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News: Rodriguez, Hard Rock, Riley, Concepcion, Huck

Posted on 01/12/2009

Rodriguez graduates Saturday night in Biloxi

WORCESTER, Mass. (January 11, 2009) – Unbeaten middleweight sensation Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez, former 2-time national amateur champion, fights Saturday night (January 17) in his first scheduled 8-round bout against Brad Austin on the off-televised HBO undercard, headlined by Andre Berto-Luis Collazo WBC welterweight title fight, at the Beau Rivage Resort Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.

“I’m excited,” Rodriguez said between training sessions about his upcoming match. “I can’t wait to show everyone my talents. It’s another stepping stone towards becoming world champion. The HBO people and a lot of other influential people in boxing will be there and I’m going to showcase my talents.”

The Dominican Republic-born Rodriguez (8-0, 5 KOs) hasn’t fought since August 22, when he won all six rounds versus Marcus Upshaw (8-2), but during that inactive period he often sparred with world title challengers Peter Manfredo, Jr. and Elvin Ayala, as well as Jessie Brinkley. Mississippi will be the fifth different state Edwin’s already fought in as a pro.

“My inactivity won’t be an issue,” Edwin promised. “I was very busy with eight fights in my first year as a pro. I took off a few months but I was constantly in and out of the gym. I’d only been with my trainer, Peter Manfredo, Sr., for about eight months and we needed more time to know each other. I’ve learned a lot from him. I’ll be working inside a lot more. I was getting caught with rights pulling away with my chin up. That was a bad amateur habit we had to clean up.

“We’re fighting at 168 pounds but, I’m 6-0 feet tall and can fight at 168 or 160. I’m capable of winning at either weight, but my first goal is to be middleweight champ of the world. Eventually, I’ll probably fight as a super middleweight, but right now I’m fighting this one at 168 and then coming back down to 160.”

Austin (8-5, 2 KOs), fighting out of Tennessee, figures to be a solid test for Rodriguez, largely due to his experience fighting top prospects such as Carlos DeLeon, Jr., James McGirt, Jr. and Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillon.

“Last year was great for Edwin,” Rodriguez’ manager Larry Army noted. “We decided as a team for Edwin to take off four months to review his fights and hone his skills. We’re thrilled that Edwin is starting 2009 on such a high profile card, his first on an HBO or world title fight undercard. He’s going to learn a lot from this experience, which will help him develop even more. We’re confident that 2009 will start as 2008 ended with him undefeated and one more step closer to his goal of becoming world champion.”

For more information about the 23-year-old Rodriguez go online to


HOLLYWOOD, FL, January 12th, 2009- The day before super middleweight star Edison “Pantera” Miranda and junior middleweight contender Sechew “The Iron Horse” Powell step into the ring and begin their 2009 campaigns, these two fistic standouts will meet the press for the first time this year to discuss their pivotal bouts on January 14th’s “Hard Knocks at The Hard Rock” event.

The final press conference for “Hard Knocks at The Hard Rock” will take place on Tuesday, January 13th at 1pm at Paradise Live, which is located in Seminole Paradise next to Hard Rock Live.

The press conference will be followed at 5pm by the event’s official weigh-in at the Lucky Street Boxing Gym. The gym is located at 5440 South State Road 7 in Hollywood.

Tickets for “Hard Knocks at The Hard Rock”, which is headlined by the return of junior middleweight contender Sechew Powell against Christian Lloyd Joseph, a super middleweight bout between Edison Miranda and Manuel Esparza, and the debut of 2008 Puerto Rican Olympian Jonathan Gonzalez, are priced at $152, $102, $52, and $22, and are available now at the Hard Rock Live Box Office or

Also in action on January 14th will be highly touted Cuban defector Stalinn Lopez in his pro debut and Star Boxing standout Yathomas Riley.

For more information regarding this and other events, log on to:


Star Boxing’s fast rising light heavyweight prospect, Yathomas Riley (4-0,3KO) will return home to Florida when he fights on the undercard of the Hard Knocks at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL, Wednesday January 14th against Evjeny Stardoubstev (pro-debut).


