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Premier Boxing Champions Fighters Share Halloween Favorites, Memories & More

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LAS VEGAS (October 29, 2015) – Halloween is the spookiest time of the year. The holiday is known to expose the inner scaredy cat in people of all ages, including the toughest athletes.

Several Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) fighters took time out to share their favorite Halloween memories along with what gives them a fright. Just because one is tough in the ring doesn’t mean they’re tough enough for Halloween.

(Fighters are listed alphabetically)

Do you have a favorite Halloween costume you’ve worn in the past?

Chris Arreola (Heavyweight contender) – “I just like dressing up as something super creepy. I’m dressing up as a mime this year, but giving it my own little spin.”

Andre Dirrell (2004 Olympic Bronze medalist)  – “I’m a festive guy to begin with and Halloween is my favorite holiday. I went all out on this one costume. It’s a ghoul that makes me approximately 10 feet tall when I wear it. I actually got an offer to work at a haunted house because the costume is so great, and I did it for about an hour and a half before I got too cold and had to quit to go inside. Michigan winters are no joke.”

Anthony Dirrell (Former world champion defeated Marco Antonio Rubio on September 6 on PBC on CBS) – “I didn’t really wear them when I was growing up. We really couldn’t afford them. I’d usually just draw something on my face.”

Ahmed Elbiali (Undefeated light heavyweight prospect defeated Mariano Hilario on October 13 on PBC Toe-to-Toe Tuesdays on FS1) – “I was Zorro for Halloween and got a lot of compliments since I made the costume myself.”

Miguel Flores (Undefeated featherweight prospect)  “Never really wore costumes because of my parents, who were old school.”

Danny Garcia (Undefeated star defeated Paulie Malignaggi on August 1 on PBC on ESPN) -“The Scream mask because that was one of my favorite scary movies when it first came out.”

Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. (Fights Karim Guerfi on November 10 on PBC’s TOE-TO-TOE Tuesdays on FS1 and FOX Deportes) – “My favorite costume was the killer from the Scream movies. I wore the mask and everything when I was 12.”

Tony Harrison (Fights Cecil McCalla on Halloween on PBC on NBCSN) – “I always like to be somebody scary. When I was little, my mom used to make our costumes. She’s really creative and would make us great costumes without having to spend a lot.”

Daniel Jacobs (Middleweight world champion, fights Peter Quillin on December 5 on SHOWTIME) – “I was a gorilla boxer. I had a full gorilla suit on with boxing gloves. I had an amateur belt on. No one knew that it was me in the costume and I was going into stores and scaring people and boxing on them. It was fun.”

Erislandy Lara (Super welterweight world champion, fights Jan Zaveck on November 25 on PBC on ESPN) – “No, it all depends on what my wife and kids decide that year (laughs).”

Abner Mares (Former three-division world champion) – “We never had enough money for Halloween costumes but one year my mother painted my face for a costume and took me out trick-or-treating.”

John Molina Jr. (Super lightweight contender) – “I like getting wrapped in aluminum foil and going as leftovers.This year my daughter will be Tinker Bell and I will be Peter Pan.”

Edwin Rodriguez (Light Heavyweight Contender faces Michael Seals on November 13 on PBC on Spike) –“When I dressed up as Rocky about three years ago. It was an easy costume to make – obviously.”

Leo Santa Cruz (Two-division world champion defeated Abner Mares on August 29 on PBC on ESPN) –“I’ve never worn a Halloween costume, but I always go trick or treating. I like to take my daughter trick or treating and this year she’s dressing up as My Little Pony.”

Sammy Vasquez Jr. – (Undefeated welterweight contender defeated Jose Lopez on September 15 on PBC Toe-to-Toe Tuesdays on FS1) – “The best was a bloody zombie with guts hanging out and a broken leg.”

What is your favorite candy?

Chris Arreola – “Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are my favorite.”

Mario Barrios- “Snickers really satisfy me.”

Jermell Charlo – “Twizzlers.”

Andre Dirrell – “I like soft candy. I’m not a fan of the hard stuff. I like that quick flavor boost!”

