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Friday, January 13, 2012

SERGIO MARTINEZ WRAPS UP NYC TRIP, HEADS TO TRAINING CAMP

Photo by George Kalinsky, MSG

New York, NY (1/13/2012) - Middleweight Champion Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez wrapped up his NYC trip on Thursday and headed back to his training camp in Oxnard, California, to begin the preparations for his middleweight title defense against Ireland's Matthew Macklin at Madison Square Garden, on St. Patrick's Day (March 17), live on HBO's "World Championship Boxing".

It was a busy few days for Martinez, the number three pound-for-pound fighter in the world. In addition to taking part in the initial press conference to announce his championship fight against Macklin, Martinez spent time at the offices of HBO, participating in a lengthy interview and photo shoot to help promote the upcoming event. Martinez also made time to meet with New York City Council Member Julissa Ferreras, Chair of the Committee on Women's Issues, as well as representatives from anti-domestic violence organizations, such Forestdale, CONNECT, Violence Intervention Program, Seamen's Society for Children and Families and inMotion.

It wasn't all business for Martinez though, as he found time to attend a New York Knicks game with promoter Lou DiBella where Martinez met with a number of celebrities in attendance, including Spike Lee. Below are pictures from Martinez' trip.

The card entitled, "THE REAL Middleweight Championship - Get Your Irish Up", is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and will be shown live on HBO beginning 10PM ET/7PM PT. Tickets are priced at $505, $355, $205, $125 and $65, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased through the Madison Square Garden Box Office or through Ticketmaster, at ticketmaster.com, or by calling (800) 745-3000. Call DiBella Entertainment at (212) 947-2577, or visit www.dbe1.com and @loudibella on Twitter for more information.

Change In Plans For January 21

Heavyweight contender Eddie Chambers suffered displaced fractures of his left anterior ninth and tenth ribs in training and, therefore, has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled 10-round bout with Sergei Liakhovich on the inaugural NBC Sports Network's Fight Night card from the Asylum Arena in Philadelphia, PA on January 21st.

Promoters Main Events and Peltz Boxing have reached out for a replacement for Chambers and will make an announcement as soon as possible.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Eddie Chambers and Philly Fighters Welcome NBC Sports Network

Robinson, Chambers and Rosado - Credits: Philly Boxing History

During a recent media event at Joe Hand Gym Boxing Gym in Philadelphia, fighters, promoters and network officials agreed that getting back to boxing basics in the City of Brotherly Love was just what the doctor ordered.

Gary Quinn, Senior Director, Program Planning and Aquisitions, NBC Sports Group, explained how Philadelphia ties in to the NBC Sports Network Fight Night game plan, "What we think puts us in a unique position to make this series succeed is now that we have the NBC Sports Group formulated, we've got 4 media platforms: we've got the NBC broadcast network; we've got the 24/7 NBC Sports Network; we have the 12 regional sports networks; and our digital platforms. It's no coincidence that we are here in Philadelphia where we have one of the strongest RSN's (Regional Sports Network) with CSN (Comcast SportsNet) Philly."

Quinn added, "So you can say, 'okay you've got the promotional platform, but you've got to have the product to make it work.' We think we do. We've come up with a model that resembled what we did back in the day when The Fight Doctor (Ferdie Pacheco) said, 'The key is putting crossroads fights on. You don't have to worry about titles; you don't have to worry about records. You want to match styles that will put on a good show.' We feel Kathy (Duva) and Russell (Peltz) have done a great job on this card from top to bottom. That's going to be the theme, to put on wars that have our viewers wanting more and more."

Kathy Duva, CEO Main Events, explained the location for the debut show, "Philadelphia has a powerful boxing history and many avid boxing fans, we want to use that to make our show successful. Five of the eight bouts on this amazing card feature fighters that are from Philly. We want people in the audience that are from Philadelphia, so that everyone in the arena has a rooting interest, so we know they are going to make a lot of noise. This is why we chose Philly fighters like Gabriel Rosado and Ray Robinson to be on the undercard, they make terrific fights and have a big following. This will make for a great night in the arena and on TV."

