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Dominican Boxing Update!

By Robert Coster

Over the past decade, Dominican boxing has been immersed in a crisis that has seen boxers immigrate to the Unites States, few attractive new figures and scarce attendance to uninspiring boxing cards. But the panorama may change as a slew of former amateur stars have been allowed to turn pro and provide promoters with the new blood needed to bring the fans back to boxing shows. Over the past year, 15 top amateur boxers have joined the pro ranks to the delight of boxing Commissioner Franklin Nunez. “We have improved our relations with the Amateur Federation and we are now working hand in hand,” says Nunez, “and we have provided incentives for our local promoters.” Among the prospects who are making a name for themselves, are exciting welterweight Melvin Betancourt (8-0, 6 KOs), recently elected Novice of Year 2008, explosive featherweight Jenifel Vicente (11-0-2, 7 KOs), slick bantamweight Geysi Lorenzo (9-0, 2 KOs), former amateur lightweight standout Javier Fortuna (2-0, 2 KOs), just to name a few. The leader of this new generation will doubtlessly be 2008 Olympic Champion and national hero Felix Diaz who will be making his much expected pro debut in the country. “The idea,” says Comissioner Nunez, “is to have these young men fight in their homeland as well as abroad and create rivalries between our local prospects. We also would love to have young Dominican-American prospects fly over here to showcase their talent.”




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