Boxing Ledger's Archives

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Toks Owoh Interview: Owoh Talks Glen Johnson, Billy Boyle, Title Aspirations And More...

By: Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

One of the UK’s most exciting and talented Super Middleweights of the nineties and early naughties, Toks Owoh, made his return to the ring late last year and is now set to start his second championship campaign, albeit at Cruiserweight, in earnest at the Steve Goodwin promoted ‘Unleash The Fury’ Super Show at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, on the 5th March 2011.

Throughout the 1990s Toks established a reputation as one of the toughest and most talented boxers to emerge on the British scene. One thing you could guarantee is plenty of excitement when Toks fought, his no nonsense all action approach ensured either an early stoppage finish, or if it went the distance an all action full on war to the final bell.

As early as his fourth professional bout Toks was well and truly on Frank Warren’s radar, and by his sixth was signed by the aforementioned Frank Warren to his Sports Network promotions company.

Throughout the nineties Toks built up a formidable 13-1 record, with no less than ten of his wins being by stoppage or knockout. His one and only loss in the 1990s came at the hands of New Jersey hardman Omar Sheika in 1998. By the dawn of the new millennium Toks was ranked #3 in the world and was already being touted as the World Champion in waiting.

Toks fought anyone that was willing to get in the ring with him. The year 2000 epitomised his willingness to do just this. In February he took on tough Ukrainian Kostyantyn Okhrey and firmly disposed of him in the fourth.

Then in June Toks traveled to Burton-on-Trent to face Hull’s Tony Booth for the second time in his career. At the weigh-in Toks came in at 169lbs, but Booth came in at 180lbs, a whopping eleven pounds heavier. Toks just shrugged this off and the fight went on regardless. Unsurprisingly Toks punished Booth by stopping him in the third round.

Three months later Toks finally gets a title shot, for the IBF Inter-Continental Super Middleweight belt. Originally Toks opponent was to be tough African southpaw Joe Lieya, but just a few days before the fight he pulled out and Glen Johnson stepped in.

Again Toks just accepted the situation, even though he had been training for a southpaw, and another all out war ensued, however this time it was Toks that got stopped in the sixth round.

After such a glorious career Toks more or less dropped off the radar, only making the occasional return to the ring during the next five years.

His final fight was against Paul Bonson in a four rounder Cruiserweight contest at the Equinox Night Club in London on the 24th July 2005, Toks won and then seemed to just disappear from boxing altogether. That is until now.

Earlier this week Toks popped in to the Ultrachem TKO Gym in Canning Town to chat with me, I spent a highly entertaining hour or so with him where he happily answered my questions, although have to be honest and admit I didn’t get to use all my pre-prepared questions as Toks covered them as he chatted away. So without further ado I am proud to present a conversation with Mr Toks Owoh - the unabridged version.

Rio - Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today. My first question is an obvious one. Why did you retire and why did you choose to come out of retirement now?

Toks Owoh - Actually I did not want to retire, because that’s not my style. When I lost to Glen Johnson my comeback fight after that was supposed to be against Richie Woodhall for the WBU World title.

That’s when I was with Frank Warren. I went away to train for the fight, come back and the fight did not happen because Richie Woodhall pulled out. He said he had a bad back and retired after that.

There was no replacement for me. You know it’s like training for a war, but there’s no war. You know what I mean, you’re building an army but there’s no war. At the end of the day it’s like me wasting my money and there’s nobody to reimburse me for the money I’d already spent and that kind of hurt me, I was very disappointed with the promotion I was with at that time and I took a step back.

I was supposed to have another fight, which was supposed to be a warm up fight and that did not happen. So I left the promotion and took a couple of months off.

I went to another promoter and had a couple of fights with them, probably three or four fights and after that I decided to take a bit of a rest because I had been trying to keep my weight down for so long. I’d been at Super Middleweight for nearly ten years, that’s a very hard thing to do, staying at the same weight. So I thought you know what I’m going to give my body a rest for a couple of months.

I had a fight in 2005 at Cruiserweight just to give my body a rest. So I decided I’m not going to do Super Middleweight no more and I’m going to move up, because I couldn’t keep to the weight, it was killing me making the weight.

Then my Mum passed away, so I went to Africa to bury my Mum. Afterwards I come back to England to resume my career. A year and half into that I done my brain scan, medical and everything and ready to fight and my Dad passed away so it was like a double blow for me.

When my Dad passed away that was very, very difficult for me because, not only did I love my Mum and Dad, there’d been there for me. I was the only one born in England, out of twenty three kids. One of my Brothers is in Chicago, the eldest, so I have no choice after him it’s me. So I had no choice but to go back home, because my Dad had businesses over there, Hotels, Bakery, Restaurants and everything over there. I had no choice but to go home to bury my Dad and make sure everything is OK for my brothers and sisters , you know what I mean. I went over there, secured that, then when I come back and when I come back decided it was time to finish the unfinished business.

Rio - You’ve been right up there, ranked #3 in the world and fought for a major title - The IBF Inter-Continental against Glen Johnson. Could you give me your view of the fight with Glen?

Toks - When I fought Glen Johnson I was #3 in the World, I was rated high by the WBO and IBF. I was rated very high at that time. At that time I was undefeated for a long time. With Glenn Johnson I don’t want to say that he beat me fair and square. I’m not the kind of person that cries over spilt milk. I lost, I lost, I failed to prepare properly and I failed.

I failed to prepare properly and my body wasn’t right at the time. I was carrying an injury nobody knew about. I was in the situation where I had sold a lot of tickets. I was young, stupid and sold a lot of tickets so wanted to fight.

If you look at my record, look at my fights with Sports Network you’ll see that I sold a lot of tickets.

My fans come to watch me, but often the opponent pull out, that happened four or five times, it’s painful, nothing’s more painful than that. I’d rather fight and lose than let the fans down. It’s the most painful thing when someone pulls out. It hurts me more than anything. Not just that but also the pay day, it’s the only job that I have. Apart from the pay day the pain that you go through in the gym, letting the fans down hurts more than anything.

Coming back to the Glen Johnson fight it went six rounds, hard six rounds. I believe the hardest six rounds that he’s ever had. If you watch the tape, he tells me that he wasn’t expecting that.

You have to remember for that fight I was supposed to fight another guy, who was a southpaw. I was training for a southpaw. The mistake I made was to take the Glen Johnson fight too soon. I took the fight because I didn’t want to pull out because the guy I was due to be fighting pulled out. So they got me someone that had just fought for the IBF World title. Just three days before they told me the opponent had been changed from someone that could have been easier to a really hard one.

I’m a warrior, a fighter and I do this for a living. At the end of the day I got into the ring and I did my best. I wasn’t well, I wasn’t well at all. I was taking tablets for the pain in my side for weeks and weeks before the fight. But I wanted to get the title so bad and I didn’t want to let the fans down.

I gave him a good fight, he stopped Roy Jones in two rounds, I gave him a good fight, he didn’t knock me out. I was stopped on my feet. It was a good fight.

Rio - How badly did that loss affect you?

Toks - The effect of that loss was huge, that could have propelled me to something big, it was huge. This is the question, was I unlucky to get Glen Johnson at that day. But everything happens for a reason. There’s a reason why I am alive today, there’s a lot of people from then that are dead now. There’s a purpose because I am going to become a champion. Plus I had the opportunity to do it . I’ve been in a lot of dog fights but I haven’t been bashed up. I’m still fresh, in my mind I’m still fresh.

Glen Johnson got to fight for many titles and that could have been me if everything was right, if the body and the mind was right and that’s boxing for you. That’s the reason I’m back now I believe in this division. I’m comfortable at this weight and I don’t believe that anybody in this division can live with me.

I’m used to big guys. When I was twelve stone I was sparring people heavier than me, taller than me, so weight is nothing to me. I carry the punch from Super Middleweight to Cruiserweight. I can feel that on the bag, when I spar, I carry that with me.

Rio - On March 5th you are now set to face Billy Boyle after JJ Ojuederie pulled out. Do you know much about Billy and how do you see the fight going?

Toks - I’ve only seen bits and pieces of this guy Billy Boyle. He’s alright. I don’t condemn any fighters. I don’t say I’m going to this or do that. When I was younger I was a little bit Yeah I’m gonna do this and that, bit things are different now in Boxing, anything can happen.

