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Report and photos by Tri Nguyen
This was not your typical prefight press conference. There were no insults. There was barely a frown in the whole room. Instead, Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan exchanged mutual respect and admiration at the W Hotel in Washington DC. Lots of it.
“These guys are good guys. Amir Khan is a good guy!” exclaimed Barry Hunter, Peterson’s trainer. “Me and Freddie Roach, if you saw us yesterday chatting, you would have thought this whole thing was a fraud! We were having a great time!”
“I want to thank the Peterson team for taking the rematch immediately. They could have turned it down but they didn’t.” said Amir Khan (26-2, 18 KOs).
But after members of both entourages, including their lawyers and promoters, exchanged pleasantries, they began to talk about fighting. Amir Khan wants his title belts back. He lost a hotly disputed split decision on December 10 in a fight marred by referee Joe Cooper’s points deduction. The two points cost Khan the fight. (more…)
Photos: Ed Diller
The final press conference was held today at the famed Madison Square Garden for Saturday night’s “THE REAL Middleweight Championship – Get Your Irish Up” card, presented by DiBella Entertainment.
Sergio Martinez: “It’s a great, great honor fighting at Madison Square Garden, the dream of my life.”
Matthew Macklin: “The only Irishmen I’ll need Saturday night are Seamus (left fist) and Paddy (right first). It’s been a long road to get here. I won everything on the way – Irish Championship, British Championship and European Championship twice. I should have won the WBA Championship but was stiffed by a horrible decision. Everything happens for a reason and I’m here now.”
“Sergio Martinez is the real middleweight champion and one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. I’ll be really proud when I win the world championship at Madison Square Garden.”
“I trained 10 weeks in Manhattan and had world-class sparring. This is it for No. 1. I’ll step in the ring 18 years to the day I started boxing. I have nothing bad to say about Sergio Martinez but every dog has his day. I’m going to be the new world middleweight champion.”
Promoter Lou DiBella: “There’s no ‘stinkability’ factor. They’re going to come into the ring and fight. They will entertain.”
By Gabriel F. Cordero
Mexican referee Laurentino Ramirez will be the third man in the ring when Mexican WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco (26-2-1, 19 KOs) defends against his compatriot Miguel ¨Mickey¨Roman (37-9, 26 KOs) on Saturday night at the Polideportivo Centenario, Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico. The three judges are Benjamin Rendon, Guillermo Ayon and Miguel Moran all from Mexico. The fight Supervisor is Carlos Gonzalez. Ring Officials: Since both fighters are from Mexico, the WBC appointed all Mexican officials as there will not be any conflict or neutrality.
WBC Presideny Jose Sulaiman has annonced that the WBC has created a ring officials supervision committee headed by Tom Kaczmarek from the United States. Former judges named to the committee include Angelo Polletii from Italy; Larry O’Connell from England; Richard Steele from USA; Ken Morita from Japan and a special guest TBA. This committee will be in charge of checking bout videos and make conclusions with several different opinions so they can be used during training and judge/referee clinics. They will be also in charge of reviewing fights where any of the parties disagree on the result.
Photos: Tom Casino/Showtime
Undefeated lightweight prospect Omar Figueroa Jr. (14-0-1, 11 KOs), of Weslaco, Texas, was over the division-limit 135 pounds – he weighed 136.2 pounds and forfeited his WBO Intercontinental Youth title on the scale. His 10-round main event fight will go on as scheduled against Morelos, Mexico’s Ramon “Nino De Oro” Ayala (23-2-1, 11 KOs), who tipped the scale at 135 pounds.
The bantamweight fighters in Friday’s co-feature, local favorite Randy Caballero (13-0, 7 KOs), of Coachella, Calif., and Tecate, Mexico’s Jose Luis “Tapitas” Araiza (29-5-1, 20 KOs), both weighed in at 117.8 pounds.
Venue: Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif.
