This Friday night at the Edgewater Casino in Laughlin, Nevada, the quarterfinals of the lightweight portion of Boxcino 2014 will get underway on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. The concept of the tournament was hatched in 1996 by Banner Promotions Arthur Pelullo and the idea came to fruition a year later.
“17 years ago, I was 41-years old and I was trying to figure a way to find fighters to advance my business,” said Pelullo. “I came up with an idea to do a tournament. That tournament consisted of 4 weight divisions and 8 countries. I was fortunate to find several fighters that went on to make a good living in boxing. One of the fighters we thought that would become a big star was JC Candelo.”
Candelo has had a nice career as he competed for a world title, but it was one fighter in particular that went on to super-stardom.
“Out of all the fighters, there was a young kid from Brazil named Acelino “Popo” Freitas. He was 9-0 with 9 knockouts. He went on to a record of 39-2 with 33 knockouts and he won 4-world titles. Freitas has one of the highest knockout percentages in history and he defended the title 10 times. He turned out to be my most successful fighter to date. I now promote his nephew Vitor Jones de Olivera (1-0, 1 KO).”
Pelullo believes that another Freitas or two could be among the roster of fighters that have entered in the lightweight and middleweight tournament.
“I am hoping that Boxcino 2014 will find us some young fighters that we can take their careers to the top of the sport. I believe that within this crop of young fighters there could be a few of them that will take their careers to the very top of boxing.”
The show will begin at 9pm eastern / 6pm Pacific on: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN
The first round of the lightweight tournament will feature:
Yakubu Amidu (21-4-2, 19 KOs) vs Chris Rudd (12-1, 8 KOs)
Fedor Papazov (14-0, 9 KOs) vs Petr Petrov (32-4-2, 15 KOs)
Miguel Gonzalez (22-3, 16 KOs) vs Miguel Angel Mendoza (21-2-2, 21 KOs)
Fernando Carcamo (15-5, 12 KOs) vs Samuel Neequaye (21-0, 15 KOs)