You have to understand that I’m thirty eight years old now and my body isn’t the same as I used to be before. I’m good and there’s no real difference, that’s the weight. I’m still me, anyone that comes in the ring with me will get a good fight. It’s not going to be easy for them. Simple, it’s gonna be a very hard fight

With Billy Boyle I’m not going to say it’s gonna be easy, nothing is easy, it’s gonna be a hard fight but I’m gonna try and make it easy, because I believe I have been in this game longer than him. My experience, my power and I’ve got a variety of punches. I’ve mixed with the best, Chris Eubanks, Roy Jones, all of them I sparred. I learn a lot from them.

Rio - Your comeback fight was against Hastings Rasani at Heavyweight, you won it, could you tell me your thoughts on the fight?

Toks - Yeah that was at Heavyweight, but I’m really a Cruiserweight now, it was my come back fight and I was sixteen stone.

Hastings Rasani, God, I have to be honest with you, anybody and I’m talking about anybody after six years off to come back with Hastings Rasani. He beat JJ Ojuederei, he beat Leon Williams and he beat Bruce Scott.

To come back with Hastings Rasani as my first fight after six years, come on, to be honest with you I could have stopped him, I wasn’t in my best shape, I was flabby. I was say fourty percent in shape. I only had four months to prepare for that fight, I had a lot to catch up on. My experience and the way I know what I know in the ring that’s what got me through the fight. I wasn’t in any trouble at all with Hastings Rasani.

If you watch that fight I could have stopped him in the first round, but I took a step back and let me see how I would go for four rounds and get that into my blood stream. It’s not about taking people out it’s about getting the work out. When people get to know me they know I go about things the hard way and Hastings Rasani is doing it the hard way.

Rio - You’ve been a championship fighter, are you looking for titles on this your second campaign?

Toks - Obviously I’m looking to title fights. The British Boxing Board of Control owe me big time. The only reason I am saying that is because I have been a pro since 1994 or ‘95, it may even be ‘93 I can’t remember. (ed: since 1995). I’ve never done anything to tarnish the name of the game, you know what I mean, I’ve never take drugs, I’ve never fight outside the ring. I’ve always carried my way in the nicest way possible, I’m nice to people who are nice to me, I’ve been good to them and now it is their time to be good to me, in the way of giving me a title shot.

The British Boxing Board of Control should sanction me to fight for the British title. At one time for the Super Middleweight British title they gave it to David Starie and not me. Starie defended the title against Dean Francis. The board asked me to fight David Starie then for some reason between Frank Warren and the board they asked me which one I want, David Starie or Richie Woodhall, but they went for Richie Woodhall and the WBU title but personally I wanted to go for David Starie. You know, that’s what I want but they convinced me to go for the WBU. I said to the board no, I want to go for David Starie.

I fought about everybody around at that time, my record is strong, it’s not their place to go telling me I have to fight for these. My body is right and I make the weight, I should be fighting for the British title, I shouldn’t be going for the Southern Area because I passed that a long time ago. Know what I mean I passed that a long time ago. Southern Area is people up and coming, that’s what the Southern Area is supposed to be about, it’s about people with seven fights or so to give them their first taste of title boxing. I’ve had over twenty fights and I’ve mixed with the best in the World. At the end of the day if I’m going to start somewhere, they should start me of with the British title fight. You know what I mean, I don’t mind if I have to work for it, have a couple of fights for it. If I have to have an eliminator I don’t mind, but that’s what I deserve. I deserve that and I’m asking that from the board.

I talked to one of the guys from the Board, can’t remember his name, he was very nice and he said yeah Toks have a couple of fights and we’ll see.

Rio - Who do you have on the radar for future fights, especially bearing in mid your championship intentions?

Toks - Most of these guys in this division don’t want to fight me, know what I mean, we’re talking about Billy Boyle, he’s really a Light Heavyweight so I have to really, really move down to fourteen stone six or fourteen stone four for Billy Boyle. That’s a Cruiserweight Championship fight weight limit.

At the end of the day I put it on JJ Ojuederie, but he don’t want to know, you know what I mean, I understand JJ saying he don’t want to fight me, he don’t want to know.

We approached Leon Williams, he didn’t want to know. I like Leon Williams, when I was boxing for a title he was an amateur at that time. I remember when he was coming to the gym. He used to look up to me. I like him, he’s someone I like. But he’s someone in my way to getting the title. He’s a Cruiserweight and I’m a Cruiserweight and if you are going to get somewhere you got to get down or lay down. Move out of the way or get moved over, simple if you wont move out of the way I’ll move him over. If he wants me I’m here, the old man is here. That goes for all of them.

Matty Askin, he’s on my radar right now, Ricky Hatton (Askin’s promoter) is my boy, we knew each other well at one time, hopefully he’ll make it happen with his boy. Leon Williams I want him if he’ll have it.

Terry Dunston, how can I say, Terry and I go way, way back. He knows I’m a ruffian, me and Terry are around the same age. Like I said if anybody isn’t going to move over then I’ll make them move over. No disrespect for Terry, Terry’s my boy and he don’t have to move over I’m talking about the kids. With Terry it’s if it happens it happens as I’m not backing down for nobody. If it happens it happens but I’m saying, respect, Terry’s my boy and there’s some places you can’t go because of the respect for someone because of where we’ve been, because of the bond we have from the past. But if the worse comes to worse and we have to do it, then fuck it we’ll do it.

Anyone else in the top ten, you know Herbie Hide, whoever I don’t know them so that’s OK, Terry, it would be hard to fight Terry you know what I mean. Anybody else, Herbie Hide, Rob Norton, anybody else can get it, Leon Williams can get it. I want the guy that beat Leon Williams but JJ Ojuederie is not even on my radar no more, he had his chance.

Rio - Your ring name is Viper, how did you come to have that moniker?

Toks - The Viper, I was the first Viper, at that time Bobby Vanzie was around, but I was number one Viper. I turned professional way before Vanzie, way, way before Vanzie. At that time in the British Boxing Board of Control they asked for your nickname and my nickname was the Viper, you can check this out with the Boxing Board of Control. When Vanzie come he could box like a Viper as well.

It’s still there, it’s the eye to see where the punch can go in that split second. I’ve still got that, you see that in the gym, the Viper spit. You might see that on the fifth as I don’t like overtime. I’m in the mood now with the training I have for this fight is one hundred percent. With Rasani I was just fourty percent. You’re gonna see my body shape, your gonna see what my body looks like, for that fight and this fight. I look more compact and you’ll see the zip of my punches . It’s going to be different I know that. When I feel this way I am confident about the fight.

Rio - Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers about Toks Owoh?

Toks - Before the end of the year I believe I am working toward a World title because I want to try and rack everything together. You know what I mean, the way Boxing works is funny sometimes. I was managed by Frank Warren for nearly six years, there’s a funny story to that. A lot of people have to go to the Olympics, ABA to get with Frank Warren. I didn’t even ask for him, he asked for me, you understand.

At that time I was managed by Mr Akai at All Stars, a wonderful man and I had four fights, four knockouts. In my amateur career I had a fight with a guy called Jimmy Branch and he was a very good amateur, he was top amateur, and he beat me senseless. In my first international he beat me senseless.

Years down the line, that was when I was nineteen, when I am twenty three and professional so I was packing my bags to go to America to train with Eddie Fuchs, Eddie Fuchs was still alive at that time. I went to America to spar with Jimmy Little so when I was over there they say how many fights you had and I say I’ve had just four fights. They say you know what who are you with. I didn’t have a big contract with anybody who could look after me. Eddie Fuchs say that he will look after me.

I came back to England to sell my properties and things to move over there and the call came through to me, I was with Mr Akai, but Ernie Fossey call me for a fight, I don’t know where he got my number but he called me. They were looking after Jimmy Little, he asked me what I was weighing at the moment, I’ve never talked with Ernie Fossey in my life since that day. He says they were going to use me for an opening for Jimmy Branch. So they got me for Jimmy Branch even though I didn’t want to fight Jimmy Branch because the memory of him beating me so bad that I couldn’t swallow a banana after the fight, my body was just numb. So that was still on my mind. Four or five years down the line, I’m a man now not a boy and the memory was still there.

But the only thing that made me take the fight was when they mentioned the money they were going to give me was five grand, that’s a lot of money, that would help me out over there. So you know what I say that I’ll take it. For that kind of money, hell yes I’ll take the fight.

So I took the fight and went to Norwich, on the way to Norwich was me, Israel, John and Trevor and our car had an accident. No lie our car rolled over twice and then boom. We thought we were dead. If you believe in destiny I had been going there thinking I would do my best, I will try and win, I am undefeated so whatever happens, happens.

After the accident i was pumped up. When we got there we probably had four or five people supporting me and Ian Napa, who was just coming forward with Frank Warren.

