Round Up: Arnaoutis, Hatton, Ruiz, Julio
Ruiz on call and ready to rock
LAS VEGAS (May 7, 2008) – Former two-time WBA heavyweight champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz has announced that he’s prepared to replace WBA heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev to fight another former WBA title-holder, Nikolay Valuev, for the WBA belt.
Chagaev pulled out of his scheduled mandatory defense against Valuev in May, reportedly due to a cold that forced him to break training, but Ruslan hasn’t made his initial mandatory defense since capturing the WBA belt on April 14, 2007 via a 12-round majority decision versus Valuev. His only title defense was a voluntary fight this past January in a 12-round decision against Matt Skelton. WBA champions are required to make a mandatory defense within a year of winning the belt and/or last mandatory defense. Chagaev is officially over the deadline and seeking further delays.
“We have to respect mandatory defenses and if Chagaev isn’t willing or able to fulfill his obligation as champion,” WBA No. 2 rated Ruiz said, “he should step aside so the WBA can move forward instead of standing still. There’s so much speculation about Chagaev. First there was Hepatitis B and now another viral infection – it must have moved from his intestines to his throat – and nobody really knows when or if he’ll be able to fight again. We will be filing a letter of petition with the WBA to strip Chagaev and order a fight between me and Valuev for the WBA title.”
Ruiz is also rated No. 3 by the WBC, No. 6 by the IBF, No. 10 by The Ring magazine, and No. 12 by the WBO.
“The heavyweight division drives boxing,” Ruiz added. “Fans are waiting for things to explode, but it seems like the heavyweight champions are holding the title belts hostage. They’re all tied up and don’t want to fight the best heavyweights. No wonder fans criticize heavyweights. I’m ready to clean-up the division and willing to fight any of the world champs or top contenders. How long do I have to wait for my title shot?”
Ruiz is the first and only Latino heavyweight champion of the world. He has fought in 10 world championship fights and defeated three world heavyweight champions — Evander Holyfield, Hasim Rahman and Tony Tucker – as well as top contenders such as Andrew Golota, Fres Oquendo, Kirk Johnson and Jameel McCline during his 15-year pro career.
On Saturday, that will change dramatically, however, when the WBC super lightweight No. 1 contender travels 5,300 miles to challenge WBC Super Lightweight Champion Junior Witter in Nottingham, England. SHOWTIME will televise the world title bout at 10:45 p.m. PT.
Sensational Doubleheader At Bally’s Atlantic City on Friday, May 9
Arnaoutis Defends USBA Title Against Undefeated Tyner and Undefeated Heavyweight Devon Vargas Battles Philadelphia’s Dave Brunelli
Atlantic City, May 5, 2008 — Bally’s Atlantic City will host a terrific twin bill promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing on Friday, May 9, 2008. In the first co-main event, recently crowned USBA Jr. Welterweight champ “Mighty” Mike Arnaoutis (18-2-2, 9 KO’s) will make his first title defense against the undefeated Lanardo Tyner (19-0, 11 KO’s) in a 12 round bout.
“Mighty Mike” looked very impressive in his last bout on March 6, winning the vacant USBA JR Welterweight tile in dominating fashion from tough guy Harrison Cuello. Huge throngs of fellow compatriots were in attendance waving the flag of Greece, banging their war drums and cheering on Mike and the same is expected on May 9th.
Lanardo Tyner is very excited to get this opportunity and says he will be Mighty Mike’s Achilles’ heel. Since turning pro, Lanardo has laced a path of destruction on the way to an undefeated record and had this to say regarding hi upcoming bout, “The world has been asking who Lanardo Tyner is and on May 9th they will all find out, along with Mike Arnaoutis”
The second co-main event features a highly entertaining fight between 2004 U.S. Olympic team captain Devin Vargas (15-0, 6 KOs) and Philadelphia native Dave Brunelli (8- 3, 3 KOs) in an 8 round Heavyweight bout.
Vargas, who had a storied amateur career culminating with a win over fellow undefeated prospect Chazz Witherspoon and earning a spot on the 2004 Olympic team, looks to place himself in the mix of young American Heavyweight prospects and can do so with an impressive win on Friday night. Devin brings a crowd-pleasing style to the ring and will face a stern test when he steps into the ring with brawler Dave Brunelli. Brunelli learned his trade the hard way, in the Philadelphia gyms, and has become a fan favorite in the Philly area because of his brawling and relentless style.