Promoter: Golden Boy
TV: Showtime more photos
By Johnny B’
Professional boxing returns to the Chicago’s UIC Pavilion on Friday. The co-featured event pits light heavy Andrzej Fonfara of Poland (20-2, 11 KOs) against veteran Byron Mitchell (29-9-1, 22 KOs) and undefeated Russian middleweight Viktor Polyakov (10-0, 6 KOs) against Indiana’s Derrick ‘Superman’ Findley (18-7, 11 KOs). The winners of each bout take home IBO/USBO belts. (more…)
In five weeks, the most bitter and long-running UFC feud since perhaps Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz II in 2006 will come to a dramatic conclusion. In the main event of UFC 145, UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones collides with former friend turned bitter rival ‘Suga’ Rashad Evans. (more…)
After three years of waiting for his mandatory title shot, unbeaten Selcuk Aydin (23-0, 17 KOs) will face Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 KOs) on July 28th for the WBC interim world welterweight championship. Aydin had secured his position as No. 1 contender with a KO victory over “Sugar” Jackson Bonsu back in July 2009 but was forced to fight Canada based Romanian Jo Jo Dan twice for the WBC Silver Championship instead of getting a shot at the big green and gold belt.
“I am very happy that the deal has been finalized and I’m looking forward to a great fight”, states Aydin. “For all these years I have been waiting for a major fight in the USA but nobody wanted to fight me. Andre Berto ducked me over years, Victor Ortiz decided that it would be better for his career to lose to Mayweather than to me, and Mayweather himself obviously prefers doing time in jail to stepping in the ring with me. I give props to Robert Guerrero that he is man enough to actually fight me. He will eventually regret this decision when he finds himself at hospital with a broken jaw like my last opponent.” (more…)
Undefeated Russian prospect Evegeny Gradovich (12-0, 6 KOs) will now face former world title challenger Francisco Leal (16-5-3, 10 KOs) in a scheduled ten round featherweight tilt headlining the TOP RANK LIVE card on March 31st in the Illusions Theater at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Gradovich was originally slated to face Alejandro Lopez (23-3, 7 KOs). The 25-year-old Leal took home his career best win on April 23, 2011, a ten round decision over the highly regarded and undefeated prospect Robert Marroquin in Thackerville, Oklahoma in a clash also broadcast on TOP RANK LIVE. In his world title shot, Leal battled IBF/WBA Featherweight Champion Celestino Caballero on August 29, 2009. Following a ferocious war over the first seven rounds, Leal was stopped in the eighth stanza. The card will be televised on the Azteca America network.
Former Mexican Olympian Abner Mares will begin his quest for a world title in a second weight class as he moves up in weight to take on former World Champion Eric “Little Hands of Steel” Morel of Puerto Rico, in a 12-round bout to be contested at 120 pounds on April 21 at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas. Tickets, priced at $25, $50, $75 and $150, go on sale on Saturday, March 17, at 10 a.m. MT and may be purchased at the UTEP Ticket Office, all Ticketmaster locations or by phone at (800) 745-3000. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com.
Meanwhile, the World Boxing Council Board of Governors has announced that WBC super bantamweight champion, Toshiaki Nishioka has been granted the Emeritus Champion status, which will allow him to return to the ring whenever his personal situation permits him to do so and has also confirmed that the fight between Mares and Morel will be for the WBC super bantamweight championship.
By Brett Bonetti
Australian Heavyweight Mark “The Dominator ‘de Mori (17-1-2, 15 KO’s) will take on American veteran Rob “All-American Prize-Fighter” Calloway (71-13-2, 57 KO’s) over 10 rounds at the Gladstone Entertainment Centre in Queensland Australia this Saturday 17th March. de Mori was impressive in his last bout when he stopped American Dominique “Diamond” Alexander in the 4th round in Perth last November and the Dominator is preparing for the biggest fight of his life against Calloway which could set the course for the rest of his career.