I knocked him out, it was one of the fastest knockouts of the year - fifty seven seconds. I knocked him out, it was wonderful it was revenge. It was beautiful you know.

They didn’t give me my money that day so they asked me to come in to the office to come and collect the money. I’d already booked my ticket to go to America and when I got to the office Frank made me a tea and asked me to sit down and then asked me to join his promotion. A lot of people chase them, I didn’t chase them and I would love to sign with them but when you phone Sports Network you aint getting nowhere, you know what I mean.

There’s nothing boring about Toks Owoh, Sky TV will tell you any fight I’m in something happens in them, if it goes the distance it will be a dog fight. That’s one thing with me just look at my fights with Glen Johnson, Tony Booth. I had two wars with Tony Booth, when Tony Booth was good. So I go with Frank Warren. I can’t say too much about Frank Warren, I enjoyed my time with Sports Network.

Maybe one day I’ll get the chance to work with them again. I left them they did not leave me. I decided to go because I wasn’t getting the fights I wanted. They released me and there was no court case or anything. Maybe one day I’ll get to fight one of their boys. I know they’ve got Cruiserweights over there.

At the end of the day I can see myself fighting for a World title, if every thing goes well, body well, mind well. With the promoter I’ve got now, he’s a good guy, if the plan goes well. I can sense it by the way he talks to me. He’s very nice, very genuine, straight forward and he tries best to make things work. He’s the kind of person I like and that’s the way Frank Warren used to be when I first was with him.

Rio - Thank you so much, I honestly enjoyed our chat together and genuinely wish you the success you clearly deserve.

Toks - Thank you, I wasn’t sure about coming here but glad I did. I enjoyed it too and will see you at the fight.

Toks Owoh versus Billy Boyle headlines the Steve Goodwin promoted ‘Unleash The Fury’ event at York Hall, Bethnal Green, London on Saturday 5th March, and is supported by a top class eleven bout card that includes the return of the magnificent Michael Grant and another chance to see sensational Dutch Cruiserweight prospect Mitchell Balker in action, plus much, much more.

Tickets for Unleash The Fury at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, London on Saturday 5th March 2011 are on sale now - priced £35 (Unreserved) or £60 (Ringside). and are available on-line at, call 07960 850645 or in person at The Ultrachem TKO Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Last Chance For Judah - Mabuza Ringside Tix!

Nearly all the VIP Ringside tickets for the World Junior Welterweight Title fight between Brooklyn's Zab Judah and Kaizer Mabuza of South Africa are sold.

Only a handful of the VIP Ringside tickets, priced at $253 remain in the box office, it was announced today by promoters Main Events and Super Judah Promotions.

"Prudential Center's Amerihealth Pavilion is a much smaller venue than the main arena next door," Main Events promoter Kathy Duva said. "Fans who want to sit right up front in the VIP section should buy their tickets now. The Amerihealth Pavilion is an intimate venue where every seat in the house provides a fantastic view of the action."

Tickets priced at $103, $78 and $53 are still available.

The March 5th card featuring Zab "Super" Judah vs. Kaizer Mabuza for the IBF World Jr. Welterweight title is promoted by Main Events and Super Judah Promotions. An exciting undercard will also feature Sadam "Worldkid" Ali, as well as Tarvis Simms and 5 other local standouts. The fights will take place at Prudential Center's AmeriHealth Pavilion, Newark, NJ.

Doors open at 7:30pm; first fight 8:00pm. Tickets priced at $253 Ringside, $103 Reserved seating on floor, $88 General Admission in Bleachers and $53 GA Standing Room on floor. Tickets on sale 2/5, available at Prudential Center Box Office, by calling TicketMaster at 800-745-3000 or

Judah vs. Mabuza will be distributed in North America by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 9 PM/ET 6 PM/PT on both cable and satellite pay per view via iN Demand, DIRECTV, Avail-TVN and DISH Network in the United States, as well as Viewer's Choice, Shaw and Bell TV in Canada, for a suggested retail price of only $29.95.


LOS ANGELES, CA (February 22) - To become a legend, you must beat a legend and on Saturday, April 9, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., six "Action Heroes" will be featured in one night of all-out action fights where every bout pits two fighters looking to prove something against each other. The HBO Pay-Per-View televised event features Five-Time and Three-Division World Champion Erik "El Terrible" Morales taking on former WBA Interim Super Lightweight World Champion Marcos "El Chino" Maidana in the main event. The telecast also features former Undisputed Junior Middleweight World Champion Winky Wright facing current European Middleweight Champion Matthew "Mack The Knife" Macklin as well as former World Champions Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero and Michael Katsidis "The Great" squaring off in what promises to be a slugfest.

"Given the styles, heart and determination of both fighters, Morales vs. Maidana has Fight of the Year written all over it," said Oscar de la Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions. "These two fighters only know one way to fight, and that's moving forward. Plus, we have a crossroads battle between a future Hall of Famer in Winky Wright, against a young slugger trying to make a name for himself in the U.S. in Matthew Macklin. You can expect one of the greatest matchups of lightweights in the game today when Robert Guerrero and Michael Katsidis, two warriors who will leave everything in the ring, face each other. I personally can't wait to watching all three of these great fights on April 9."

"Boxing fans are filled with anticipation for April 9," said Mark Taffet of HBO Pay-Per-View. "Boxing legends Erik Morales and Winky Wright in tough comeback fights; non-stop action fighters like Marcos Maidana and Michael Katsidis; and courageous Robert Guerrero continuing his rise to the top. We're looking forward to a great event."

The pride of Tijuana, Erik "El Terrible" Morales (51-6, 35 KO's) has epitomized the heart and skill of the Mexican warrior for 18 years and at 34 he believes he still has plenty to offer the boxing world. A winner of world titles at junior featherweight, featherweight, and junior lightweight, Morales' resume reads like a who's who of the best of this era, with his list of vanquished foes including Daniel Zaragoza, Junior Jones, Wayne McCullough, Kevin Kelley, In-Jin Chi, Paulie Ayala, Jesus Chavez and Carlos Hernandez. The last man to defeat Manny Pacquiao, which he did in their first of three bouts in 2005, "El Terrible" is best remembered for his classic trilogy with Marco Antonio Barrera, a rivalry which captivated all of Mexico and the entire boxing world. Following his 2007 bout with David Diaz, Morales took a nearly three year hiatus from the ring, but upon his return in 2010, he has been in championship form with wins over Jose Alfaro, Willie Limond and Francisco Lorenzo, setting the stage for one of boxing's most highly anticipated showdowns when he takes on Maidana.

"Marcos Maidana is an exciting young fighter and there is no quit in either of us," said Morales. "Like true warriors, we will keep fighting until the end. I know my hand will be raised as the winner when it is over."

Quickly becoming known as one of boxing's most exciting fighters, Santa Fe, Argentina's Marcos "El Chino" Maidana (29-2, 27 KO's) has won over legions of fans in the United States since he made his American debut in June of 2009. It was in that fight that Maidana burst onto the international boxing scene with a stunning upset victory over "Vicious" Victor Ortiz. The bout lasted less than six rounds, but saw Maidana hit the canvas three times and Ortiz twice before the action was halted in the sixth round in a fight that received mention as a Fight of the Year candidate. One of the most powerful and concussive punchers in the sport, as evidenced by the fact that 93% of his wins came via knockout, 27-year-old Maidana once again wowed fans in his last fight on December 11, 2010 when he took on WBA Super Lightweight World Champion Amir Khan in the Boxing Writers Association of America 2010 Fight of the Year. In a back-and-forth battle, Maidana fought through a first round knockdown and endured through the early rounds as he closed the gap against Khan in the late rounds. Khan survived a vicious tenth round onslaught by Maidana in which he looked to be on the brink of being knocked out, and went on to win a close unanimous decision in an instant classic. Maidana will look to give his fans a little more of his brand of boxing excitement when he faces Morales on April 9.

"Erik Morales is one of the greatest fighters of all-time and I'm honored and excited to be fighting him," said Maidana. "But when the bell rings, I will put respect aside and do what I do best - which is knock my opponent out."

