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Pennsylvania has joined the growing number of states to allow Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, events, now that the State Athletic Commission has approved final regulations for the sport, Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro A. Cortés announced today. The new regulations take effect Feb. 27, 2009. “I commend the work of the State Athletic Commission on the regulations, which were crafted to ensure participant and spectator safety,” Cortés said. “These efforts will assure licensure and testing of participants for communicable diseases, as well as require emergency medical care and insurance for participants. Regulation of the sport also will help ensure that events are orderly and crowd control is maintained.”Cortés noted that MMA has actively sought regulation. Pennsylvania joins a growing number of states, including New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, California, Nevada and Florida that permit Mixed Martial Arts.
By Jason Kotar at ringside / Photos: Sumio Yamada
In a bizarre lightweight fight, Breidis Prescott (21- 0, 18 KOs) remained undefeated with a disqualification win when veteran Humberto Toledo (33-6-2, 19 KOs) bit his shoulder in the tenth and final round. The unbelievable foul by Toledo was televised live on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights from the University Center Arena on the Campus of Nova Southeastern in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. (more…)
By Lee Bates
The proposed bout between WBO junior featherweight champion Juan Manuel “Juanma” López (24-0, 22 KOs) and WBO bantamweight champion Gerry Peñalosa, (54-6-2, 36 KOs) is now official. The bout will take place Saturday April 25th at the Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. The bout which is titled ‘Champion vs. Champion’ will be televised live by HBO and promoted by Top Rank and PR Best Boxing(Iván & Peter Rivera). Peñalosa successfully defeated Mexico’s German Meraz by unanimous decision this past Saturday in Cebu City, The Phillipines in a 10 round non-title bout. Penalosa and his team are expected to arrive next week in Puerto Rico to begin the promoting of the bout. Tickets are now available for purchase at Ticket Center (787)792-5000.
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
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Former Junior Lightweight World Champion Carlos Hernandez , Former Two Division World Champion Jesus Chavez, Former Junior Lightweight World Champion Edwin Valero, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions Richard Schaefer, Former Two-Time World Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Joel Casamayor, Former Lightweight World Champion Julio Diaz and Former Junior Lightweight World Champion Jorge Barrios took part in a press conference on Monday to announce their bouts on “Lightweight Lightning”, an four bout PPV event taking place on April 4, 2009 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.
Light heavyweight standouts Glen Johnson and Daniel Judah have unfinished business with each other after their disputed draw in 2003. On Friday, February 27th, they finally get their chance to get it on again at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida, and tickets are now on sale for what promises to be an explosive rematch. The countdown begins this Wednesday with the final press conference, and on Thursday, the fighters weigh in for this most anticepated rematch. Each of these events is open to the public.
1 PM – Wednesday, February 25 :: Press Conference at Paradise Live Theater (Located next to Hard Rock Live in Seminole Paradise at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.)
5 PM – Thursday, February 26 :: Weigh In at Hard Rock Live – 4th Floor VIP Room
Priced at $152, $102, $52, and $22, tickets may be purchased at the Hard Rock Live Box Office or TicketMaster.com for Johnson vs Judah II, a night of world-class professional boxing presented by Seminole Warriors Boxing. For more information regarding this and other events, log on to: www.warriorsboxing.com
Story by Felipe Leon
Surprisingly, two time lightweight champion Julio “Kidd” Diaz (36-4, 26 KOs) is amused with the recent comments his next opponent Joel Casamayor made recently, where the two-time divisional champion stated in not-so-nice terms that if he didn’t knock out Diaz, he was going to inflict great bodily harm.
“I think its funny. I have been a lightweight for thirteen years and he just got knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez, a featherweight,” Diaz states with a chuckle . . . Click here for more
SHOWTIME caught up with legendary trainer Hall of Famer Emanuel Steward on Monday for his thoughts on this Friday’s IBF cruiserweight title fight pitting champion Tomasz Adamek against Steward’s pupil, the undefeated Johnathon Banks in the main event Friday, Feb. 27, on ShoBox: The New Generation (live at 11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). Steward, 64, who won a national Golden Gloves title at 118 pounds in 1963, is managing the 26-year-old Banks’ career outside of the ring while his nephew Javan “Sugar” Hill is handling the training duties. (more…)
By Dennis Principe
Former world lightweight champion Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz believes his solid work rate will be too much for three-division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez. “Right now I’m the hungry guy. I’m young and hungry and I’m willing to go through any extreme to beat him,” Diaz told the daily Philippine radio show Sports Chat hosted by this writer. Despite this Diaz expects to have a hard fight and expects a tough but winning time against Marquez. Diaz will have a shot at regaining his old belts when he clashes with Marquez in a 12-round bout for the WBA and WBO crowns on February 28 at the Toyota Center in Houston. In the same interview Diaz gave his thoughts on the upcoming Manny Pacquiao versus Ricky Hatton brawl. He believes the Filipino sensation has the tools to beat a one-dimensional Hatton. Listen to the interview here.