“I’ve been a fan of Rob Calloway for a long time and I’ve really followed his career so I know exactly how he boxes and I really know what to expect come Saturday night. I know he has a good jab and he’s got good movement, and I know he’s going to try and frustrate me with his reach advantage,” de Mori said. (more…)
The World Boxing Organization was informed by Keith Kizer, Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, that flyweight Omar Nino Romero had a disciplinary fine in the amount of $11,250.00 pending since 2006. WBO President, Francisco Valcarcel contacted Chairman Juan Ramon Guanzon, from the Games and Amusement Board in the Philippines to inform him that the scheduled WBO Flyweight Championship Bout between Brian Viloria and Omar Nino Romero to be held on March 31 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, Manila, Philippines was pending sanction until such time when the fine was appropriately dealt with. Valcarcel has also informed Fernando Beltran from Promociones Zanfer, and Viloria’s manager Gary Gittlesohn that when the monies are deposited in NSAC, the scheduled bout will be sanctioned.
By Gabriel F. Cordero
Zanfer Promotions president Fernando Beltran spoke about the triumph of his fighter, WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido, after his spectacular KO victory over Juan Manuel Lopez last Saturday in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “We’re excited by his victory, very proud of the way he fought and for giving a great fight,” said Beltran. He points out that Salido (38-11-2, 26 KOs), had no amateur fights and started his career at the age of 15, losing his first pro fight and acquiring quite a few other “L”s as he got his education in the ring against bigger and stronger opponents. However, Zanfer detected the quality of Salido and in the last ten years, “Siri” has only lost three close world title fights. “Orlando is admirable,” said Beltran. “His heart and his hunger for victory is impressive. He’s a warrior and we’re proud to have him in our stable. He’s a world champion who has earned it the hard way to be among the elite. And the best is yet to come. If all goes well in 2012, he’ll rise to super featherweight in 2013.”
By Gabriel F. Cordero
There is a strong possibility that three-division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez could have a new opponent when he fights for the vacant WBO interim super lightweight title on April 14 in the New Arena in Mexico City, topping an event presented by Zanfer Promotions. It was originally planned that Marquez would face undefeated Argentinian Cesar Rene Cuenca, however a source close to the situation has indicated that a replacement opponent, possibly a European, could be confirmed at the press conference to be held next week in Mexico City. Marquez was already preparing for Cuenca, so now he may have to make changes and adjustments to his training if there is indeed a new opponent.
The Monterey County Herald is reporting that former #1 super featherweight contender Eloy Perez has been released by Team Garcia, the Salinas, California-based training and management group, after allegedly testing positive for cocaine following his KO loss to WBO 130lb world champion Adrien Broner last month. Manger Kathy Garcia told the paper that she, trainer Max Garcia, and co-trainers Sam Garcia and Dean Familton will no longer be associated with Perez, who is facing a fine and/or suspension from the Missouri Boxing Commission.
Multiple sources inform that Top Rank has filed a breach of contract suit against former featherweight champion Yuriorkas Gamboa after Gamboa backed out of the highly anticipated April 14 showdown with former WBA lightweight Brandon Rios. Word is Rios will now fight WBA interim lightweight beltholder Richard Abril (17-2-1, 8 KOs) on the same date at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. There are also reports that HBO has pulled the plug on the April 14 telecast, but there are plans to televise Rios-Abril on another network.
The British Boxing Board of Control has indefinitely suspended the boxing license of heavyweight Dereck Chisora at a hearing Wednesday in Cardiff, Wales. The action was taken after Chisora slapped Vitali Klitschko at the weigh-in, spat in the face of Wladimir Klitschko moments before the fight, then got involved in a brawl with David Haye at the post-fight press conference last onto in Munich, Germany. The WBC will now have a hearing next week in London where they will fine and/or ban Chisora.
By Gabriel F. Cordero
A source has reported the possibility former world challenger Jesus “Negrito” Sylvester (23-3, 17 KOs) fighting Edwin “La Pantera” Diaz (15-17, 5 KOs) for a WBA interim minimumweight world title on April 14 in Mexico in an event organized by Canelo Promotions. Since the beginning of the year current WBA interim miniumweight world champion Paipharob Kokietgym has been unable to defend due to legal issues.