A mainstay on the pound-for-pound list throughout his reign as Undisputed Junior Middleweight World Champion and as a top middleweight contender, St. Petersburg, Florida's Winky Wright (51-5-1, 25 KO's) is a gifted technician in the ring whose skill and savvy have befuddled opponents for two decades. The 39-year old Wright won his first world title in 1996 when he defeated Bronco McKart for the WBO Junior Middleweight crown and, with the exception of a majority decision loss to Harry Simon and a controversial majority decision loss to Fernando Vargas that most observers had Wright winning, he reigned over the 154-pound division for eight years. His biggest wins came in 2004 when he defeated Shane Mosley in back-to-back bouts. In 2005, Wright moved up to the middleweight division and issued defeats to Felix Trinidad, Sam Soliman and Ike Quartey, proving over and over that he was among boxing's pound for pound best. His only defeats in nearly a decade came at the hands of future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins (at Light Heavyweight) and Paul Williams in his last fight in April of 2009. On April 9, he returns to the ring to begin his search of a fourth world championship. A win for Wright likely means a world title shot will be in his immediate future. A loss for Wright likely means the end of a great career and induction into the Hall of Fame in five years. In Wright's mind, the later is not an option right now.

"I can't wait to get back in the ring on April 9th," said Wright. "I feel stronger, faster and sharper than ever, and I'm ready to reclaim what's mine, but first, I'll have to show Matthew Macklin some new tricks in Vegas."

A gritty battler hailing from Birmingham, England, Matthew Macklin (28-2, 19 KO's) is coming back to fight in the United States for the first time since 2005, eager to show fans in Las Vegas just why he has become a European sensation over the last few years. A crowd-pleaser whose only loss in the last seven years was in a classic 10-round brawl with Jamie Moore, the 28-year old Macklin has since won 11 in a row, six by knockout, including a first round TKO of 26-2 Amin Asikainen in September of 2009 that earned him the European Boxing Union Middleweight title. Macklin has defended his title twice, most recently against Ruben Varon (W12) last December, but he's ready to make a splash on the international stage against one of the best fighters in the game. For Macklin, like Wright, a win on April 9 likely secures him a world title shot. A loss will mean heading back to the drawing board in the U.K. to rebuild, but Macklin fully intends on making some history of his own at the expense of the future Hall of Famer.

"This is exactly the kind of fight I've been looking for and I believe it will bring out the absolute best in me," said Macklin. "Wright is someone I've looked up to throughout my career but this is my time to make a big impact in the U.S. and this is the perfect fight to do that in."

One of boxing's most talented and inspiring fighters, 27-year-old Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero (28-1-1, 18 KO's) has built up an impressive boxing resume in winning the IBF Featherweight title in 2006, defending it several times, then moving up to junior lightweight and winning a World Championship there in 2009. His achievements are even more impressive when you consider that he has done all of it while helping to care for his wife Casey who was diagnosed with Leukemia in late 2007. In early 2010, Guerrero vacated his title in order to be at his wife's side as she went through treatment which thankfully sent her cancer into remission. With Casey on the mend, Guerrero returned to the ring, and re-established himself as one of the premier fighters in the world with wins over Roberto David Arrieta (TKO8), Cuban great Joel Casamayor (W10) and former U.S. Olympian Vicente Escobedo (W10). In 2011, he will seek a world title in a third division, but first must get past Katsidis who will is looking to make some lightweight noise of his own.

"The opportunity to face Michael Katsidis after our first fight did not happen is something that means a great deal to me," said Guerrero. "I appreciate the fact that Michael stepped up for this fight especially when other champions and contenders wouldn't. I think together we're going to put on a great fight for the fans."

The hard-charging pride of Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, Michael Katsidis "The Great" (27-3, 22 KO's) is a thrill-a-minute warrior who has gained fans around the globe with his "go-for-broke" fighting style. Often compared to the late Arturo Gatti for his tendency to be involved in all-action, dramatic fights (as well as his tendency to get cut), Katsidis is an offensive machine who moves in one direction...forward at his opponents. A two-time holder of the WBO Interim Lightweight crown, the 30-year-old is currently riding a streak of memorable performances which includes a stoppage of Jesus "Matador" Chavez, a stirring win over Vicente Escobedo, a three-round blitz of then-undefeated Kevin Mitchell. Continuing that run, in his most recent bout, he took on Juan Manuel Marquez in a Fight of the Year candidate that saw Katsidis put the future Hall of Famer on the canvas before being halted in the ninth round by the Mexican superstar. Katsidis will look to make a comeback statement against Robert Guerrero on April 9.

"Robert Guerrero is an outstanding young fighter and our styles match up well for a fight everyone will remember," said Katsidis. "But I'm going to take him places he's never gone in the ring and I know I will come out with a big win."

Tickets for "Action Heroes" priced at $350, $250, $150, $75, $50 and $25 are on sale now and availableto charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at or

"Action Heroes" featuring Morales vs. Maidana in a 12-round junior welterweight bout, Wright vs. Macklin in a 10-round super middleweight fight and Guerrero vs. Katsidis in a 12-round lightweight battle is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Erik Morales' Box Latino and Universum Box Promotions and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, DeWalt Tools and Tres Generaciones. Wright vs. Macklin is presented in association with Winky Promotions and Guerrero vs. Katsidis is presented in association with Sampson Boxing. The bouts will be produced and distributed live on HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

The Morales vs. Maidana pay-per-view telecast, which begins at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, has a suggested retail price of $44.95, will be produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View® and will be available to more than 71 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View®, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For Morales vs. Maidana fight week updates, log on to

A stacked slate of undercard bouts, including the rest of the HBO Pay-Per-View broadcast, will be announced at a later date. For more information, visit, on Twitter at,,, or become a fan on Facebook at

Interview With Kevin Mitchell

(Mark Tibbs, Kevin Mitchell and Jimmy Tibbs at The Ultrachem TKO Gym In London)

By: Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

15th May 2010 is a date etched deep in the memory of the tens of thousands of Dagenham’s Kevin Mitchell’s supporters. On that fateful night over twenty four thousand of those partisan fans packed in to Upton Park to watch their all conquering hero, who was firm favourite to clinch the interim WBO Lightweight title and to be just one step from achieving his goal of a full blown World title shot.

However it was not to be, as Kevin succumbed to the antipodean upsetter Michael ‘The Great’ Katsides and in doing so not only lost his coveted ‘O’ but also a World title shot in just three short rounds.

I caught up with Kevin at the Ultrachem TKO Gym in Canning Town and got to ask him about the Katsides fight, the on-off-on-off proposed April clash with John Murray and his future championship aspirations amongst other things.

Before we get onto the interview I have to say I was surprised that so many people were quick to write Kevin off, as a genuine contender, following the loss to Katsides and as such feel that it is appropriate to have a quick review of his excellent championship record.

Kevin’s first championship bout, against France’s Mohammed Medjadji for the vacant IBF Inter-Continental Super Featherweight title, was on the undercard of the Audley Harrison-Danny Williams Commonwealth title clash at the ExCel Arena in Docklands on the 10th December 2005.

Kevin, whose record stood at 16 (11 KO)-0, was on top form, he was quick, skillful and powerful. Throughout Kevin showed his superior boxing skills, but the tough Frenchman showed his durability by withstanding Kevin’s constant onslaughts.

In the sixth Kevin really stepped things up, bombarding Medjadji with vicious body shots that were clearly taking there toll on the Frenchman, so much so that with under a minute of the round to go referee Ian John Lewis had no option but to step in and stop the bout as Medjadji had stopped responding with punches of his own.

Just over two months later, on the 25th February 2006, Kevin was back at the ExCel to defend his newly won crown against, another French challenger, Youssouf Djibaba on the undercard of Danny Williams defense of his Commonwealth crown against Matt Skelton.

As before Kevin dominated the proceedings with his superior boxing skills, although Djibaba proved a harder opponent to finish than Medjadji. At the end of twelve hard fought rounds the judges cards read 118-108 and 119-109 (twice) in favour of Kevin.

Kevin’s second defense, and first bout as headliner, came just three months later, on the 13th May 2006 at York Hall in Bethnal Green. Kevin’s Bulgarian opponent Kirkor Kirkorov was a late replacement and had a reputation of being a bit of a spoiler.

Kevin came out fast and went straight to work on the body. Kirkorov defense was strong but Kevin persevered trying to work a breakthrough.

In the second round that breakthrough came, a wicked multi punch combo had Kirkor reeling, Kevin followed up with a vicious left hook to the body and Kirkorov dropped to one knee. Kirkorov survived the round but failed to show for the third.

Kevin had a ‘keep busy’ fight in July against Imad Ben Khalifa which lasted just 214 second, which set him up nicely for his third defense against Belarus’ Andrei Isaeu at the Grosvenor House in Mayfair, London on the 8th September 2006.  The fight was stopped after 1:37 of the eleven round due to cuts.