Star Boxing head Joe DeGuardia had this to say about the match, “I am very excited that the public will finally get a chance to see Devin Vargas in action. Devin is a good young prospect and I expect big things out of him.”
“Once again I am happy to be able to give our loyal fans what they want, we have a spectacular line up with something for everyone to enjoy, ” said Star Boxing head honcho Joe DeGuardia. “Both of these fights are main events, so fans will be able to see two main events in one night, and I know we will see plenty of fireworks on May 9th”.
Ken Condon, Sports and Entertainment Consultant for Harrah’s Entertainment, echoes those sentiments stating, “Bally’s Atlantic City has always been a terrific venue for championship boxing and has hosted some tremendous bouts throughout the years. This is certainly no exception. With the exciting fighters on this card we are sure to see some tremendous action that will not disappoint.”
The bouts will be telecast on the popular “Friday Night Fights” series on ESPN2 in association with Bally’s in Atlantic City, NJ. Tickets, priced at $90-$60, are available at all Ticketmaster, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 736-1420 or online at ticketmaster.com. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and first bell is at 7:30.
JOE JEANETTE, THE BOXER WHO REFUSED TO FALL, PROFILED ON AMAZING SPORTS STORIES
“The only door open to an athletic black youth was boxing.”
AMAZING SPORTS STORIES
In an extraordinary story of heart and determination, set against the backdrop of racial infighting, FSN presents AMAZING SPORTS STORIES: JOE JEANETTE, airing on Sunday, May 11 at 8:00 PM local.
Jeanette, an African-American boxer, began fighting in 1904 in New Jersey. At first, it was just street brawls and scuffles until he graduated to hard-hitting heavyweight bouts. Two years after turning pro, he was considered one of the best black heavyweights in the nation, mentioned in the same breath as Jack Johnson, Sam Langford, and his arch-rival, Sam McVey.
But after Johnson became the first African American heavyweight champion 1908, he refused to fight Jeanette. Despite numerous challenges, Johnson was steadfast in his refusal. Johnson’s rejection of his fellow black boxers stung the African American community.
Though Jeanette had no chance to win the championship, he continued to fight. And win. Europe provided an enthusiastic audience for bouts between black boxers, and Jeanette accepted a fight against the formidable Sam McVey.
The bout took place in Paris in the spring of 1909. Jeanette pounded McVey into the canvas 11 times, but McVey returned the favor twice over, knocking Jeanette to the ground an unbelievable 27 times. When the 50th round began, McVey refused to budge. Jeanette, weak and bloodied, had somehow prevailed. He didn’t win a title, but the honor of victory was enough.
Emmy-nominated AMAZING SPORTS STORIES airs on Sunday, May 11 at 8:00 PM local.
Huck to fight Kasanic for IBF Intercontinental Title on May 17
Marco “Captain” Huck (20-1, 15 KOs) will fight Frantisek Kasanic for the vacant IBF intercontinental cruiserweight title in Bayreuth on May 17. “That is great news,” the 23-year-old said. “I have been working very hard in practice and the title fight is the reward. I will make the most out of this opportunity. Kasanic will be in for a hot battle.”
After losing to IBF champion Steve Cunningham, Huck returned with a fifth-round TKO victory Leon Nzama on April 12. Shortly afterwards he inked an early contract extension with Sauerland Event through 2011. He is now eager to work his way back to the top. “I will take this fight very seriously,” Huck stated. “After losing to Cunningham and the fight against Nzama I know what will be at stake. But things went very well in practice and that´s why I am very optimistic.”
Huck knows not to take Kasanic (12-2, 12 KOs) lightly, especially after his second-round TKO victory over Pavol Polakovic last November. “That shows that I need to be on alert. He has beaten two very strong fighters most recently.”
With Alexander Frenkel, Francesco Pianeta and Cecilia Braekhus also in action, it will be a busy night for coach Ulli Wegner. “They are all in great shape,” he said. “The high altitude training camp in Switzerland went very well. Now we carry on with sparring in Berlin.”
Meanwhile, the highly-anticipated heavyweight duel between Cengiz Koc and Rene Dettweiler has been postponed to July due to Dettweiler´s coaching change. The 25-year-old moved from Manfred Wolke to his former amateur coach Otto Ramin. “We had a few internal issues and my development has stagnated,” Dettweiler (22-1, 11 KOs) said. “After five years and 23 professional fights it was about time to start something new. I am looking forward to working with Otto Ramin and I am very optimistic for the future.”