Handlers of unbeaten light heavyweight Sergey Kovalev (17-0-1, 15 KOs) have accused NABF titleholder Ismayl Sillakh (17-0, 14 KOs) of torpedoing a verbally agreed upon April 27th ESPN Friday Night Fights clash in Atlantic City with unrealistic contract demands. According to Kovalev’s manager Egis Klimas, Sillakh has been portrayed by his promoter Square Ring as being the most feared fighter in his division, which Klimas’ asserts is nothing more than promotional propaganda. “This is just another example of a promoter protecting its fighter, which is exactly what’s wrong with boxing today,” an irate Klimas asserts. “Sillakh’s NABF title defense is overdue and they sent out an email to a lot of top light heavyweights looking for a fight. We accepted the challenge but then they put four options in the contract. They can’t have it both ways. If Sillakh is the best light heavyweight in the world, somebody that no other top light heavyweight will fight, as they claim, why do they need four options on my fighter? I can see putting a rematch clause in the contract. I asked John Wirt (President of Square Ring) why he put four options in the contract and he said to protect his fighter and company. I guess they aren’t really sure Sillakh can beat Kovalev.”
Everything is set and ready for All Star Boxing’s and Telemundo Network show of this Friday, March 16 at the recently renovated Auditorio Plaza Condesa In Mexico City. WBO #11/WBC Latin flyweight champion Glenn “Boyet” Donaire of General Santos City, Philippines (18-4-1, 10 KOs) arrived confident and ready in Mexico with his father/trainer Nonito Donaire, his manager Vinny Scolpino and his promoter Tuto Zabala, Jr. He will face two-time world title challenger Omar Salado (24-4-2, 15 KOs) of Mexico City, Mexico in a clash scheduled for 12 Rounds with the vacant WBC Latin super flyweight title at stake.
“Donaire is in great shape, hungry, he trained with his father at high altitude and I feel very confident with a win over Salado to get him his world title shot in the near future,” said Zabala. (more…)
By Matt Richardson
Photos: DiBella Entertainment/Ed Diller
In a sport that can be equally as frustrating and beautiful to view, it is increasingly rare for “the right thing” to happen in boxing. By the majority of accounts, the right thing didn’t occur last summer when middleweight Matthew Macklin seemingly did more than enough to defeat WBA title-holder Felix Sturm. But it was Sturm, fighting at home in Germany, who actually won the 12-round split decision. Less than a year later, however, it is Macklin (29-3) who has benefited more from the performance, earning a title shot at the lineal middleweight champion Sergio Martinez. The two will box live on HBO Saturday night from the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. It’s justification that sometimes, the right thing actually does happen in boxing. “It’s a silver lining,” Macklin told Fightnews on Tuesday night. (more…)
By Przemek Garczarczyk
Photos: Ted Pacyga
Polish favorite, Grzegorz “The Eagle” Soszynski (20-1, 10 KOs) and Rayco Saunders (22-9, 14 KOs) faced off at the official press conference for their IBF North America light heavyweight title fight on March 31 at The Club in Burbank, Illinois.
“I don’t care about fighting on March 31 in Chicago’s southside, in front of a hostile Polish crowd. Half of my life I fought away from my home and in “The Club” I will be fighting against one man, not 2000 of his supporters,” said Saunders.
Soszynski, who lost his only fight against WBC #2 ranked David Kostecki, fighting for 12 rounds with a broken right hand, stated “I don’t even consider losing to Rayco. It can and it will not happen. I want to be considered one of the best in the light heavyweight division, fight for the championship belt and Saunders is just a step forward.” (more…)
By Ron Jackson
South African featherweight champion Sabelo Jubatha makes the first defense of his title when he meets Wonga Ntoyakhe at the Orient Theatre, East London on March 31. The 30-year-old Jubatha (13-1, 10 KOs), who made his pro debut in April 2008, won the South African featherweight title on December 18, 2009 when he stopped Luthando Vukuza in the tenth round. In 2010 he made successful defenses against Marcel Japhta (TKO 2) and Malibonge Thoba (KO 1). However, when Juabatha was unable to come to terms in signing a contract to defend his title against Simphiwe Tom, Boxing SA in their wisdom subsequently stripped him of the title in April 2011. (more…)
Donovan “The Bomb” George (22-1-1, 19 KOs) has had a healthy training camp in the lead-up to his showdown this Saturday with Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (20-0, 14 KOs). The bout is set to take place in Madison Square Garden as the co-main event of the Sergio Martinez—Matthew Macklin middleweight world title fight and will be televised on HBO’s Boxing After Dark. The bout fall’s on St. Patrick’s Day and promoter Lou DiBella is calling the match up “Bombs Away!”