Just over a month later Kevin was back in action again, this time against Ghana’s George ‘Red Tiger’ Ashie for the vacant Commonwealth title. The fight went the full distance and see Kevin add the Commonwealth belt to his collection after the judges scorecards showed 116-113 (Twice) and 116-112 in his favour.

It was March 2007 before Kevin reentered the fray to defend his newly won Commonwealth crown against the tough South African Harry Ramogoadi.

Kevin gave Ramogoadi a pure boxing master class before finally finished him off in round six. Ramogoadi was sent to the canvas following his walking into a solid right hand.  Referee Terry O’Connor wisely dispensed with the count.

On the 14th July 2007 Kevin defended his IBF title for the fourth time, as well as challenging for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental super featherweight title, against Russian Alexander Khrulev at the O2 Arena in Greenwich.  It was another very short fight as Kevin knocked out Khrulev after less than a minute of the second round.

Another non-championship ‘filler fight’ with Edison Torres was Kevin’s first outing in 2008, a quick finish was the order of the day as Kevin stopped Torres early in the third round.

On the 8th March 2008 Kevin put his Commonwealth title on the line when he challenged Carl Johanneson for his British title.

Kevin started like a runaway train, taking the fight to Johanneson for the first few rounds. Mid way through the fight Johanneson started to turn the fight round but Kevin dug in and  eventually stop Johanneson in the ninth to add the Lonsdale Belt to his growing collection.

Three months later Kevin winged his way across the Atlantic to defend his WBO Inter-Continental Super Featherweight title, against Miami based Colombian Walter Estrada at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

I was living in Philadelphia at the time so this was one of the few of Kevin’s championship fights around this time that I actually got to see live.

Kevin seemed to struggle at times against the southpaw stance of Estrada, who wobbled Kevin badly as early as the second round. More trouble for Kevin in the fourth when a large swelling and a small cut appeared under his left eye.

After getting caught yet again by more head shots, Kevin responded with two good right hands to the head of Estrada. With just seconds to the bell to end the fifth, Estrada was sent to the canvas after Kevin let rip with a lightning fast right to the body. Estrada did beat the count  but the referee Lindsey Page stepped in to stop the fight.

Another couple of non-championship bouts followed in 2009, the first against Lanquaye Wilson and then Ruddy Encarnacion. Kevin stopped them both.

Next up was Kevin’s first championship bout at Lightweight, and if that wasn’t enough his opponent, for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Lightweight title, was none other than Colombia’s Breidis Prescott -the man that KO’d Amir Khan in less than a minute just fifteen months earlier.

Mitchell was savvy and refused to be drawn into a war, instead he relied on his superior skills to frustrate and out box Prescott. Throughout the bout Kevin remained patient, picking his shots with care to totally dominate and win the bout by wide margins on all three judges' scorecards, 119-110, 118-111, 117-111.

Just a couple of months later, on the 13th February 2010 at the Wembley Arena, Kevin defended the WBO Inter-Continental belt against yet another Colombian Ignacio Mendoza.

Another short fight followed as Kevin knocked out Mendoza, with a peach of a right hand to the head, in just one-minute and 24-seconds of the second round.

Which brings us back to where we started, Kevin’s first career loss when he faced Michael Katsides at Upton Park back in May 2010. The fight has been well covered so I don’t feel the need to say any more - I’ll leave that to Kevin.

Rio - Hi Kevin, thank you for taking the time to talk with me today. Before I get on to boxing related questions I have a more personal one. Last year there was sad news that your five year old Cousin Mitchell Huth had been diagnosed with cancer, I wondered just how young Mitchell is doing these days?

Kevin Mitchell - He’s really well now, he popped round my mum’s house the other day, it was the first time I’d seen him in a while. He’s in a happy state, a good frame of mind. We’re gutted for him but he’s a fighter, his fighting the cancer so good on him.

Rio - Your planned fight with John Murray is up in the air at this point. Do you think there is still a chance it will go ahead or is it completely off the board?

Kevin - I don’t think it’s completely off the board, I think it’s still there. I’m in the gym getting ready for it.

I’m just waiting for a better offer of money for it. It’s all negotiable, Frank (Warren) has always done good by me, Frank’s always looked after me and I think he always will do, so just waiting for me and Frank sitting down and negotiating.

Rio - How did it feel coming out at Upton Park to the tens of thousands of fans, and knowing that they were there supporting you?

Kevin - It’s a crazy feeling, twenty-twenty two thousand standing in front of you, twenty four thousand or whatever was there. It was a mad feeling really. It was something else standing there and an even greater feeling to walk out and seeing all those people there. It made me feel really proud, you know I was really proud to be there.

With losing that though I felt I had let everyone down. Obviously I had done things wrong and want to put things right and make sure I make all the West Ham fans proud again. “

Rio - I know your fight with Michael Katsides has been well and truly covered but  what was your view of the fight?

Kevin - I think I knew in the dressing room I wasn’t right, not due to the weight, I’d cut corners because the way my life was at the time. I knew in the dressing room I wasn’t right, I think when you know in the dressing room you’re not right you know you’ve cut corners, you’ve missed out on runs and I was missing out on gym sessions down here, that’s not like me. I like to train everyday, be in the gym every day, train in the gym two or three times a day.

Afterwards I was just gutted that I got beat. If ever I get beat by a better man when I am on top form I’ll hold my hands up. I don’t mind that. But when you get beat due to yourself not being right. But down to not preparing yourself properly, with yourself messing around, you kick yourself in the backside. It’s give me a major lift as well to push myself harder and harder as I’m working now.

Rio - So does that mean you want a rematch with Michael Katsides?

Kevin -
Most definitely yeah. I want the fight against John Murray. Get it on with him, show Britain who is the best on the domestic scene, I know it’s me. Beat John Murray, show them I’m back, and then Katsides and then a World title fight.

Rio - You’ve held all the main domestic titles, but you very first title wasn’t domestic it was the IBF Inter-Continental. What made you decide to go straight for an International title?

Kevin - Well that was down to Frank Warren, Frank’s a brilliant promoter he’s the best at his game without a doubt. he said it gives you more of a lift than the Commonwealth title, It puts you in the World rankings.

He put me in there straight away, put me in with good fighters, good opponents. They were learning fights, I was doing twelve rounds. For me it was a good way to learn doing twelve rounds. I was just twenty one when I started fighting twelve rounders, it shows you don’t it.

Rio - You’ve had some great battles over your career, which holds the fondest memories or means the most to you?

Kevin - The most memorable was most definitely the British title fight against Carl Johanneson. I came out for the first four rounds steaming. Thought in a few rounds I was going to blow him out. I was completely wrong, I came unstuck in the sixth, I took the most punches I ever did in my whole career, I was out of it most of the sixth, I took a few big bombs. Without realising It, I was gone. I went back at him legless and caught hold of him again and got him out of there in the ninth.

Being in there in a fight like that is something I am likely to be again someday. Being in fights like that makes me proud and proves that I can get through hard times.

Rio - You’re trained by Jimmy and Mark Tibbs at the Ultrachem TKO Boxing Gym - Jimmy’s a legend in the sport and Mark is getting a reputation as a chip of the old block, so just how is having them co-training you going?

Kevin -
Working with Jimmy and Mark is brilliant. They’re so much a like. You’ve got Mark bringing in new things and you’ve got Jimmy who is old school. It’s brilliant.

I’m really happy here, It’s great being up here at the TKO Gym with all Jimmy and Johnny’s (Eames) fighters and that. One minute you’ve got David Haye, the next minute you have a kid in here or a cabbie in here. It’s a real happy gym. I’m really happy here, everyone’s here to work, whether it’s a cabbie or a World Champion like David Haye training and sparring in here.

Everyone that’s in here is here to work and train hard, there’s no spectators or nothing like that. The only people that will be watching are either a boxer, a trainer, a pad man or someone involved in the boxing. It’s a brilliant place. What they do here is brilliant.

Rio - I was here at the TKO Gym when you sparred Colin Lynes a couple of weeks ago - that was awesome to watch - does it help having such good sparring in-house?

Kevin - Yes most definitely, sparring with Colin Lynes, an ex world champion and a weight or so above me now, you can’t get better than being around guys like that. You’ve got Michael Grant and guys like that around to spar all the time.

You’ve got Nathan Weise in here. The quality fighters that come out of this gym is brilliant. One minute you’ll be sparring so so and the next time it’s someone different. You get to spar with guys with different styles it’s brilliant. It works sparring all the different styles.

