News: Spadafora, Valuev, Campell-Guzman, Julio, Kirilov, more


SPADAFORA BACK IN THE GYM FOLOWING SUCCESSFUL KNEE SURGERY

ERIE,PA — (July 22, 2008) — Unbeaten former IBF lightweight champion Paul Spadafora (41-0-1) has cleared another hurdle in his comeback bid. Spadafora who underwent knee surgery June 3rd at Sharon Regional Health Systems Hospital in Sharon, PA, returned to the gym yesterday, Monday, July 21. The surgery was performed by Dr. Keith Lustig a renown specialist in knee surgeries to remove a floating cartilage.

“The surgery was a success and Paul’s knee has responded very well to the surgery and rehabilitation,” Dr. Lustig.

Spadafora injured his knee January 17th and went through strength conditioning and rehabilitation in February and March in hopes of getting his knee better.

Spadafora stated ” I thought that the conditioning and rehab would work but it was temporary, in my last fight (April 26th) I experienced too much pain and inability to move my knee and just couldn’t perform the way I can.”

Michael Acri, Spadafora’s promoter, hopes to have a fight scheduled for him at the end of August or the beginning of September.

Spadafora captured the IBF world lightweight title in 1999, upsetting the heavily-favored Israel Cardona via a lopsided 12-round unanimous decision. After successfully defending his world championship crown eight times during his four-year reign, he vacated the title to move up in weight.

Team Sauerland wins purse bid for Valuev-Ruiz II

Nikolai Valuev (48-1, 34 KOs) will fight John Ruiz for the vacant WBA heavyweight title in Berlin on August 30, it was revealed today. Team Sauerland won the purse bid in Panama with an offer of $2.100.000, edging out Universum by $100.000 ($2.000.000). “I am happy my team won and that the fight will be staged in Germany,” the Russian Giant said from his home in St. Petersburg. “Berlin is very special to me. That is where I defeated Ruiz in 2005 to become world champion. Fighting in the Max-Schmeling-Halle again will be like a home match.”

After Ruslan Chagaev had pulled out of his mandatory defence against Valuev for the second time in a row, the WBA set up the clash between Ruiz (43-7, 29 KOs) and the Russian Giant, the two top-ranked challengers. “Nikolai is eager to win back his title,” Sauerland managing director Chris Meyer said. “He has gone through the full preparation twice and can´t wait to get back into the ring.”

Back in December 2005, Valuev became the tallest and biggest boxing champion of all time when he closely edged Ruiz on points. Meyer is confident the 34-year-old Russian can do the same trick again. “Nikolai has improved a lot under the guidance of his new coach Alexander Zimin,” he stated. “I am sure he will beat Ruiz.”

Atlantic City Super Fight ‘Casino Battle Royale’ Planned For November.

Following on from his hugely successful inaugural fight night in Salem, New Jersey last month, promoter Jarvis Robertson and his Fight Night Productions team are in the process of organizing an even bigger event ‘Casino Battle Royale’ which will take place in Atlantic City in November 2008.

Jarvis is currently putting together what will be a star studded night and to this end approaches have already been made to a brace of boxing’s biggest names including two former world champions to headline the event.

Later this week one of his team, Gianluca ‘Rio’ Di Caro, flies to London, England for discussions with various British and European fighters as the card will have a distinct international feel about it with around half the ard consisting of fighters from outside the USA, mainly from South America and Europe.

On the planned spectacular Jarvis says “We will be putting on a real show, something special for boxing fans. Just like our Salem fight night it’s going to be non-stop action. We have already started a national and world-wide search for suitable opponents. We intend to find the most exciting fighters we can for this special event, ones that will give 100% from start to finish. Don’t think that means there will be no local favorites though. No way would we ignore committed, entertaining fighters like Mark ‘Oaktree’ Brown and Willie ‘For Real’ Williams who put on an awesome show at Salem. The same as I wouldn’t ignore any local fighter who is suitable. We want to make sure that both opponents in each fight are evenly matched not only by record but also by their entertainment value.”

Further announcements will follow over the coming few weeks as the location and fighters are secured.

WAR OF WORDS TO END IN THE RING; CAMPBELL-GUZMAN CLASH SEPTEMBER 13 ON SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING

NEW YORK (July 23, 2008) – Making his first title defense, Nate Campbell will risk his newly acquired International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Organization and World Boxing Association lightweight titles against undefeated two-division world champion Joan Guzman on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008, live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

The fight will be co-promoted by Don King Productions and One Punch Productions from a location to be determined.