Riley burst onto the scene in 2007 stopping Borngood Washington on February 15th at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT. Riley’s upcoming bout on the 14th will mark the first time Riley, the former 2006 National PAL and 2006 National Golden Gloves champion, fights in his home state of Florida since entering the professional ranks. Riley four fights as a pro, in order, took place in Connecticut, Brooklyn, Atlantic City and North Carolina.

“I have fans from coast to coast,” stated Riley. “I did most of my training up in New York in 2008, so it was good to be able to showcase my skills in the Northeast. But I am really excited to be fighting in Florida on the 14th in front of all my fans and family who have been there supporting me since day one.”

After a relatively busy 2008, Riley is gearing up for an even bigger and more active 2009. “I’d fight every week if I could. I love fighting, it’s my life. I had a great first year with my promoter Joe DeGuardia and Star Boxing, and I only see 2009 being that much better. Everything is going great right now with my training and my team. I am going to be making a lot of noise in 2009 that’s a promise.”

The bout is being promoted by Warriors Boxing in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing.


NEW YORK (12 Jan 2009) – Rafael “El Torito“ Concepcion (12-3) returns to the ring February 3rd 09 against former World Champion Kermin Guardia (37-8) in Brooklyn, New York.

This will be Concepcion’s second fight back since his enthralling battle with Jorge Arce last September in Mexico. Rafael has his sights firmly set on becoming world champion again. Kermin Guardia is a very experienced ex World Champion and Rafael knows that he cannot afford to let his guard down against Guardia.

The event will be promoted by Gleason’s Gym who is returning to the promotional fold and will stage a series named “Tuesday Night Fights”. The shows will be presented on the first Tuesday of every month in Brooklyn NY with the first show being held on February 3rd. Headlining will be the Rafael Concepcion vs Kermin Guardia bout which will be held over 8 rounds in the Super Flyweight division.

Rafael Concepcion last fought on November 29th in Panama, disposing the overmatched Emerson Nisperusa in 2 rounds. This was on the back of a very courageous loss in a fight of the year candidate versus Jorge Arce.

Rafael’s management team Optimum Sports Agency is keen to see their charge back at the top of the division. Rafael’s Manager, Damon de Berry, says “It is a rebuilding process. We have options and we have our goals, but we won’t get ahead of ourselves. Kermin Guardia will be a tough fight.”

Rafael Concepcion won the interim WBA Super flyweight Title by stopping the highly favored AJ Banal in Banal’s backyard, in the Philippines, in 10 grueling rounds in July of last year.

Huck to defend European Cruiserweight Title against Batello

Marco “Captain” Huck will make his second defence of the European Cruiserweight Title against Geoffrey Batello in Riesa on January 24 after challenger Vadim Safonov has been hindered by an injury. Unbeaten in 18 fights, Batello boasts an impressive record of 15 KOs. “Batello is an excellent challenger for Captain Huck,” Sauerland Event general manager Chris Meyer said. “The fight against him will be more difficult than the one against Safonov. We know Batello very well. He has been in full practice and is in top shape. And his fight record speaks for itself.”

In the last six months, the 29-year-old Belgian has been a sparring partner at the Max-Schmeling-Gym in Berlin where he proved to be a tough opponent for Sauerland´s cruiserweights. “He is very dangerous,” head coach Ulli Wegner said. “He is very athletic, very dynamic and very offensive-minded. Marco really needs to be on alert.” Captain Huck (23-1, 18 KOs) is looking forward to his first bout in 2009. Fighting top opponents is business as usual for the 24-year-old.

“If you want to reach the top, you have to defeat the best fighters,” he stated. “Weak opponents do not help your development at all. The European Cruiserweight Title will be at stake in Riesa and that certainly means a lot. I have been practicing for six weeks now. I know Batello from sparring. He is good, but I am better.”

Huck became European champion last September when he stopped Jean Marc Monrose in the last round. Also in action will be Enad Licina, Alexander Abraham, Cengiz Koc, Yoan Pablo Hernandez and Arthur Hein.

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