Ray Robinson, 12-2, 5 KO's, will be in an 8 round welterweight fight against Doel Carasquillo, of Frederica, DE, 16-18-1, 14 KO's. He assured the crowd that he was ready to put on a great show, "This is going to be an action-packed fight. Anybody that knows me knows I bring the fight. I'm a great boxer. I've trained hard enough for anything. I'll make sure that it's going to be a great fight on January 21st because it is on my birthday!"

Ray Robinson - Credits: Philly Boxing History

Fellow Philadelphian, Gabriel Rosado, 18-5, 10 KO's, faces Jesus Soto Karass of Los Mochis, 24-6-3, 16 KO's, in what promises to be a 10 round junior welterweight war. Rosado ensured his fans that he was ready to give them a rousing show, "I am excited about this card. Soto Karass is a tough guy and I am excited to make a statement. I am going to show that I am a heavy hitter at 154. It's going to be one helluva fight. Soto Karass is gonna bring it. I'm ready for everything. I have a big following and they're all gonna come. I can't wait."

Gabriel Rosado - Credits: Philly Boxing History

Kathy Duva spoke of choosing the main event for the NBCSN Fight Night debut show, "When the time comes to try to actually make the fights that everybody wants to see, you find out it's a lot harder than you thought it might be. As we went through the list, we found consistently that in the heavyweight division there were a lot more people willing to fight each other than anywhere else. And I think that that's a good thing." She went on to say, "There's a lot of talk about how the heavyweight division isn't what it used to be. Well I'll tell you, in recent years the only opportunity for heavyweights was to wait their turn to go to Germany and get beat up by one of the Klitschko's. That does not make for becoming a better fighter, that does not cause anyone to learn or get better. What makes a great fighter is that they have to be in competitive fights, they have to learn as they go along."

"We were delighted when we were able to make arrangements with Eddie Chamber's promoter, Dan Goossen of Goossen Tutor to bring him to this show. He hasn't fought in Philadelphia in a very long time, so this is a bit of a homecoming for him. He is one of the top heavyweights in the world and he has agreed to fight another one of the top heavyweights in the world, Sergei Liakhovich. This is exactly the kind of match we were looking for. They both have a lot at stake, they are both going to come in and do their best, and they're both going to try to win," Duva concluded.

Philadelphia resident, Eddie Chambers, 36-2, 18 KO's, was in very good spirits as he discussed his upcoming battle with Sergei Liakhovich, Scottsdale, AZ, 25-4, 16 KO's, on NBC Sports Network, "I'd really like to thank NBC for stepping up to the plate and trying to bring boxing back to what it used to be. I hate to disappoint NBC because they want competitive fights and all, but in my opinion this is not going to be a competitive fight." He confidently boasted, "I got a lot of respect for Sergei; he's been a world champion; a really good fighter; but I think I'm a little more advanced than he is! I think I pose a lot of threats to him. I've watched some his tapes, and some of the things he's done. It doesn't hurt that I am probably in the best shape that I've ever been in. I think it's not going to be easy, but I think what I bring to the table is going to be too much for him to handle."

To find NBC Sports Network on your TV, visit http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/ and use the NBC Sports Network Channel Finder on the right-hand side of the webpage.

MARTINEZ-MACKLIN NYC PRESSER QUOTES AND PHOTOS


New York, NY - (1/11/2012) - Earlier today, before a standing-room only crowd of media at Ainsworth Prime inside Madison Square Garden, Lou DiBella officially announced his St. Patrick's Day card (Saturday, March 17th) that will take place at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Headlining the show will be THE REAL Middleweight Champion "Maravilla" Martinez (48-2-2, 27KO's) defending his crown against top-rated Irish middleweight contender, Matthew "Mack The Knife" Macklin (28-3, 19KO's). The card which will be aired live on HBO's "World Championship Boxing", will also feature Ireland's fellow world-rated contender, Andy Lee (27-1, 19KO's) as well as a stacked undercard of some of the New York City and tri-state area's most promising and exciting Irish fighters. The card entitled, "THE REAL Middleweight Championship - Get Your Irish Up", is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and will be shown live on HBO beginning 10PM ET/7PM PT.


Tickets are priced at $505, $355, $205, $125 and $65 and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased through the Madison Square Garden Box Office or through Ticketmaster, at ticketmaster.com, or call (800) 745-3000. Call DiBella Entertainment at (212) 947-2577, or visit www.dbe1.com and @loudibella on Twitter for more information.