JOEL JULIO MOVES TO #4 IN THE WBC WITH VICTORY
Top-contender sees title shot on horizon
TOTOWA, NJ (May 6, 2008) – Top jr. middleweight contender Joel Julio’s impressive April 30 victory over Ishe Smith earned him a two-spot jump in the WBC rankings, it was announced today by Main Events CEO Kathy Duva and All Star Boxing President Tuto Zabala. The Colombian bomber is now installed as the WBC’s #4 ranked contender and is looking for a showdown against any of the major sanctioning body champions.
“Ishe is a difficult opponent because he is so good defensively,” said Julio. “That is why I wanted to fight him. Now I want to get back in the ring and fight for a title as soon as possible.”
Julio (32-1, 29 KO’s) is also ranked #4 by the IBF, #6 by the WBA, and #8 by the WBO. The 23-year-old Monteria, Colombia native has stopped 21 opponents within the first three rounds. He has won his last five bouts, three by knockout. In 2005 Julio was named “Prospect of the Year” by several media outlets, including ESPN.com.
Manfredo, Sr. promoting to keep young fighters busy
Rodriguez & Hinkey on “Diamonds in the Rough” May 17 in Boston
PAWTUCKET, Rhode Island (May 6, 2008) – Peter Manfredo, Sr. has been a world champion kick-boxer, owns and operates New England (Manfredo’s Gym in Pawtucket) top gym, and trainsd talented pro fighters such as his son, world title challenger Peter Manfredo, Jr., Jessie Brinkley, Edwin Rodriguez and other promising prospects.
The question is why Manfredo, Sr. has delved into promoting? On May 17 he presents “Diamonds in the Rough,” in association with Let’s Get It On Promotions, at Freeport (I.B.E.W.) Hall in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
“I decided to venture into promoting to give young pros around here an opportunity to fight without signing a promotional contract,” Manfredo explained. “They don’t want to be restricted by signing with a promoter and I’m not looking to sign anybody. I’m giving them a chance to fight, keep busy, and opportunities to build their records.”
Headlining for the first time is Worcester (MA) middleweight prospect Edwin Rodriguez (5-0, 3 KOs) in the 6-round co-main event. The Dominican Republic-born Rodriguez won the 2006 National Golden Gloves Championships and 2005 United States Championships.
Super middleweight Derek Hinkey (4-1, 4 KOs), fighting out of McDermitt, Nevada, is a Native American fighter with a rich amateur career that includes participation in the Olympic Trials. He meets TBA in the 6-round co-feature. A 6-round featherweight bout has been added between Guatamala-born Castulo Gonzalez (9-5, 3 KOs), fighting out of Lynn (MA), against Florida tough guy Robert “Don’t Lose” DaLuz (10-11-2, 9 KOs).
Also scheduled to fight on the May 17 card are Whitman (MA) super middleweight Mark “The Italian Bazooka” DeLuca (3-0, 2 KOs), 2004 National Silver Gloves champion; Hinkey’s younger brother, heavyweight Tyler Hinkey (2-0-1, 2 KOs); Providence junior welterweight Jesus Caro, New England Golden Gloves champion; Brockton (MA) welterweight Alexandria Madgziak. Caro and Madgziak will be making their pro debuts. All bouts and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets, priced at $40.00 (general admission), $55.00 (reserved), $75.00 (ringside) and $100.00 (Golden Ringside), are on sale at Freeport Hall and Manfredo’s Gym. Call 401.723.1359 for additional information. Doors open at 6 PM/ET, first bout at 7 PM/ET.
Bronx, NY – May 06, 2008 Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing presents an exciting evening of boxing this Friday night from Bally’s Atlantic City, as “Mighty Mike” Arnaoutis (18-2-2 9KO) defends his USBA Jr. Welterweight title against undefeated Lanardo Tyner (19-0 11KO) in a 12 round bout.
The semi-final 8 rounder will feature 2004 Olympic Team captain Devin Vargas (15-0 6KO) taking on tough Philadelphian Dave Brunelli (8-3 3KO) in a Heavyweight fight. The bouts will be telecast live on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” series. Below are quotes from each of the four participants.