I was speaking with Steve Bunce the other day and he said the gym’s always buzzing and there’s plenty of quality sparring. It is and that’s what you want in a gym.

Rio -
I know the fight with John Murray is still in negotiations, if it doesn’t go ahead who would you be looking to fight next?

Kevin - As in names it doesn’t bother me, although I want to fight Miguel Vazquez, the IBF Champion, I’ve been watching him, watching what he does, I’d love to have a little do with him.

I want to fight first and then a World title. Either Katsides and then a World title fight or John Murray then Katsides and then a World title fight.

I’m looking to be IBF World Champion.

Rio - You more or less covered my next question with that answer - What does the future hold for Kevin Mitchell?

Kevin - Yeah, what the future holds for me in boxing is, and the fight fans is, a big title in the World of Boxing. I definitely want to fight in Vegas in the future. I really fancy topping some big bills in Vegas, and yeah being World Champion and making lots of money.

Rio - Thank you so much for talking with me today, I wish you nothing but success and hope that you get the title shot you deserve.

Kevin - Thank you, and thanks to all the Boxing fans out there. 


FEBRUARY 22, 2011 - Fast rising and exciting heavyweight prospect, Joe "The Future" Hanks (15-0, 10KO's) has signed an exclusive long-term agreement with Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing.  The New Jersey native Hanks, who made his pro-debut on a DeGuardia promoted card, now looks to continue his march towards a heavyweight world title under the Star banner.
"Ever since Joe made his pro-debut with us I have kept a close eye on him," stated DeGuardia.  "Right from the start you could see that he had a lot of raw talent and power, to go with his great size.   Joe has grown and improved from each fight, and we feel that he will only continue to do so as begins to make the transition from hot prospect, to a true top-ten contender."
Hanks agent Michael Borao agrees, "I see Joe distinguishing himself from all other heavyweight prospects and breaking into the world ratings within the next 12-18 months.  We are happy to have Star Boxing on board, helping Joe on his journey to a world title."
After having his first three fights as a pro, two of which were on Star Boxing cards, in New York, Hanks took his show out West and has recorded his last twelve victories while fighting in the state of California.  Now DeGuardia, who regularly stages events throughout New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, is looking to further develop Hanks home fan-base back on the East Coast.
"Joe is from New Jersey, but his last twelve fights have all been on the West Coast.  Now that we have Joe not only are we looking to develop him into a future champion, but we also want to begin broadening his fan base back here in the tri-state area.  We are really excited to be adding Joe, who is one of the top prospects in the area, to our roster."
Look for an announcement as to the date when Hanks will be making his Star Boxing debut very soon.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez

NEW YORK, NY (Feb. 21, 2011) World Boxing Council (“WBC”) Emeritus and The Ring Magazine middleweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez celebrates his 36th birthday today.
Martinez (46-2-2, 25 KOs) is preparing for his March 12th showdown against reigning  World Boxing Organization (“WBO”) junior middleweight champion Sergiy “Razor” Dzinziruk (37-0, 23 KOs) in the 12-round main event for the vacant WBC Diamond middleweight title, live on HBO World Championship Boxing (10:30 PM/ET start), from MGM Grand Arena at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
Please join DiBella Entertainment in wishing 2010 Fighter of the Year Sergio Martinez a very happy birthday.
“I’m happy to be celebrating my 36th birthday while I’m in the prime of my boxing career,” Martinez said from his training camp in Oxnard, California. “I’d like to thank everyone for sending me birthday wishes and I’m really looking forward to my March 12th fight on HBO.”
More than half of the tickets for “Diamond Elite: Martinez vs. Dzinziruk,” which is being presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with Gary Shaw Productions and Banner Promotions, have been sold and fans are strongly advised to purchase tickets before the show sells-out.
Tickets are priced at $450.00, $250.00, $125.00, $75.00, and $50.00 and on sale through the MGM Grand at Foxwoods box office. Tickets can also be purchased online at, by calling the MGM Grand at Foxwoods at 1-866-646-0609, or in person at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods box office. 

Undefeated Red Hot Prospect Javier Fortuna Fighting For WBC Youth Title March 12 At MGM Grand At Foxwoods

NEW YORK, NY (Feb. 21, 2011) Unbeaten Dominican knockout specialist Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna will be fighting for the vacant World Boxing Council (“WBC”) Youth Featherweight Championship on the “Diamond Elite” card, headlined by 2010 Fighter of the Year Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez, March 12 at MGM Grand Arena at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Connecticut.

Martinez (46-2-2, 25 KOs), the reigning WBC Emeritus and The Ring Magazine middleweight champion, takes on World Boxing Organization (“WBO”) junior middleweight champion Sergiy “Razor” Dzinziruk (37-0, 23 KOs) in the 12-round main event for the vacant WBC Diamond middleweight title.

In the 10-round co-feature showcasing  ethnic rivals, “Celtic War” matches exciting middleweights Andy Lee (24-1, 18 KOs) of Ireland and Scotland’s Craig McEwan (19-0, 10 KOs) in a battle with potential world title shot implications for the winner.

Martinez vs. Dzinziruk and Lee vs. McEwan will air live on HBO World Championship Boxing starting at 10:30 PM/ET, 7:30 PM/PT.

The 20-year-old Fortuna (13-0-0-1NC, 10 KOs) faces Derrick Wilson (8-1-2, 2 KOs) in the 8-round, chief off-television bout of the evening. Fortuna is handled by the same advisor-head trainer combination, Sampson Lewkowicz and Gabriel Sarmiento, respectively, as his stable-mate, Martinez.  

“Sampson has discovered another gem,” promoter Lou DiBella said. “He’s an amazing judge of talent. Gabriel ranks among the top boxing trainers in the world today. He told me Javier is going to be the next Sergio Martinez and I can see why he feels that way. His last fight left everyone’s jaw dropped.”

In his last fight this past December, the Dominican prodigy knocked-out previously undefeated Victor Valenzuela (8-0) in the opening round of their fight in New York City, marking Fortuna’s U.S. debut.  

Past WBC Youth featherweight champions have included current WBC lightweight king Humberto Soto, former WBC featherweight title holder Rudy Lopez, and world title challengers Tommy Browne, Eduardo Escobedo and Billy Dibb.

“Diamond Elite: Martinez vs. Dzinziruk” is being presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with Gary Shaw Productions and Banner Promotions. Lee vs. McEwan is being presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with Golden Boy Promotions. 

Tickets are priced at $450.00, $250.00, $125.00, $75.00, and $50.00 and on sale through the MGM Grand at Foxwoods box office. Tickets can also be purchased online at, by calling the MGM Grand at Foxwoods at 1-866-646-0609, or in person at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods box office. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Donaire Ends Bout In A Flash; Jones Defeats Soto-Karass Again

The "Filipino Flash" Nonito Donaire (26-1, 18 KO's) scored a scintillating 2nd round, one-punch knockout versus Fernando Montiel (44-3-2, 34 KO's), capturing the WBC & WBO Bantamweight titles. Donaire, 28, gave Montiel, 31, problems with his high-caliber speed and agility, landing a crisp left hook over Montiel's right cross that misfired early in round one. The same sequence would repeat itself later in round two with disastrous effects for Montiel. He displayed a great deal of trouble getting close to the lightning-quick Donaire, who found his range by utilizing feints and employing superior lateral movement.

In round two, Montiel missed with a right cross again before Donaire landed a powerful counter-left hook to his head, only this time it was more precise and damaging. After Montiel was struck, he dropped instantly to the canvas, his legs twitching rapidly as he lay flat on his back. Miraculously, Montiel got back up ahead of the ten count, however, he was clearly out on his feet. Yet, referee Russell Mora gave Montiel a chance, although Donaire vigorously charged forward, connecting with a clean left hook - straight right combination to Montiel's chin, prompting the bout to be halted. Official time of the stoppage was 2:25.

Donaire continues to put on his best performances in his biggest fights. Since 2007, Donaire has stopped nine of his last ten opponents, including a fifth-round TKO win over a previously unbeaten Vic Darchinyan, a victory that might be Donaire's second career best when compared to tonight's showing. Rafael Concepcion, who lost a twelve-round unanimous decision to Donaire in 2009, was the only fighter to the last the distance with him in that time span. Undoubtedly, Donaire has now proven that he belongs among the discussion of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world with another stellar appearance.

Jones Defeats Soto-Karass Again

For the second time, Philadelphia's Mike Jones (24-0, 18 KO's) defeated an extremely durable Jose Soto-Karass (24-6-3, 16 KO's) via twelve-round unanimous decision in a rigorous welterweight bout. Official scores were 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113. With the victory, Jones retained his NABA, WBO-NABO and WBC Continental Americas welterweight titles.