"I want to thank everyone involved who made this fight possible; HBO, Madison Square Garden, our sponsor Corona, and, of course who I believe to be two of the best middleweights in the world, Sergio Martinez and Matthew Macklin," said DiBella. "On March 17th, St. Patrick's Day, at Madison Square Garden, the best middleweight in the world, and The Real Middleweight Champion, Sergio Martinez will be defending his crown against a very tough, dangerous and exciting fighter in Matthew Macklin. I can truthfully say that I am proud to be the promoter of this main event and proud to be putting on what promises to be such an exciting night at The Garden. This (MSG) is the Mecca of boxing and it will continue to be the Mecca of boxing in 2012 and beyond, and will always remain the home of DiBella Entertainment."

DiBella continued, "The great thing about this fight is that both of these guys are such exciting fighters with so much heart and pride, stylistically it is a can't-miss."

Kery Davis, Senior Vice President of Programming at HBO Sports, echoed DiBella's statements.

"It's always great to televise an event from MSG," said Davis. They have been terrific partners with us and they have been a real champion for the sport of boxing. New York City brings a certain amount of excitement and electricity to a fight and we are excited about doing the fight here. Combine the fact that we are doing it on such a special day as St. Patricks's and you have all the ingredients for a great night of boxing."

Davis continued, "Sergio Martinez has become must-see television and he is recognized as The Middleweight Champion of the World. Inside the ring Sergio realizes that not only is it important to win, but to win entertainingly which is great for boxing but outside of the ring is really where the magic begins with Sergio. Not only is he handsome and intelligent but he is a great humanitarian and we couldn't be happier to have him as one of the faces of HBO Boxing."

DiBella promised to load the undercard with a number of top Irish fighters, including the world-rated contender Andy Lee, and New York's very popular undefeated prospect, Seanie Monaghan (10-0, 7KO's).

Below are the quotes from the presser:

SERGIO MARTINEZ: I want to thank HBO and my team DiBella Entertainment and Sampson Lewkowicz. I also want to thank Macklin for taking this fight. I am dedicating this fight to my family and to everyone who dedicate there time to fight against domestic violence. Thank you for coming and thank you for your time. I look forward to seeing you at my fight on March 17.

MATTHEW MACKLIN: I want to thank everyone involved making this fight, especially Sergio for giving me this opportunity.

As I have done throughout my entire career I will go up a notch for this fight. Sergio is going to bring the best out of me and I am very confident in my mind that I will be the new middleweight champion come March 17th. Fighting at The Garden on St. Patty's Day it's going to be like I'm fighting in Dublin. The Irish are coming from all over the world to see this. The atmosphere is going to be electric!

It is an honor to have the opportunity to fight here at MSG where so many great fights have taken place. I am proud and privileged to be a part of this great tradition.

Sergio is going to have to be ready. I am coming forward all night and I am coming for war. I am very very confident that I will be leaving the ring on March 17th at the new champion.

ANDY LEE: I want to thank Lou for letting me showcase myself on this show. There is nothing more I can wish for then to have this opportunity to fight at MSG on St Patrick's Day.

I consider myself as a serious contender and I hope to get my title shot in 2012. (Note: DiBella would later promise Lee that he would receive his title shot this year). I'm not sure who my opponent is going to be yet, but I promise you a good St. Patty's Day beating.

SAMPSON LEWKOWICZ: This will be the real middleweight champion of the world. I have said for a long-time that the Irish are the European Mexicans. They have so much heart and no fear and that will be on display on what is going to be an extremely good and exciting fight on March 17th.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Eddie Chambers Hopes To Add To Philly Heavyweight History


Philadelphia, PA - When Eddie Chambers, of Philadelphia, PA, boxes Sergei Liakhovich, of Scottsdale, AZ, in the 10-round main event on Saturday evening, Jan. 21, at the Asylum Arena, he will take another step on the journey he hopes will lead him to the heavyweight championship of the world.

Chambers, 29, who moved to Philadelphia from Pittsburgh as a young pro in 2002, already has boxed for the IBF version of the crown. Although he was stopped in the 12th round by Wladimir Klitschko in 2010 in Germany, he now knows what he must do to get back there and win.

