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Undercard Deets For May 23 Boston PBC Show

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BOSTON’S DANNY O’CONNOR ADDED TO MAY 23 CARD TO FACE VERMONT’S CHRIS GILBERT IN EXPLOSIVE NEW ENGLAND SHOWDOWN

FULL UNDERCARD ACTION COMES TO AGGANIS ARENA ON SATURDAY, MAY 23

Ireland’s Gary O’Sullivan Takes On Melvin Betancourt

Plus Local Favorites Ryan Kielczweski & Logan McGuinness

In Separate Bouts

Premier Boxing Champions on NBC Starts At 4:30 P.M. ET/1:30 P.M. PT

BOSTON (May 19, 2015) – Boston-area fans will be treated to fireworks this Memorial Day weekend as a full slate of exciting undercard fights come to Agganis Arena on Saturday, May 23. The undercard action is highlighted by Boston’s own Danny O’Connor (25-2, 9 KOs) taking on the fighting pride of Vermont, Chris Gilbert (13-1, 10 KOs) in an eight-round welterweight battle for the New England welterweight championship title.

Undercard fights will support the Premier Boxing Champions on NBC show featuring the super middleweight showdown between Olympic medalists Andre Dirrell (24-1, 16 KOs) and James DeGale (20-1, 14 KOs) and Edwin Rodriguez (26-1, 17 KOs) taking on the undefeated Craig Baker (16-0, 12 KOs).

O’Connor vs. Baker will put two of the most popular fighters in the New England area on display as the slick boxing O’Connor will look to pick apart the hard-charging Gilbert. The bout will be the final event of the evening and close down the show in spectacular fashion at Agganis Arena.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to fight Chris in Boston,” said O’Connor. “Being able to do what I love in front of my hometown fans that have supported me since day one is very meaningful to me”

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to fight on such an amazing card,” said Gilbert. “I’m coming off a first round knockout last week and I plan to bring the same intensity, aggressiveness and hard hitting style into the ring this week. O’Connor has been at the top of the welterweight division, whether in the amateurs or pros, and I’m excited to see how my skills compare.”

“This is a fight that local fight fans have been eager to see for a long time,” said Ken Casey, President and CEO of Murphys Boxing. “New England’s premiere welterweight versus New England’s hardest hitting welterweight. Pride can be worth more than money sometimes and the right to call yourself ‘New England welterweight’ champ is very important to a fighter in this close knit community.”

The undercard will also feature a highly anticipated 10-round middleweight contest that pits Gary O’Sullivan (20-1, 13 KOs) against Melvin Betancourt (29-1, 23 KOs) as both men look to prove themselves as contenders in the division.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Murphys Boxing, are priced at $250, $200, $100, $75, $50 and $35, not including applicable service charges and taxes, and are on sale now. Tickets will be available at www.ticketmaster.com. To charge by phone, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.

Further action will feature the six round featherweight bout between local favorite Ryan Kielczweski (22-1, 6 KOs) and Anthony Napunyi (15-14, 8 KOs) and a six round junior lightweight bout that showcases Logan McGuinness (22-0-1, 10 KOs) taking on Christian Esquivel (17-13, 15 KOs). Plus undefeated prospect Immanuel Aleem (12-0, 8 KOs) facing David Toribio (21-14, 14 KOs) in a six or eight round middleweight swing bout.

Also stepping into the ring at Agganis Arena is undefeated knockout artist Jonathan Guzman (18-0, 18 KOs) who takes on Christian Esquivel (27-6, 20 KOs) in an eight-round junior featherweight matchup. Heavyweight prospect Danny Kelly (7-1-1, 1 KO) will take on Curtis Lee Tate (7-5, 6 KOs) in a six-round heavyweight attraction while Antonio Russell (1-0,1 KO) taking on Brandon Garvin (0-1) in a four round bantamweight fight. Kicking off the action in the arena is undefeated prospect Edwin Espinal (5-0, 4 KOs) who will take on Alvaro Enriquez (12-13-2, 4 KOs) in a four round light heavyweight fight.

A former National Golden Gloves champion who has fought as a pro since 2008, O’Connor was set to face former two-division champion Paulie Malignaggi, but will now return home for a May 23 bout. The 30-year-old out of Framingham, Massachusetts is coming off of back-to-back knockout victories over Michael Clark and Andrew Farmer and looks to leave a big impression on his hometown fans.

A hard-hitting fighter out of Windsor, Vermont, Gilbert has become a staple throughout New England, appearing on cards all around the region since turning pro in 2011. The 30-year-old boasts an impressive knockout percentage and just last week recorded his tenth professional stoppage with a first round knockout over Raphael Valenzuela. He takes a step up in competition when he battles O’Connor on May 23.

A resident of Cork, Ireland, O’Sullivan will be fighting for the fifth time as a professional in the state of Massachusetts, where he is yet to lose. At 30-years-old, he has won his last four fights since a defeat to Billy Joe Saunders in 2013, including three straight by knockout. He will take on a strong opponent making his U.S. debut in Betancourt. The fighter out of Villa Gonzalez, Dominican Republic has won nine fights in a row.

A runner-up in the 2008 National Golden Glove tournament, the 25-year-old Kielczweski has become a staple fighting in his home state of Massachusetts. Born and raised in Quincy, he hopes to rebound from the first loss of his career, a split decision defeat to Danny Aquino in April of this year. He will take on the 32-year-old Napunyi, who is coming off of a third round TKO victory over Joshua Omukhulu in January of this year. Fighting out of Canal Point, Florda, he hopes to make it back-to-back victories on May 23.

Fighting out of Ontario, Canada, McGuinness will make his second start in the U.S. after debuting in April with a first round TKO over Carlos Fulgencio at Memorial Hall in Massachusetts. The 27-year-old will take on the 35-year-old Cuevas out of Mexico City.

An undefeated prospect out of Richmond, Virginia, the 21-year-old Aleem will take on the very dangerous and experienced 35-year-old Toribio out of Miami.

With a perfect knockout percentage, the 25-year-old Guzman looks to build off of his Massachusetts debut, which saw him knockout Juan Guzman in the fifth round in February of this year. Fighting out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic he returns to the ring to take on 28-year-old Esquivel out of Temoaya, Mexico.

The 23-year-old Kelly will return to the same city where he delivered a first round TKO of Eric Newell in June 2014 looking for another big victory. The fighter out of Washington D.C. will take on the 31-year-old Tate out of Oakland, Tennessee.

Another native of Washington D.C., Russell made his professional debut this year with a second round knockout over Harold Reyes in January. The 22-year-old takes on Philadelphia’s Garvin.

A 22-year-old prospect who has racked up five wins since turning pro in February of this year, Espinal will get back in the ring again on May 23. The fighter out of Providence, Rhode Island will take on the 33-year-old Enriquez out of Tlaxcala, Mexico.

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For more information visit www.premierboxingchampions.comwww.nbcsports.com/boxing, www.AgganisArena.com and www.dbe1.com, follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @AndreDirrell, @JamesDeGale1, @LouDiBella, @DropkickMurphys, @MurphysBoxing, @NBCSports and @AgganisArena and become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions, www.facebook.com/NBCSports, www.facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment, www.Facebook.com/DropkickMurphys and www.facebook.com/MurphysBoxing. Follow the conversation using #PremierBoxingChampions and #PBConNBC

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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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Press Releases

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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