Soto-Karass controlled the pace of round one, as Jones readily backpedaled to avoid his constant pressure.

In round two, Soto-Karass scored with a right uppercut to Jones' body, but Jones started dictating the flow of the round with his methodical left jab and slick counter punching ability.

Soto-Karass suffered a wide cut on the corner of his left eye in round three, resulting from an accidental clash of heads. However, referee Kenny Bayless, who is unable to see HBO's instant replay, ruled the cut was caused by a punch. Later, Jones connected with some sharp right uppercuts. Soto-Karass also received a minor cut on the corner of his right eye.

Soto-Karass relentlessly pressured Jones again, landing solid rights to his body and head during round four.

Jones answered in the fifth round, scoring with distinct left hook - right uppercut combinations.

Jones was controlling the action in round six when Soto-Karass hurt him with a sound right to the face. As a result, Jones received an abrasion on his left cheek slightly under his eye. Although Soto-Karass successfully landed that punch, he was starting to fatigue and appeared one-dimensional.

Soto-Karass' punch output significantly dropped by round eight, enabling Jones to circle to his left easily, and land a series of right and left uppercuts.

Jones slowed Soto-Karass' body attack in round nine, repeatedly striking the 28-year-old Mexican warrior in the body with hard right-hand shots. After that, Soto-Karass and Jones' foreheads collided fiercely, but neither man endured a cut.

The ringside doctor looked carefully at Soto-Karass' eye in round ten, but allowed him to continue fighting. By this point, Soto-Karass was absorbing enormous punishment from Jones, who landed clean, sharp punches at will.

Soto-Karass, bloodied and exhausted in round eleven, was sent into the ropes after Jones hurt him with a definitive right uppercut to the face.

Jones calmly boxed in the twelfth round, as a gassed Soto-Karass courageously brought steady pressure until the final bell.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sturm Stops Hearns In 7th Round, Retains WBA Super World Middleweight Title

Felix Sturm (35-2-1, 15 KO's) scored a seventh round TKO victory against Ronald Hearns (26-2, 20 KO's) at the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, retaining his WBA Super World Middleweight championship. The win marked Sturm's 9th consecutive title defense.

Sturm, 32, worked behind a steady, spirited left jab that continuously found the target. Hearns moved well laterally and used his left jab repeatedly, but he was unable to penetrate Sturm's high defensive guard. His punches had little or no effect, which enabled Sturm to consistently press the action.

Sturm controlled the contest comfortably throughout the first four rounds. During the first 1:30 of round five, Hearns was exceptionally fluid with his shots, taking a multitude of chances to break Sturm's unyielding defense. In the closing moments of the fifth round, Sturm connected with a right cross - left hook combination to Hearns' head, briefly dazing the 32-year-old from Southside, Michigan, U.S.A.

In the seventh round, Sturm landed a quick left jab, and followed it with a sharp, straight right to Hearns' face. Hearns, who was trapped in the corner, momentarily dropped his hands. Sturm immediately capitalized, landing a devastating, flush right cross. Referee Raul Caiz, Jr. instantly halted the bout at 2:30.

Friday, February 18, 2011

TOMORROW! Ronald Hearns Takes On Felix Sturm For The WBA Middleweight Title In Stuttgart, Germany Aired In America On

NEW YORK, NY (Feb 18, 2011) – On Saturday night in Stuttgart, Germany, one of the most famous names in middleweight history will go for gold when Ronald Hearns, the son of famed of former two-time middleweight champion Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns, battles Felix Sturm for the WBA middleweight Super Championship.

“The one thing that was not lost from generation to generation was the devastating right hand,” said Lou DiBella, the President of DiBella Entertainment, Hearns' promoter. “I believe that once Ronald lands that right hand, we will be crowning a new WBA champion.”

Fight fans in the United States are in luck, as the bout will be televised live on The telecast is scheduled to begin at 3:30 PM ET.

For more information about DiBella Entertainment, including a list of all upcoming bouts, please visit, or follow Lou DiBella on twitter, @loudibella.

Pernell Whitaker Conference Call Quotes: "Sweetpea" & Kathy Duva Discuss Zab Judah

Pernell Whitaker: "You can't even imagine the feelings I am having right now about this kid (Judah). He's like a student all over again, it's like re-teaching the guy some of the best things about himself. Nobody probably knows better than me, other than his father, about his fight game. It's been easy for me to give him the transformation to do all the things I know he can do very well, and to please the crowd."

 "Zab had a different mentality (before training with Whitaker). It's not Zab's style being a knock out artist and trying to prove that he could punch. He's a finesse fighter, he has probably the quickest hands in the sport and he has power. So he has to let all those things come together."

"I'm a scientist now, I'm not a boxer, but I was a legend, I wasn't just a boxer. I knew the game from A to Z. You can come to me with your opinion, but I know the facts. So what I'm doing with this young man is giving him the facts. If I think something don't work, we won't do it. I don't take no risks, there's no carelessness."

"I don't train guys to be like me, I help guys to do the things that work for them. If I can teach you how to hit and not get hit, then that's a blessing for you. Zab has the same abilities that I have but Zab still has to put it together and do it the way that Zab knows how to do it."

"If the fight is scheduled 12 rounds, we're prepared to go 12 rounds. My job is to make sure he's ready to give you people 12 solid rounds. If anything less happens (rounds) that's just a tribute to his hard work."

"I'm a defensive fighter. That's the first thing I'm going to remind him of, how to not get hit. That's the main goal. To hit and not get hit is a beautiful feeling."

(What does Zab have to do to get to the top of his 140lb division?) "All he has to do is stay focused. He's transformed into something totally different than I've seen in old Zab. He's a new father, he has a beautiful family, he's into his church thing and his religion. He's just more settled down than the Zab that I've seen in the past. When he boxes the way he knows how to box, I can't see nobody in this division out-boxing Zab."

"I think (in the past) the head butts have been his biggest downfall. He's been through a couple of those. So it's my main focus to keep his head out of there. Keep him out of trouble; keep him out of danger spots."

"It's been a phenomenal 4 weeks so far with Zab. He's been looking me right in the eye cause he wants to know these things. He wants to get it down right. So now I'm gonna put all those things together; the finesse; the speed; and the power that he does have. I want to put all three of those things together into one and let him work it out March 5th. What you're gonna get this time is some good boxing, some great defense and a good jab."

"I haven't seen anything exciting in the sport in a long time, but I know I will on March 5th when I see this young man (Judah) go out there and do 'me' all over again. You're gonna see Zab Judah perform out there."

Kathy Duva compared working with Zab in the past to working with Zab now: "Wow, it's completely different and yet in some ways it's the same. He's still got the energy and he's still fun, but he's so much more grown up now. He's a grown man. It's very different in that respect. Before that we were literally trying to corral him. We were dealing with a teenager and now we're dealing with a guy who knows who he is, what he wants, where he's going and sees what he has to do to get there. It's a wonderfully different experience in that respect."

Kathy Duva added, "Now, having brought Pernell into the picture, it's one of those moments where we say 'why didn't we think of this earlier?' Still when you send them to camp you really don't know what's going to happen, but I heard Zab speaking today and you can hear it in his voice. He's got so much more confidence. He's so on top of it. He referred to how, in the gym yesterday everything came together all at once. I know that anyone who has to learn something difficult realizes that that's how you learn. You struggle for a while and then suddenly everything clicks into place. When I heard him say that, it just made my day that means it really is working. I can't wait to see him fight."

The March 5th card featuring Zab "Super" Judah vs. Kaizer Mabuza for the IBF World Jr. Welterweight title is promoted by Main Events and Super Judah Promotions. An exciting undercard will also feature Sadam "Worldkid" Ali, as well as Tarvis Simms and 5 other local standouts. The fights will take place at Prudential Center's AmeriHealth Pavilion, Newark, NJ.

Doors open at 7:30pm; first fight 8:00pm. Tickets priced at $253 Ringside, $103 Reserved seating on floor, $88 General Admission in Bleachers and $53 GA Standing Room on floor. Tickets on sale 2/5, available at Prudential Center Box Office, by calling TicketMaster at 800-745-3000 or
Judah vs. Mabuza will be distributed in North America by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 9 PM/ET 6 PM/PT on both cable and satellite pay per view via iN Demand, DIRECTV, Avail-TVN and DISH Network in the United States, as well as Viewer's Choice, Shaw and Bell TV in Canada, for a suggested retail price of only $29.95

Thursday, February 17, 2011

EPIX Presents World Boxing Heavyweight Championship

Klitschko v. Solis Live on March 19 on EPIX and

New York, NY, February 17, 2011 EPIX, the premium entertainment channel, video-on-demand and online service, brings heavyweight championship boxing back to the American airwaves when WBC Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitschko defends the coveted crown against #1 ranked challenger Odlanier Solis March 19, 2011 on the EPIX channel and on LIVE at 6:00 pm ET, followed by a replay at 10:00pm ET.