In the long history of Philadelphia boxing, few have challenged for boxing's richest prize. Despite its reputation as a great boxing town, only two men, Sonny Liston (below) and Joe Frazier, lived in Philadelphia when they won the world heavyweight title. Terrible Tim Witherspoon twice earned pieces (WBC, WBA) of the crown in the 1980s.



Liston lived here when he dispatched Floyd Patterson in one round in 1962 at Chicago's Comiskey Park to become Philadelphia's first world heavyweight champion.

Six years later, Frazier (below), originally from Beaufort, SC, knocked out Buster Mathis in Madison Square Garden to gain recognition as world champion. He won the undisputed belt in 1970 against Jimmy Ellis then cemented his heavyweight legacy by outpointing the comebacking Muhammad Ali over 15 rounds in 1971.


There have been other outstanding Philadelphia heavyweights, including Tommy Loughran, considered by many to be the greatest fighter ever from Philadelphia, Al Ettore, Leroy Haynes, Dan Bucceroni, Leotis Martin and Jimmy Young.

While Philadelphia world heavyweight champions are rare, the city has hosted two of the most important heavyweight championship fights of all-time on the same date and in the same ring, 26 years apart.

On Sept. 23, 1926, Jack Dempsey lost his crown to Gene Tunney via 10-round decision in a steady downpour in front of 120,757 fans at what was then known as Sesquicentennial Stadium in South Philadelphia. On the same date in 1952, in what many claim was the greatest heavyweight title fight ever, Rocky Marciano came from behind to knock out Jersey Joe Walcott in the 13th round at the same venue, then known as Municipal Stadium.

It's a long, glorious history Chambers is following and the fight with Liakhovich is the next step.

A pro since 2000, Chambers is 36-2, 19 KO's. Liakhovich, 35, of Scottsdale, AZ, is 25-4, 16 KO's, and he held the WBO version of the title for seven months in 2004. The winner will have something to say in the world heavyweight picture in 2012.

'Irish' Micky Ward training 'The Wolf' Unbeaten light welterweight prospect Levan Ghvamichava


CORK, Ireland (January 5, 2012) - Irish boxing manager Gary Hyde announced today that he has come to an agreement with "Irish" Micky Ward to train his hot prospect, light welterweight sensation Levan "The Wolf" Ghvamichava.

Ghvamichava (6-0, 5 KOs), who is a native of Georgia living in Belfast, will relocate in February to Lowell, Massachusetts, where he will train under the guidance of three-time Fight of the Year participant, Ward, whose life was portrayed in the Academy Award winning movie, The Fighter.

"I am delighted we have Micky Ward on board," Hyde said. "He has a lot of valuable experience to share with Levan, whose style of fighting is very similar to Micky's. 'The Wolf' is a throwback fighter who loves nothing more than going into the trenches, just like his new coach, and fighting toe-to-toe. Micky has been approached by a lot of fighters who wanted the benefit of his coaching and experience, so I am very happy that Micky has chosen to work with us.

"Levan is a six-time Georgian Senior champion, European silver medalist, and one of the leading 140-pound division amateur fighters in the world the past few years. I have been in talks with some of the leading promoters in the United States who are very keen on signing Levan. When he makes his US debut, sometime fairly soon, he could be fighting on a major undercard."

In 2011, Ghvamichava won all six of his pro fights and he is already fighting in scheduled eight-round bouts. Levan is one of the highest ranking fighters in the world for a fighter with relatively so little pro fights. In his last fight this past October in Scotland, he knocked out former European and Italian champion Guiuseppe Lauri (51-8, 32 KOs) in the second round.

"I'm looking forward to working with Levan and Gary," the popular Ward commented. "Levan looks like a talented fighter with a very, very bright future. We'll get him good sparring at my gym (Chelmsford, MA), as well as the West End Gym in Lowell, and also take him to some gyms in Boston. There are a lot of young fighters around here who will be good sparring partners for Levan. I can't wait to get started."

Hyde, president of Nowhere To Hyde, also manages a stable of other undefeated fighters such as WBA Interim Super Bantamweight Champion Guillermo "The Jackal" Rigondeaux (8-0, 6 KOs), undefeated British welterweight prospect Mark Heffron (5-0, 4 KOs) and light middleweight Dee "Wealthy" Walsh (1-0). Hyde plans to sign more fighters in 2012 and make Lowell his U.S. base.

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