“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about Oscar,” stated welterweight contender Delvin Rodriguez upon hearing the news that Oscar Diaz has been discharged from University Hospital in San Antonio. “He is a great boxer and more importantly a great human being. I will always keep Oscar and his family in my thoughts and prayers.” Diaz suffered a near-fatal brain injury during his bout against Delvin Rodriguez last July. Joe DeGuardia, CEO of Star Boxing stated “We are happy to hear about the progess that Oscar has already made and just hope that he continues to get better and continues to improve. We wish all the best for Oscar and his family in the future and want them to know we will always keep Oscar in our thoughts.” Star Boxing matchmaker Ron Katz added, “I couldn’t be more pleased to hear of Oscar’s progress, and I am very happy for Oscar who has shown what a true champion is made of and also for his family who has stuck by him throughout this tragic ordeal.”
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IBF cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek (36-1, 24 KOs) and unbeaten IBF #8 challenger Johnathon Banks (20-0, 14 KOs) worked out today at the C.O.M.B.A.T. Gym in Newark, NJ. Adamek and Banks collide Friday night live on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT from The Prudential Center in Newark.
Here’s what they had to say…
Johnathon Banks: I’m a boxer, that’s what I do. The difference is, I can punch! Sparing with Wladimir (Klitschko) taught me how to deal with punches. I’m well equipped to win this fight. Look for an explosive fight. Most of all don’t blink!
Tomasz Adamek: After beating Cunningham I became number one. I feel I am the best. Although I won that fight and everyone liked it, it was rough on me because I would have liked the fight to have been sooner. I trained for six months (for Cunningham) because the fight was changed two times. This fight they will see a better Adamek because I will be more fresh and sharp. I will win!
Photos: Emily Harney
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Contender finalists Troy Ross and Ehinomen “Hino” Ehikhamenor worked out for the media today in advance of their Season 4 Contender Finale on Wednesday from the MGM Grand at Foxwoods.
The last time I wrote about Marcus Hicks I celebrated him as the “Quiet Man” of MMA. Well, Hicks outdid his tight-lipped ways during our latest interview for his upcoming lightweight clash with “Razor” Rob McCullough. He took his brevity to new heights, as this question-and-answer session reveals . . . Click here for more by Frank Curreri, WEC
Fallen warrior Oscar Diaz has been discharged from University Hospital in San Antonio. According to the San Antonio Express News, Diaz has been moved to a local rehabilitation facility. “He’s doing remarkably well compared to when we first saw him,” neurosurgeon Dr. David Jimenez told the paper. “He’s totally alert. He’s awake, smiles and gives the ‘thumbs up’ sign. We’re very happy with his progress.” Diaz suffered a near-fatal brain injury during his bout against Delvin Rodriguez last summer.
By Alexey Sukachev and Andrey Bazdrev (at ringside)
Photos: Andrey Bazdrev (PBFR)
Russian middleweight champion Gennady Martirosyan, 29, is steadily raising his stock as a legitimate contender in 160lb weight division. On Friday night, Feb. 20th, Martirosyan (16-1, 6 KOs), who is ranked #15 by the WBO, added a vacant PABA middleweight title to his resume and Thai Kiatchai Singwancha (26-6, 16 KOs) to the list of victims with an impressive ninth-round knockout victory. The fight was a headliner of a nice-packed tournament, held in Casino Conti, St. Petersburg, and promoted by Vitaly Supichenko and Alexander Yagupov of Jab Promotions. (more…)
Border promoter Promociones del Pueblo have a three-title bill set for Ciudad Chihuahua, Mexico, on March 21. Three WBC Fecombox belts will be on the line. In the main event, Yory Boy Campas (92-13, 74 KOs) will test rising Chihuahuan star Marcos “Dorado” Reyes (10-0, 10 KOs) in a 12-rounder at middleweight. Fighting for the 140-pound Fecombox belt, Juarez’s Javier “Zorro” Castro (19-1, 17 KOs) will take on Antonio Izquierdo (17-4-1, 14 KOs) of Chihuahua, who seeks to end a four-bout losing streak. At 115 pounds, Victor Zaleta (7-1, 4 KOs) goes 12 with highly ranked Luis “Titi” Maldonado (37-3-1, 28 KOs). Televisa will televise the bouts in Mexico. –Chris Cozzone
By Jeff Zimmerman at ringside / Photos: Robert Hughes
2008 U.S. Olympian, Luis “The Latin Legend” Yanez (1-0) made is long awaited pro debut on Friday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, with a majority decision over San Antonio’s Julio Valdez (3-3), 40-36, 39-37, 38-38. In what became a one punch and hold affair, neither fighter could establish a flow to the fight. Valdez tried to turn the fight into a brawl to overcome the speed and quickness of Yanez, but in the end Yanez did just enough to escape with his first professional win. (more…)
By Bob Caico at ringside / Photos Boxing Bob Newman
Former two time super middleweight champion Byron Mitchell scored an impressive win Friday night in Buffalo, NY on a card promoted by X-Cel Worldwide. Mitchell (27-4-1, 20 KOs), now campaigning at light heavyweight, stopped Zach Walters (23-4) of Duluth, MN at the end of the sixth round of a scheduled 12. (more…)
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux (2000, 2004) has escaped from Cuba and resurfaced in Miami. No details of his escape are available. The 27-year-old southpaw bantamweight will rejoin former Cuban Olympic teammates Yuriorkis Gamboa, Odlanier Solis and Erislandy Lara under the Arena Box-Promotion banner. Rigondeaux and Lara had previously tried to defect in 2007 in Brazil, but were returned to Cuba where they were not permitted to box. Lara later escaped successfully. Both Gamboa and Lara scored spectacular KOs in nationally televised bouts on Friday night.