Klitschko vs. Solis will originate from the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, which sold out in minutes after tickets went on sale in January. Klitschko, who sports a record of 41 wins and 2 losses, with 38 wins coming by way of knockout, will be making the eighth defense of his crown, and his seventh since 2008 when he ended a four year hiatus from the ring. Along with his young sibling, Wladimir, the Klitschko brothers are world renowned as being the premiere forces in the heavyweight division.

“We are pleased to bring this exciting heavyweight championship to American boxing fans on television and online,” said EPIX President and CEO Mark Greenberg.

Klitschko vs. Solis marks the first boxing event televised on EPIX, and the first time a Klitschko bout has aired live on American television since 2009. Launched in October 2009, EPIX continues to expand its original programming, adding to a formidable list of music, comedy, and sports talent and garnering an Emmy nomination in its first year.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Tickets On Sale Thursday At 10:00 A.M. PT

LOS ANGELES, February 16 - In what promises to be an explosive night of fights featuring six all-action boxing heroes, on Saturday, April 9 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., five-time and three-division World Champion Erik "El Terrible" Morales (51-6, 35 KOs) returns to the pugilistic forefront when he faces power-punching Argentinean Marcos "El Chino" Maidana (29-2, 27 KOs) in a classic battle for pride, honor and glory.  Also featured will be former Undisputed Junior Middleweight World Champion and future Hall of Famer Winky Wright (51-5-1, 25 KOs) returning to the ring to face exciting European Champion Matthew Macklin (28-2, 19 KOs) in a classic crossroads battle.  The event will also showcase what promises to be a slugfest between former World Champions Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero (28-1-1, 18 KOs) and Michael Katsidis "The Great" (27-3, 22 KOs).

Tickets for "Action Heroes" priced at $350, $250, $150, $75, $50 and $25, go on sale Tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 17 at 10:00 a.m. PTTo charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.  Tickets also are available for purchase at or

"Action Heroes" featuring Morales vs. Maidana in a 12-round junior welterweight bout, Wright vs. Macklin in a 10-round super middleweight fight and Guerrero vs. Katsidis in a 12-round lightweight battle is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Erik Morales' Box Latino and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, DeWalt Tools and Tres Generaciones.  Wright vs. Macklin is presented in association with Winky Promotions and Guerrero vs. Katsidis is presented in association with Sampson Boxing.  The bouts will be produced and distributed live on HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Luke Campbell: Supreme Performance Secures Gold In Hungary

European Bantamweight Champion 

  Luke Campbell and Johnny Eames at the Ultrachem TKO Gym in London in 2010

London - Tuesday 15th February 2011

This past weekend European Gold Medalist Luke Campbell’s pre-Olympics campaign got off to a flying start, at the first major amateur tournament of 2011 the Bocskai Memorial Tournament in Debrecen, Hungary.

Luke, who in 2009 won the European Gold on his first attempt , beat local favourite Krisztian Nagy 8-5  to secure his first title of the year, as well as to further assert his position as favourite for the Team GB 56kg selection at the London 2012 Olympics.

The end of the first round see Luke 1-0 down, despite landing many excellent shots. Not to be deterred Luke turned on the style and took the fight to the Hungarian and what ensued can only be described as a boxing masterclass by Luke, to not only pull the scoring level but by scoring with four blows took a single point lead into the final round.

Luke’s boxing masterclass continued in the final round, where again he picked up four points, to secure the win by a tidy 8-5 margin.

Speaking on the phone earlier today Luke spoke of the tournament and his winning performance. “Yeah it was good to get four fights in four day. I had four fights on the trot, I’ve never done that before. It was good, I felt good in each fight to be honest with you and I could have gone a fifth time.

There’s no problem with my fitness, this proved it as I could have easily fought for a fifth time, which is good news to know I could do that, especially against four world class opponents.

I beat the first kid 7-1 and I put him down on the canvas as well. I beat the second kid 7-1 as well and then I beat the Romanian in the third fight who beat the Russian in the fight before me so that was good.

The final was 8-5, the five scoring was obviously because he’s the Hungarian Golden Boy. They wanted him to win but I fought better and won the fight.

Every outing for Great Britain, since my hand injury, I have won which is good as they were tough tournaments. I’ve put in excellent performances and bought home the Gold each time.

I’m really pleased, there’s no problems with my hand now, there’s no problems full stop. My confidence is growing all the time. Obviously winning these tough tournaments  my confidence is growing all the time. Hopefully I’ll keep the momentum going, make further improvements and get better and better. I’ll keep working my way up.

I’m working really well with the coaches and the team at the minute. I seem to be progressing all the time and my boxing is getting better.”

Monday, February 14, 2011

Colin Lynes Returns With Victory Over Bradley Pryce And Eyes Early Title Shot

Team Tibbs & Ultrachem TKO Boxing Gym

 Colin Lynes at the Ultrachem TKO Gym in London

London - Monday, 14th February 2011

On Saturday night former IBO Light Welterweight Champion of the World Colin Lynes made his welcome return to the ring, against former British and Commonwealth Champion Bradley Pryce, at the Matchroom Sports promoted John Watson-Anthony Crolla clash for the vacant British Lightweight title.

In spite of being designated as the opponent Colin showed that the ten months out of the sport had not affected him one iota, neither had the move from Light Welterweight to Welterweight, if anything it improved his performance in the later rounds.

Considering Bradley Pryce had been in championship training, for a shot at Sam Webb’s British Light Middleweight Crown,  Colin easily dominated the first five rounds with crisp jabs and heavy straight rights.

Pryce came back strong in the sixth and tried to bully his way through Colin. Pryce won his first round of the contest by being by far more assertive than he had in the early rounds as well as landing some telling shots.

More of the same came in the seventh and at one time Pryce managed to corral Colin on the ropes. Pryce’s late charge was paying dividends but at this point he really needed a knockout to stand any chance of securing the win.

Pryce kept the pressure up in the final round but Colin was savvy and just plain boxed his way to a well earned points victory.

Earlier today I spoke with Colin on phone about the fight, as well as his future plans. “I’m really, really pleased. It was a calculated risk but we knew we were right in ourselves and knew I was ready for up to ten rounds. So it’s all good and it’s onwards and upwards and we’ll start looking for titles.

I well won it, but I was treated like the away fighter. I think they thought that he would deal with me or get me out of there. A lot of boxing people thought the same, as it was my first fight back in nearly a year. Bradley was getting ready for Sam Webb so he was sort of championship training.

People were hoping I would be capable of dealing with him but  realistically I think a majority of people thought he would deal with me or get me out of there.

He started to come back in the middle rounds a bit. His corner told him to go out there and get this kid out of there so he had a round or two where he tried to be the bully again but Jimmy instructed me to get back out there and take command of the centre ring, so I did.

There’s still loads to be done, that’s just with me being with Jimmy and Mark since the Summer. They’ve just been getting me into shape and now their talking about getting me back into the gym soon and getting down to some proper championship training, so I’m only going to take a couple of weeks out and then I’ll be back in the gym and next time I’ll be a lot better.”

Following the conversation with Colin I spoke with his new coach Jimmy Tibbs, at the Ultrachem TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town, London, who added, “Good comeback fight after ten months out of the ring. Stamina was very well, little bit ring rusty.

I’ve got to say that he fought a man that was ready to fight for the Light Middleweight Championship of Great Britain, that was against Sam Webb.

Bradley Pryce was what you would call a big Light Middleweight and he looked it. You could see the difference in size that night. But there’s no complaint from our side, we knew what we walking into.

He done his job, stuck to his orders. I was very pleased with him

I believe he could have another couple of warm up fights and easily step into the British Welterweight title.

He done a great performance and Mark (co-trainer Mark Tibbs) and myself are both very proud of him.”

Colin and Jimmy have made it crystal clear that Championship honours are well and truly in their sights. I am sure that is pleasing news to his legion of loyal fans, as well as boxing fans the World over, that one of our great champions, and one of the nicest guys in the sport, is set for a revival.

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