Left: “Mighty Mike” Arnaoutis
“Mighty Mike” Arnaoutis: “I have worked very hard for this fight. I had a very good camp, with excellent sparring and I’m ready for the fight. Tyner will know what its like to be in the big time when he steps into the ring with someone like me. Rest assured he will be going back to Houston with a loss on his record. Right now I have everything working the way I want, I have a great corner and this will be the year of “Mighty Mike”. Lanardo Tyner is just a bump in the road for me”.
Lanardo Tyner: “I am so looking forward to Friday night and fighting on ESPN. This is my time. Arnaoutis had his shots and its time for him to move over. This is my coming out party. I had a great camp and I know this Friday night I will be the NEW USBA champion. I didn’t take this fight for the money, I took it for the opportunity to put myself in line for a bigger fight. I want to fight guys like Ricky Hatton and Paulie Malignaggi. I’m old school, the fans love to watch me fight because I do not bullshit in the ring. I hope “Mighty Mike” is ready because I’m coming to knock him out and take home his belt”.
Devin Vargas: “I am thrilled to be fighting on national television. This fight will springboard my career and the viewing audience will see just what Devin Vargas is all about. I’m not taking my opponent lightly, I know he come from a tradition rich area of fighters and I heard he is a very tough guy who brings it. I look forward to this opportunity and can’t wait to get into the ring on ESPN Friday evening.
Dave Brunelli: “I know I’m coming into this fight as an underdog but that is the way we like it. I know my opponent is more experienced but I come from the fighting city of Philadelphia, PA and I’ll have all my fans there cheering me on to victory. I’m 100% confident and I am really thrilled to be fighting on “Friday Night Fights”.
Countdown Begins For Hatton’s Return Against Lazcano
Saturday, May 24 sees a record breaking show in the United Kingdom with 55,000 fans packed into the home of Manchester City Football Club to witness the homecoming of their favorite son, Ricky Hatton.
Ricky defends his IBO light welterweight crown and the most prestigious title in world boxing, the Ring Magazine belt, against Mexican-American hard man Juan Lazcano.
The eyes of the boxing world will be firmly focused on May 24 at 10PM when the first bell goes to see which Ricky Hatton steps into the ring. The big question will be has the loss to Floyd Mayweather done anything to the man’s boxing ability and his belief in himself?
Very few fighters throughout history have stayed undefeated including such greats as Roberto Duran, Lennox Lewis, Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard, but it is the nature of how a fighter comes back after a loss that is very important and that is what everyone will be judging Ricky Hatton upon.
In Autumn, Ricky Hatton is expected to step into the ring with IBF light welterweight champion Paul Malignaggi, who is certainly not shy about coming forward and voicing his opinion on the Hatton situation.
Malignaggi will be defending his world title against Lovemore Ndou in a rematch on May 24 at City of Manchester Stadium. Both Hatton and Malignaggi know there is so much on the line and understand that they have to each give their best so the public will demand a match between them later this year.
One of the most intriguing contests on this five title fight card is a Commonwealth Welterweight title bout between two Mancunians. The champion, Craig Watson, who against all odds beat the more experienced Ali Nuumbembe to win the title on December 8, faces Matthew Hatton, the younger brother of Ricky, who is looking to add the first major professional title to his name in pursuit of his own world title honours. This bout has definitely caught the imagination of the British fight fans.
The other two championship fights feature an English light middleweight title bout between the champion, the much avoided Andrew Facey, against Manchester’s Thomas McDonagh and for the vacant English super bantamweight title, Liverpool’s Mark Moran goes against Danny Wallace, the half-brother of former British super feather champion Carl Johanneson. Both Moran and Wallace know that a good win could put them in for a shot against European champion Rendall Munroe.
Doors open at 5:00PM, boxing starts at 5:30PM and the show will be over by 11:00PM so the fans can go out and enjoy the hospitality of Manchester’s restaurants, bars and clubs.
Any remaining tickets to Hatton vs. Lazcano can be purchased on www.ticketmaster.co.uk , www.seetickets.com , www.gigsandtours.com and www.rickyhitmanhatton.co.uk .
For those unlucky enough to not be among one of the 55,000 to witness this event in person, it can be viewed live on Sky Boxing Office starting at 7:30PM.
Frank Maloney Promotions also announce the British light heavyweight title fight between champion Tony Oakey and challenger Dean Francis on Friday, June 13 at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth, England.