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No Joke: Stewart returns

Former No. 1 junior welterweight contender Mike “No Joke” Stewart, of New Castle, DE, continues his comback when he takes on Louie Leija, of San Antonio, TX, in a scheduled six-round fight Saturday evening, Nov. 7, at Bally’s Atlantic City. Topping the seven-bout card is a scheduled 10-round contest between Mike Jones, of Philadelphia, PA, and Richard Gutierrez, of Mimi, FL, for Jones’ North American Boxing Association (NABA) welterweight title. First fight at 7.30 p.m. Stewart, 31, is now boxing as a welterweight. He ended an 18-month layoff April 24 when he earned a six-round decision over Luis Albert Santiago, of Philadelphia, at Dover (DE) Downs. Stewart would like to return to Dover Downs next year as the headliner.

A pro since 1996, Stewart has a 43-7-3 record with 31 knockouts. He was undefeated in his first 30 bouts. He lost two big fights against world champions in 2004 when he was out-pointed over 12 rounds by Sharma Mitchell and stopped in five by Ricky Hatton. Both fights were in Manchester, England.

Stewart was 6-4-1 afterward and quit after losing a 10-round decision to Robert Frankel, of Denver, on Oct. 5, 2007, at the New Alhambra in South Philadelphia. Prior to that, he did manage to knock out Ebo Elder in opening series of The Contender reality TV show, then lost to a heavier man in Grady Brewer in the second series. A possible fight with Arturo Gatti went down the drain earlier in 2007 when Stewart lost on points to Enrique Colin, also at the New Alhambra.
Leija, 36, is 21-12-1, 15 K0s, and he is the much bigger man coming into this fight.

A pro since 1992, Leija has fought some of the best in the business, including Jesus Chavez, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Emanuel Augustus, Ben Tackie and Derrick Gainer.

Six preliminary fights complete the show. Tickets are priced at $50 and $75. They are on sale at 215-765-0922 or online at www.peltzboxing.com. Tickets also can be purchased through Ticketmaster.




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