Campbell (32-5-1, 25 KOs), from Jacksonville, Fla., is coming off a tremendous upset win over previously undefeated unified lightweight champion Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz. “The Galaxxy Warrior” outgunned and battered the previously unbeaten Diaz on March 8 in Cancun, Mexico, winning by split decision. At age 36, Campbell finds himself in possession of three world titles and great interest from the likes of the undefeated Guzman—already a champion at the 122- and 130-pound limits, who would like to take away what Campbell has recently won at the 135-pound limit.

Guzman (28-0, 17 KOs), a ShoBox alum from the Dominican Republic now fighting out of Brooklyn, N.Y., was scheduled to defend his junior lightweight crown against Alex Arthur on May 3 in Arthur’s home country of Scotland. When Arthur insisted on a later date, Guzman opted to move up to lightweight to challenge Campbell.

The clash pits Campbell’s relentless and punishing style against the savvy, agile and rabbit-quick “Sycuan Warrior” Guzman. Campbell is known for having some of the heaviest hands in the division, while Guzman is a defensive wizard who rarely gets hit and can unload serious amounts of punishment when needed. It’s the classic power versus speed match-up that makes it almost impossible for the experts to pick a clear favorite.

Adding to that, a personal rivalry has been brewing with a war of words in the press, erupting after Guzman fired the first shots by castigating Campbell after wedding photos celebrating his recent nuptials appeared on many boxing Web sites.

“Everyone has seen the picture of Nate and his wife in their cute, white wedding outfits,” Guzman said. “I hope they’re enjoying their honeymoon because Nate’s honeymoon at the top of the lightweight division is going to end once he fights me.”

“I think he’s afraid of me. I’ll make Nate look so bad that he’ll retire after I wipe the floor with him. I guess I can understand why Nate doesn’t want to fight me. Twenty-eight boxers have tried to beat me and none of them came close to succeeding.”

The equally loquacious Campbell wasted little time in responding to Guzman.

“This clown (Guzman) reminds me of one of those yapping little rat dogs,” Campbell said. “[They] yip, yip, yip at your ankles.”

Their verbal sparring has subsided for now leaving both sides ready to settle their feud inside the ring.

With pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao moving up in weight last month to dethrone David Diaz to claim the remaining major world championship at lightweight, both Campbell and Guzman would love nothing more than to emerge victorious in the hopes of possibly luring the “Pac Man” into a match to determine the undisputed champion in the division.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING announcers Steve Albert and Al Bernstein will call the action from ringside with Jim Gray reporting from ringside. The executive producer of SHOWTIME Sports is David Dinkins Jr. with Bob Dunphy directing.

For information on SHOWTIME Sports Programming, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go the new SHOWTIME Sports website at http://www.sho.com/sports.

About Showtime Networks Inc.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL® and FLIX®, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME 2™, SHOWTIME® SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME®, SHOWTIME BEYOND®, SHOWTIME NEXT®, SHOWTIME WOMEN®, SHOWTIME FAMILY ZONE® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL® XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL® HD, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL® ON DEMAND. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®.

JULIO RETURNS TO RING ON AUGUST 13 ESPN2 “FRIDAY NIGHT TO BROADCAST”

TOTOWA, NJ (July 22, 2008) – WBC/IBF #4 ranked jr. middleweight contender Joel Julio will headline an August 13, 2008, fight card from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, it was announced today by Main Events CEO Kathy Duva. Julio will battle Nicaraguan veteran Jose Varela in a 10 round jr. middleweight contest. Both the Julio-Varela bout and the co-feature contest between “Mean” Joe Greene and Jose Miguel Torres will be broadcast live on ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights,” beginning at 9:00 pm ET.

Julio (33-1, 30 KO’s) is ranked #4 by the WBC and the IBF, #2 by the WBO, and #6 by the WBA. The 23-year-old Monteria, Colombia native has stopped 21 opponents within the first three rounds. He has won his last six bouts, three by knockout. In his last bout on April 30, 2008, Julio defeated Ishe Smith (W 10).

Varela (23-3, 16 KO’s) has won five of his last six bouts. The 31-year-old Chinandega, Nicaragua native has stopped 11 opponents within the first three rounds. On October 13, 2006, Varela captured the WBC Continental Americas Jr. Middleweight Championship by defeating Manuel Gomez (W 12).

KIRILOV-DARCHINYAN BATTLE FOR THE IBF CROWN; TOP PROSPECT ANDRE DIRRELL AIMS TO STAY UNBEATEN

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING

Saturday, August 2, Live at 9 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME

From The Emerald Queen Casino, Tacoma, Wash.