March has always been a good month for Donovan’s father and trainer Pete George. “I became a cop in March, I got married in March, I won a couple city boxing championships in March back in the day and now I got my son fighting in Madison Square Garden in March on HBO.” (more…)
Despite coming off 2011 losses, middleweight standouts Brian Stann and Alessio Sakara have the opportunity to begin 2012 with a clean slate when they collide in the co-main event of April 14th’s UFC on FUEL TV card in Stockholm, Sweden. It’s a pivotal battle for both men careerwise, but in addition, it’s a pleasing stylistic clash that is likely to produce more than its share of memorable standup exchanges. But who has the edge a month from now? Let’s break it down as we take a closer look at the matchup . . . Click here for more by Thomas Gerbasi, UFC.com
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Middleweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs) and WBC #2 rated middleweight contender Matthew “Mack the Knife” Macklin (28-3, 19 KOs) will hold an open workout today inside the Modell’s Sporting Goods store in Times Square in anticipation of their upcoming middleweight championship bout on Saturday – St. Patrick’s Day, taking place at The Theater at Madison Square Garden being televised live on HBO. The workout is open to the media as well as the public. Following each of their workouts, Martinez and Macklin will sign autographs for anyone who purchases a pair of Everlast boxing gloves.
Martinez Media Workout 12-12:30PM
Martinez Autograph Session 12:30 – 1:00PM
Macklin Media Workout 12:30-1PM
Macklin Autograph Session 1-1:30PM
By Felipe Leon
If you were to drop a quarter right on the border between San Diego, CA, and Tijuana, Mex, and mapped out a 25-mile radius, I believe you would have difficulty to do that anywhere else in the world and find more former champions, world class ranked fighters and up and coming prospects than in this boxing rich chunk of the globe. It is understandable that Tijuana would be shock full of boxing hopefuls as it sits right across the border from the land of plenty. What is surprising is that in the city on the other side of the most crossed border in the world with over one million commuters a day going from one side to the other, you will find a couple of professional fighters ranked high up in the world rankings. With that said, I offer a new series on Fightnews where notes and news of the San Diego/Tijuana boxing scene will be shared with the rest of the world.
WBC light welterweight champion Erik “Terrible” Morales (52-7, 36KOs) will make a quick stop in his hometown of Tijuana on Thursday before embarking to Houston, Texas, early next week for his first defense of his title versus undefeated youngster Danny “Swift” Garcia (22-0, 14KOs) on Saturday, March 14th, at the Reliant Arena. The bout will headline the HBO broadcast with light middleweight James Kirkland facing Carlos Molina in the support bout. Morales has been Otomi Ceremonial Training Center for the better part of six weeks, just like he has done for roughly the last fifteen years or so. Morales will continue his training through out the weekend at the Zona Norte boxing gym that saw him grow. (more…)
By Brian Grammer
Leon “The Third Generation” Spinks III is jumping into the family business this Friday when he makes his professional debut on the Rumble Time Promotions “March Mayhem” card at the Ameristar Casino and Spa in St. Charles, Missouri. Spinks, the grandson of former world heavyweight champion and Muhammad Ali conqueror Leon Spinks, had a successful amateur career and is now ready to take the headgear and t-shirt off to wage war as a pro. “Excited” is how Spinks described his mood going into Friday and that it is “All or nothing!”
