.m. ET.

“We are happy to be promoting what promises to be a strong night of boxing at Mohegan Sun on April 17th,” said promoter Lou DiBella. “Ryan ‘The Polish Prince’ Kielczweski has just entered the top-10 of the world rankings and continues his quest toward a world title against a very dangerous Danny Aquino in the co-feature. Our main event features elite middleweight prospect Sergey Derevyanchenko, as he attempts to follow in the footsteps of his countryman and stable-mate Ievgen Khytrov in making a statement to the middleweight division on April 17th, after only four professional fights, when he challenges gritty veteran Elvin Ayala. Ayala is the hometown fighter and has a huge advantage in professional experience, having fought for a world title. On April 17th, the boxing world will find out exactly who Sergey is.”

“Once again, ESPN’s Friday Night Fights is delivering entertaining boxing with a couple of exciting prospects who are ready to break out in Derevyanchenko and Kielczweski,” said Brian Kweder, ESPN Senior Director of Programming and Acquisitions. “I’m especially looking forward to seeing ‘The Polish Prince’ [Kielczweski] for the third time in three years on our program.”

“We are happy to have another great night of fights in our building, a building that was built on great boxing events,” said Mohegan Sun’s Sr. Vice President of Sports and Entertainment Thomas Cantone.

Derevyanchenko was an outstanding amateur, compiling an astonishing 390-20 record. He represented his native Ukraine at the 2008 Olympics and won a bronze medal at the 2007 Amateur World Championships. Derevyanchenko also competed in the World Series of Boxing, where he posted a 23-1 overall record and was the 2012 WSB Team Champion and 2011 and 2012 WSB Individual Champion. Derevyanchenko’s rise up the world rankings is expected to be meteoric and anything less than a world championship would be a disappointment. In Ayala, Derevyanchenko meets easily his toughest opponent to date. Ayala is coming off a career-best showing, having won a unanimous decision over Aaron Mitchell (27-1-1) to put his career back on track. A win over the fast-rising Ukrainian will thrust Ayala, who anticipates having a raucous hometown crowd on hand, back into the world ratings as he looks to secure another shot at a world title.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be headlining this card and appearing for the first time on the ESPN network and I want to thank my promoters DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc. for this opportunity,” said Derevyanchenko. “Ayala is a very tough and experienced opponent. He challenged Arthur Abraham for his title, going 12 hard rounds. He is coming off a very good win in his most recent fight and I know he will be coming to win in front of his hometown fans come April 17. I am looking to make a statement in this fight though. I am going to show the world that I am one of the best 160-pounders in all of boxing and I belong at the elite level of this division.”

“On April 17th, I will be victorious. I am training like never before and I am ready to put on the performance of a lifetime. I have suffered losses in my career but never defeat. God knows this and I know this and now it is time for the world to know it, beginning with Sergey Derevyanchenko,” said Ayala.

Hailing from nearby Quincy, Mass., the bout on April 17th will be the third showing for the exciting and charismatic Kielczweski on the ESPN network. In his ESPN debut in 2013, Kielczweski scored a highlight-reel one-punch knockout over previously undefeated knockout artist Miguel Soto (11-0, 11KO’s). The knockout was so astonishing that it made that day’s “ESPN Top 10 Plays of the Day”. Kielczweski followed up that performance a year later with a dominant and exciting eight-round unanimous decision over once-beaten Ramsey Luna (12-1). Now Kielczweski is looking to make it a perfect 3-0 on the network and push himself closer to securing his first world-title opportunity when he meets his crosstown rival Aquino.

“This will be my third appearance on the ESPN network, and I am planning on making it my best performance yet,” said Kielczweski. “This is a huge opportunity for me to show the boxing world that I am one of the best 126-pounders in the division and that I am ready for a crack at a world title in the near future. Danny is a tough kid, and his only losses are to eventual world-title challengers, so I know that he is going to give it his all come April 17. That being said, I am going to be 100-percent mentally and physically ready to put on the best performance of my career, and keep my undefeated record intact.”

Aquino and Kielczweski have history together, as Aquino holds an amateur victory over the former National Golden Gloves runner-up Kielczweski. The Mexican-native, who moved to Meriden, CT, as a youth, is a relentless come-forward brawler, with power in both hands. Aquino holds three victories over previously undefeated opponents, and his losses have been via close decisions against eventual world title challenger and once-beaten Yoandris Salinas (20-1-2, 13KO’s) and Norberto Jimenez, who just fought for the WBA world super flyweight title in December of last year, holding defending champion Kohei Kono to a 12-round draw. A win over the top-10 rated Kielczweski will propel Aquino into the world-ratings and force the loaded featherweight division to take notice.

“I want to thank my promoters New Legend Boxing and DiBella Entertainment for this opportunity to showcase my skills on national TV. A win over Kielczweski will propel me into the world rankings and bring me a major step closer to fighting for a world title,” said Aquino.

Additional bouts on the card will be announced shortly.

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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.

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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