Anthony Dirrell – “I love all the soft candy. I’m not a big fan of the hard candy though.”

Ahmed Elbiali – “Almond Joy.”

Miguel Flores- “Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.”

Danny Garcia – “Milk Duds. It doesn’t’ bother me that it gets stuck in my teeth or anything.”

Alejandro Gonzalez Jr.  – “All chocolate, but Snickers are my favorite.”

Tony Harrison – “I don’t really have one type favorite type of candy. When I was younger we used to always go to the rich neighborhoods where they give out the big candy bars, not the little fun-sized ones. We’d go back two and three times, hit them again and again. They didn’t care and we loved it.”

Daniel Jacobs – “Candy corn. For Halloween that is my favorite candy, but it doesn’t come around that often and I like that.”

Erislandy Lara – “Chocolate Kinder from Germany. My wife is from Germany and once I tasted them I was scared I would have to fight at heavyweight.”

Abner Mares – “Snickers.”

Aron Martinez –  “I love M&M’s and Snickers.”

John Molina Jr. – “I love Candy Corn.”

Leo Santa Cruz – “Snickers & Kit Kats.”

Tony Thompson- “My favorite candies are frozen Snickers and Twix! I’m also partial to Oreos.”

Sammy Vasquez Jr. – “My favorite is Kit Kats.”

NOTE:

  • 33% of fighters chose Snickers.

Do you have a favorite Halloween memory?

Chris Arreola – “Growing up in Huntington Park, kids would only trick or treat when it got dark. In 1988, I remember I dressed up as a hunchback and we went up and down Pacific Avenue and got a ton of candy.”

Mario Barrios –  “Going to haunted houses with my sisters was always a good time”

Jermell Charlo – “I used to compete with my brother to see who could get the most Halloween candy, I remember doing that.”

Andre Dirrell – ” I don’t really have a particular favorite memory yet, but I’ll be looking to create one this year. I’m going to Disney World with my kids for a few days this year. We’ll be dressing up as the Addams Family.”

Anthony Dirrell – “The best times were going door to door in the rich neighborhoods where they give out the big candy bars.”

Ahmed Elbiali – “My friends and I used to egg houses and jack candy baskets for ourselves.  It was a bit devious but fun.”

Miguel Flores- “My parents wouldn’t let me go trick-or-treating, they thought it was dangerous, so we would have to sneak in some candy from friends.”

Danny Garcia –  “I have two little sisters so I would dress up, wear a mask and go around with them. I have a feeling this year will be my favorite because I have my new baby and she is dressing up as a pumpkin.”

Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. – “I don’t have a favorite memory, because I like every Halloween because of the candy and scary people.”

Tony Harrison – “My favorite memories were never about candy or anything like that. When I got to be a teenager, my friends and I used to get together and do all kinds of crazy stuff on Halloween night. We had a ball starting trouble. Now that I’m more mature I realize that wasn’t the right way to act, but it was the time of my life back then.”

Daniel Jacobs – “Anytime I am spending time with my son. We went to a theme party recently and it was Toy Story. He was Buzz Lightyear, I was Woody and his mom dressed like Woody’s wife.”

Erislandy Lara – “In Cuba they don’t celebrate Halloween but my favorite moments have been trick-or-treating with my kids here in the U.S.:  they really enjoy it.”

Abner Mares – “We weren’t always able to participate in Halloween when I was growing up, but my kids love the holiday so the time spent with them is most memorable.”

Aron Martinez -“About seven years ago our family turned our house into a haunted house and dressed up as zombies to scare all the kids. That was a lot of fun.”

John Molina Jr.- “My favorite was going as a boxer when I was 9 years old and wearing my dad’s boxing gear.”

Edwin Rodriguez – “I don’t really like Halloween so I never cared too much about it. My kids love it though and they’re dressing up as Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach this year. It’s a big deal to them.”

Leo Santa Cruz – “When we were younger, my cousins used to jump in front of cars with masks on and start dancing really funny or making funny moves and the people in the cars would start laughing.”