“Rumble Time is excited to showcase the pro debut of Leon ‘The Third Generation’ Spinks III” said promoter Steve Smith. “St. Louis has had been proud to have world champions such as Leon and Michael Spinks, then Cory Spinks and now ‘The Third Generation’ goes for superstardom as the young Leon Spinks III steps into the ring this Friday!” (more…)
By Joe Koizumi
WBA#7/WBC#11 Masayuki Kuroda (21-3-1, 13 KOs), 107.75, barely kept his Japanese national light-flyweight belt as he was held to a split draw (96-95, 95-96, 95-95) by WBA#14 Ryoichi Taguchi (16-1-1, 7 KOs), 107.75, over ten hustling rounds on Monday in Tokyo, Japan. It was disappointing from the technical point of view, as they pushed each other rather than mixed it up—from the beginning to the end—without landing effective shots. Kuroda, making his third defense, was an aggressor in the close quarter in the first four rounds, but didn’t look so effective despite the volume of his positive attack. Taguchi, a switch-hitter, occasionally shifted from orthodox to southpaw, but couldn’t display effective aggression only to make it a dull affair. The drawn verdict might be a good suggestion for their future improvement, if possible. Kuroda had better remember his previous hit-and-run tactics to keep his belt against top-notch challengers. Promoter: Kawasaki Nitta Promotions.
Super featherweight Paul Truscott (18-2) is out to prove his fists can also talk when he challenges for Gary Buckland’s (24-2) British domestic crown at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena on March 24. The former Commonwealth featherweight champion, 25, said: “Buckland is a top quality kid, but a quality kid against anybody apart from me. I can talk which a lot of fighters can’t do, and I can fight. I can box and I can make it boring, but at the end of the day I know what the fans want to watch and that’s excitement. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to go out there and be an idiot. I’m going to do what I’ve got to do to win and that’s to be the boss. It’s time to show my talent on the big stage.”
By Mariano A. Agmi
Photos: Marty Rosengarten/ringsidephotos.com
On Saturday, March 17th, World Middleweight Champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs) defends his lineal crown against Matthew “Mack the Knife” Macklin (28-3-1, 19 KOs) at the Madison Square Garden Theater in New York City. For Sergio, it is a thrill to perform at the legendary “Mecca of Boxing” after fighting on the east coast since 2007. “Like any world champion who has fought as long as I have, it is a dream to finally fight at Madison Square Garden,” states the champion. “I’m living a moment in my career that every boxer would like to experience.”
The less magical part of the dream however, is that the champion, who has fought exclusively in the United States for the past five years, will likely have the crowd against him at the venue against an Irish boxer who has fought in the United States only twice before. That is because this fight is taking place on St. Patrick’s Day, and the majority of the sell-out crowd will favor the Irishman from Birmingham, England. (more…)
Text and photos: Przemek Garczarczyk
A week before very important fights for both of them, Donovan George and Andrzej Fonfara got in one last sparring session against each other at the Chicago Boxing Club.
Super middleweight Donovan George (22-1, 19 KOs) fights another top prospect Edwin Rodriguez (20-0, 14 KOs) on Saturday in New York’s Madison Square Garden on HBO, while Andrzej Fonfara (20-2, 11 KOs) and undefeated as a light heavyweight with 8 straight KOs, fights on Friday in Chicago’s UIC Pavilion for the USBO/IBO title against Byron Mitchell (29-9, 22 KOs). (more…)
Even in some of the more impoverished streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Hector Camacho Jr. finds signs of encouragement. A morning jog results in a chance encounter with champions both past and present – Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Lopez – all of whom train regularly in their native Puerto Rico, which Camacho Jr. calls “an island for fighters.”
“Every so often you run by them and yell, ‘Keep it up, champ!’ and they acknowledge you back,” said Camacho Jr., who’ll return to the United States later this month to face World Boxing Council U.S. National Boxing Council (WBC USNBC) middleweight champion Elvin Ayala (25-4-1, 11 KOs) of New Haven, Conn., in a 10-round title bout on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” March 30th, 2012 at the Foxwoods Resort Casino’s MGM Grand Theater, presented by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports.
“We want to see each other win. We back each other. It’s great motivation.” (more…)
The series debut of The Ultimate Fighter® Live on FX got off to a strong start Friday night (3/9/12, 9:00-11:38 PM) delivering 1.28 Million Total Viewers, 953,000 Adults 18-49 and 538,000 Adults 18-34, and ranking among the top five cable programs on Friday in Men 18-34 (#2), Adults 18-34 (#3), Men 18-49 (#4), and Adults 18-49 (#5). (more…)
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