Arena CEO Ahmet Öner has confirmed Rigondeaux’s defection and announced that Rigondeaux has signed with Arena Box-Promotion. “It’s true,” said Öner. “Our director of boxing operations in the USA, Luis DeCubas, has met Rigondeaux in Miami. Obviously, we are excited that this extraordinarily gifted athlete joins our team of Cuban world class boxers like Yuriorkis Gamboa, Erislandy Lara and Odlanier Solis. They will train together at our gym in Miami. We will announce everything else and answer questions on a press conference in Miami next week.”
Former WBO lightweight champion Artur Grigorian weighed in at 144.6lbs for his comeback fight against Kirkor Kirkorov, who scaled in at 138.9. Looking on is promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl. Grigorian-Kirkorov will take place Tuesday night at the famous Universum Gym in Hamburg, headlining a gala celebration for Universum Box-Promotion’s 25th anniversary. Ringcard girls will include female world champions Ina Menzer and Alesia Graf.
In only his fourth professional fight, 2008 U.S. Olympic first alternate Danny O’Connor makes his national television debut Friday night in the opening bout on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights against light welterweight Jamar Saunders (2-1-1, 1 KO) at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The 23-year-old O’Connor (3-0, 1 KO) is coming off of his best performance as a pro, winning a unanimous 4-round decision (40-46, 40-36, 40-34) January 30 against Greg Jimenez. (more…)
By Brady Crytzer
WBO #10 and WBA #15 ranked heavyweight Brian “The Beast” Minto (32-2, 21 KO’s) is planning a return to action in the spring of 2009. Sitting ringside at Saturday’s middleweight title bout between Kelly Pavlik and Marco Antonio Rubio, Minto mentioned early April as a target date. Although an opponent remains TBA, the bout will most likely take place in Minto’s hometown of Butler, PA. Minto’s last in-ring appearance was in November of 2008 when he scored a fourth round TKO over heavyweight journeyman Galen Brown (31-10-1, 19 KO’s.)
On March 6th at the beautiful Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in Uncasville, CT, Star Boxing’s young phenom Ray “Tito” Serrano (8-0, 5KO) takes a big step up in his career when he takes on once beaten “Smokin” Jay Krupp (12-1, 5KO) in an eight round welterweight contest. The card, which will be broadcast live on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights”, will be headlined by Star Boxing’s welterweights Delvin Rodriguez (23-2-2, 14KO) taking on Shamone “The Truth” Alvarez (20-1, 11KO). At stake will be Rodriguez USBA welterweight championship and also the number two ranking in the IBF world ratings . . . . Click here for more
By Rick Scharmberg
Derek “Pooh” Ennis (17-2-1, 12 KOs), of Philadelphia, PA will take on Ishmail “The Arsenal” Arvin (15-1-4, 7 KOs), of Baltimore, MD on Saturday, April 11 at the Boardwalk Hall Adrian Phillips Ballroom in Atlantic City, NJ. The bout is scheduled for 10 rounds, with the USBA regional junior middleweight title at stake. The “Brawl at the Hall” will also feature the following fighters in separate bouts: welterweight Luis “Kid Duran” Burgos (10-0-1, 4 KOs), 2008 Olympic alternate, bantamweight Qa’id “Kidd Dynamite” Muhammad (4-0, 4 KOs), light heavyweight Lavarn Harvell (2-0), and super middleweight Joel De La Paz (2-0, 1 KO). In addition, Atlantic City fighters Jacolyn Nichols, Eugene Soto, Art Parker, and William Porter will be making their pro debuts against opponents to be determined. Dee Lee Promotions and GNP Boxing are promoting the card. Tickets, priced at $55, $45, $35, and $20, are available through Ticketmaster at 1-800-736-1420.
February 21, 2008 – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Ringside Report: Matt Richardson and Mariano A. Agmi at Ringside
Photos: Ed Mulholland/FightWireImages.com
Miguel Cotto made a triumphant return to the ring in his home away from home at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday night when he stopped Michael Jennings in the fifth round of a scheduled twelve to win the vacant WBO welterweight title. In front of 11,120 mostly partisan Cotto fans, the Puerto Rican dominated Jennings, knocking him down twice in the fourth and another time in the fifth before referee Benji Esteves mercifully called a halt. The time of the stoppage was 2:36. (More)
Ringside by Brady Crytzer & Antonio Castro, photos by Gary Sarti
In front of a supportive home crowd, WBC and WBO World Middleweight Champion Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik successfully defended his titles Saturday night when challenger Marco Antonio Rubio failed to answer the bell signaling the tenth round . . . . Click here for more
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