Tony Thompson – “I love any of the DC Comics super heroes. I remember liking all of them.”

Sammy Vasquez Jr. – “My favorite Halloween memory is when I scared these older, bigger kids who were trick or treating. When they came to the house I hid behind the bushes with a bloody Jason mask and jumped out and chased them. They threw their buckets of candy in the air and were pushing and running after each other. I got all the candy they left behind!”

Do you have a favorite scary movie?

Chris Arreola- “The Paranormal Activity movies are the best.”

Mario Barrios- “The movie It. That clown was creepy.”

Jermell Charlo – “I don’t really watch movies at all. I don’t even think I could name one. Maybe Texas Chainsaw Massacre? I think I’ve seen that, but I definitely don’t have a favorite.”

Andre Dirrell- “Scary movies are my favorite. My kids love Hocus Pocus. I’m a big fan of Sleepy Hollowwith Johnny Depp and Freddy Krueger.”

Anthony Dirrell – “I watched all the Saw movies. They were good. But I think Freddie Krueger or Jason might be the best.”

Ahmed Elbiali- “The movie Scary Movie (laughs)”.

Miguel Flores- “Paranormal Activity.”

Danny Garcia – “Besides Scream, I liked The Purge. It stuck with me because it reminds me of boxing – you have 45 minutes to punch someone legally without consequence.”

Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. – “Friday the 13th.”

Tony Harrison – “I used to be scared of the Candyman. You’d say his name three times in the mirror and then he’d come get you. I was terrified of that stuff becoming true. My older cousins used to say things to make us believe crazy stories like that, so I was scared of the Candymanuntil I knew better.”

Daniel Jacobs – “I love scary movies. I like American Horror Story. That is more of a series, but it is really good.”

Erislandy Lara – ” I don’t like scary movies (laughs).”

Abner Mares – “All of the Chucky movies”

Aron Martinez- “I really liked Paranormal Activity.”

John Molina Jr. – “Scary movies scare me. The Exorcist is really scary.”

Edwin Rodriguez – “Friday the 13th. And funny, my fight is also on Friday the 13th.”

Leo Santa Cruz – “The Exorcist.”

Tony Thompson – “My favorite scary movie is probably The Exorcist or Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”

Sammy Vasquez Jr. – “I would have to say Beetlejuice.”

What scares you?

Chris Arreola- ” When I was a kid I was scared of Nightmare on Elm Street movies”.

Mario Barrios – “Excorcisms”

Jermell Charlo – “I’m scared of haunted things, like hearing noises in my house and stuff. That scares me.”

Andre Dirrell – “I might get scared of a really big dog, but I don’t scare easy. As a youngster I used to watch all the scary stuff by myself, so nothing really gets to me now. There’s actually a new series on TV calledHellevator and I filled out an application to be on the show because I love that type of stuff.”

Anthony Dirrell- “Nothing scares me. I’ll do anything.”

Ahmed Elbiali – ” Heights.”

Miguel Flores- ” Dark places.”

Danny Garcia – “Nothing to be honest. I am a fighter. I’m crazy already. I’m not afraid of ghosts or anything.”

Tony Harrison – “Not becoming ‘something’ scares me the most. I just want to be remembered for something great.”

Daniel Jacobs- “I think waking up in the middle of the night and seeing stuff in the dark and thinking it is something scary or demonic. When you first wake up and you see things and you’re eyes aren’t open and things aren’t what they seem. That happened to me like three weeks ago!”

Erislandy Lara- ” Death.

Aron Martinez – “I’m scared of rollercoasters and scary movies.”

John Molina Jr. – “Scary movies scare me. The Exorcist is really scary.”

Edwin Rodriguez – “I’m not trying to act hard, but I can’t really think of something that scares me.”

Leo Santa Cruz – “Being alone at night is scary sometimes.”

Tony Thompson – “The only thing that scares me is not being able to provide for my kids.”

Sammy Vasquez Jr. – “I’m scared of the unknown, like going into a haunted place by myself and not knowing what’s around the corner.”

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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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