NEW YORK (July 18, 2008) – International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight champion Dimitri “The Baby” Kirilov (29-3-1, 9 KOs) will defend his title against former IBF flyweight champion and knockout artist Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan (29-1-1, 23 KOs), Saturday, Aug. 2, live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).

In the co-feature, U.S. Olympian and undefeated prospect Andre “The Matrix” Dirrell (15-0, 10 KOs) puts his flawless record on the line against fellow unbeaten Mike “The Persecutor” Paschall (17-0-1, 4 KOs) in a 10-round super middleweight brawl.

The telecast will originate from the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Wash. and is promoted by Gotham Boxing, Inc.

Kirilov, who is trained by Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, captured the IBF crown by winning a close unanimous decision against former U.S. Olympian Jose Navarro on Oct. 13, 2007. The scores were 116-112, 114-113 twice.

In his most recent outing in February, the Russian-born Kirilov wasn’t able to finish Cecilio Santos (22-8-3, 12 KOs) and had to settle for a draw. Although one judge scored the fight for Kirilov, 116-112; the other two scored it even at 114 each.

Darchinyan had an iron grip on the flyweight division, successfully defending his IBF title six times – five inside the distance. He eventually lost his 112-pound strap in a major upset to Filipino star Nonito Donaire. Darchinyan now aims to wreak havoc on the 115-pound, super flyweight division.

Kirilov-Darchinyan is a match up of varying styles. Kirilov, known for his tremendous speed and ability to outbox his competition, relies heavily on his quick hands. He loves to pepper his opponents with a precise left jab.

Darchinyan, a southpaw, is quite the opposite from his counterpart. Not nearly as polished and refined as Kirilov, Darchinyan employs an in-your-face game plan that has produced 23 knockout victories for the Armenian-born boxer. Darchinyan is often described as possessing bone-crushing power.

Dirrell, who has fought on the prospect-based series ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME, will attempt to prove he is no longer a prospect but a championship contender when he faces the undefeated Paschall in the co-feature.

In his last fight in May, Dirrell looked extraordinary against Anthony Hanshaw (21-2-1, 14 KOs), registering a fifth round TKO on ShoBox.

Despite a slow start, Dirrell came on strongly and with a left hand to the head sent Hanshaw to the canvas at the end of the fourth round near his opponent’s corner. Following a flurry of unanswered punches to Hanshaw’s head early in the fifth, referee Pat Russell stopped the contest at 1:13.

Dirrell, who won the bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games for the United States, is a tall, agile southpaw with solid power in both mitts.

In his 18 fight career, Paschall has scored several impressive unanimous decision victories against veteran boxers. The prospect is taking a tough test on August 2 against Dirrell. With only four knockouts to his credit, Paschall will have to rely on his boxing skills if he hopes to stay undefeated.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING announcers Steve Albert and Al Bernstein will call the action from ringside with Jim Gray reporting from ringside. The executive producer of SHOWTIME Sports is David Dinkins Jr. with Bob Dunphy directing.

For information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please visit the SHOWTIME Sports website at http://www.sho.com/sports.

ASIKAINEN VS. GEVOR FOR THE VACANT EUROPEAN MIDDLWEIGHT TITLE

European Boxing Union (EBU) has named Armenian Khoren Gevor as the co-challenger for the vacant European middleweight title. Gevor will face the official challenger, “Idi” Amin Asikainen of Finland, in the European title fight. European champion Sebastian Sylvester relinquished the title in order to fight the WBA World champion Felix Sturm. Contracts of the fight must be signed by September 4 or EBU will hold a purse bid.

– We will try to get the title fight to Finland. It won´t be easy, but I believe that it is possible, said Asikainen´s manager Pekka Mäki.

Amin Asikainen is ranked as middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik´s number five challenger by the respected Ring magazine. Asikainen is rated #6 by the IBF, #11 by the WBA, #12 by the WBO and #17 by the WBO. Khoren Gevor is rated #7 by the IBF, #16 by the WBO, #10 by the WBA and WBO.

Before the European title fight Asikainen will fight a tune-up fight in Tampere, Finland, on August 30. Asikainen has been inactive since February, when he stopped the former IBF super welterweight champion Luis Ramon Campas in Helsinki. Asikainen suffered a thumb injury in that fight before stopping the tough Mexican veteran in round 7. Asikainen´s opponent for the fight in Tampere is yet to be announced.

Khoren Gevor was stopped by the IBF champion Arthur Abraham in August 2007. After his unsuccessful world title challenge Gever has won two fights.

– Gevor is one of the best middleweights in the world, but I have a strong belief that Asikainen will be able to beat him, added Mäki.

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