News: Dominic Breazeale; John Thompson; Reinaldo Graceski
Burbank, California (November 20, 2012) – Just fifteen days after scoring a tremendous first round knockout, Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale (1-0-0, 1 KO) is returning to the ring to continue his quest for a world title. In his nationally televised professional debut, the super heavyweight Olympian made quick work of his opponent in an impressive fashion.
At the age of 27 years old, the former standout quarterback is on the fast track to climbing the ranks in the heavyweight division. As a result of his remarkable win, Breazeale will be fighting this Saturday on the under card of the Robert Guerrero vs. Andre Berto world title bout on HBO World Championship Boxing in Ontario, California.
Breazeale is appreciative of the opportunity to get back in the ring so quickly and is eager to make a statement. Taking a break from training at Pullman’s Gym in Burbank, California, Breazeale stated the following, “I want to thank Al Haymon and Golden Boy Promotions for allowing me the opportunity to fight again so quickly. I’m excited to get in the ring and stay on pace with ending fights early. Hopefully, I keep getting the early knockouts and am able to fight every 15 to 20 days. Being as active as possible is my goal.”
When his trainer John Bray was asked about Breazeale’s quick turnaround, Bray indicated that, “Dominic was right back in the gym just two days after his fight ready to work. I’m impressed with Dominic’s eagerness to get back in the ring so quickly on November 24th. This is the mentality and work ethic it takes to become heavyweight champion of the world.”
This event is being promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. Tickets priced at $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25, plus applicable service charges and taxes, are available for purchase by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 736-1420 or AXS (888) 9AXS-TIX (888-929-7849) at the Citizens Business Bank Arena box office or online at www.ticketmaster.com, www.cbbankarena.com or www.axs.com.
Light Middleweight John Thompson Looks To Stay Perfect December 1 At MSG
In his young career, 23-year-old light middleweight prospect John “Apollo Kid” Thompson has already made a statement in the boxing world. Progressively getting better through each of his wins, the undefeated pugilist has caught the attention of top promoters in the game, earning the chance to fight in the grand Mecca of boxing—Madison Square Garden—in only his 10th professional bout.
As part of an action packed undercard leading up to the WBA world light middleweight title fight between belt holder Austin Trout and Miguel Cotto on December 1, Thompson will go to battle against an opponent to be named as he looks to continue his winning ways and work his way up a stacked division.
About fighting on the grand stage of the Garden, Thompson commented, “This is a big thing for me. A lot of people are going to be there. On a championship fight card, it is a great opportunity to be seen and get my name out there.”
Thompson (9-0, 3 KO) has had a busy year within the squared circle, stepping between the ropes six times within the first six months of the year, but hasn’t fought since June when he won a unanimous decision on a Tomasz Adamek undercard.
But the slick and crafty light middleweight doesn’t feel the inactivity from the ring will present a problem next Saturday night.
“Although I haven’t been active as far as fighting goes, I still have been sparring and working out hard,” said Thompson. “Training never stops.”
Following his last fight, Thompson’s team felt he needed work to make a few adjustments to keep him progressing along in his career and continue his bid to fight for a world championship one day, and so renowned trainer Buddy McGirt was brought on board, and Thompson’s father was made second in charge.
Training out of Elite Heat boxing gym in Newark, NJ, Thompson has established himself as one of the top up-and-coming prospects within the division due to his fast hands and feet, ring smarts and ability to execute during the fight.
In preparation for his upcoming bout next Saturday night, Thompson has been working with stable mate and WBA world light middleweight champion Austin Trout in conjunction with Greg Cohen Promotions and manager William Mielnicki.
With only nine fights under his belt, the young light middleweight already has displayed the poise and ring sense of a veteran of the game, and has shown each trip between the ropes his drive to get better.
“My dad got me in the boxing gym at the age of four, and when I was six I began competing,” said Thompson. “He always told me that you want the last round to look better than the first round. In the first round you’re not supposed to be trying to conserve energy…boxing is 90 percent mental, and 10 percent physical. You have to be strong mentally to be able to last.”
Thompson has the chance to show the boxing world what he has December 1 when he goes to battle at MSG, and an impressive win can easily put him in line to be fighting for one of the belts in early 2013.
“Going forward next year, I plan to have a couple bigger fights, and try to move my way up the ranks. That’s my goal for next year, and I want to win a belt.”
John Thompson has the skills and tools to make a big name for himself in the light middleweight division, and if his first nine fights are indicative of what lies ahead for the young fighter, then it seems he will have a promising future.
Watch John “Apollo Kid” Thompson continue his escalation through the light middleweight ranks at Madison Square Garden on December 1.
For more information on Thompson and Elite Heat Boxing visit http://eliteheatgym.com/.
Hard-hitting Graceski balances growing boxing career with successful clothing line
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Nov. 19, 2012) – Reinaldo Graceski would love to one day walk in Miguel Cotto’s shoes, or those of any other elite fighter who’s won world titles in multiple weight classes.
For now, he’ll settle for sharing the same trunks.
A promising, 24-year-old light heavyweight prospect from Springfield, Mass., Graceski (2-0) is looking to revive his once-dormant boxing career while balancing fatherhood and finances. When he’s not in the ring showcasing his trademark style, he’s hunkering down behind the sewing machine making sure others look just as sharp.
As the founder of his own boxing clothing line, Seek & Destroy Boxing Gear, Graceski sews custom-made trunks, robes and cornerman jackets for fighters throughout the world, including Cotto and local favorites Joseph “Chip” Perez, Toka Kahn, Jason Estrada and Thomas Falowo. He even sewed the trunks Puerto Rican standout Carlos Quintana wore in 2008 the night he defeated then-unbeaten welterweight world champion Paul Williams.
“My mother used to make my trunks when I was an amateur,” Graceski said, “but she just got tired of it after a while. I used to fight all the time and I always wanted new trunks, so she finally showed me how to do it myself. In the beginning, it wasn’t always easy, but I’ve got the hang of it now.
“That’s my money-maker.”
Born in Puerto Rico to a Puerto Rican mother and a Dominican father with Polish roots, Graceski hopes his business connections – along with his ability inside the ring – can open new doors within the boxing community.
After recently signing a promotional agreement with Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports, his on-again, off-again career finally appears to be on the right track. Graceski will return to the ring Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 at Twin River Casino in a rematch against Queens native Borngod Washington (3-12, 1 KO) on the undercard of Peter Manfredo Jr.’s return to Rhode Island.
“I want to be a world champion in different weight classes and eventually make my way up to heavyweight,” said Graceski, who’s lived and trained in Springfield for the past 15 years. “In boxing, it’s an honor to be a world champion in any weight class, but that heavyweight title, that’s what [Muhammad] Ali had, it’s what [Mike] Tyson had. It’ll take a few years, but that’s one of my dreams.”
“The biggest thing with Ray is we need a face for what we’re doing up here,” said Graceski’s manager and founder of the Beast Elite Gym in Springfield, Robert Hersey. “He’s Puerto Rican, Polish, Dominican, American – he represents a big melting pot. In two years, we think Ray will be headlining cards.
“When he walked through the doors, he was just wandering in the breeze with no direction,” Hersey continued. “I felt bad. He was a product of our area. Boxing sort of let him down, but I have the resources to make his dream come true, and that is what I’ll do.”
Graceski fought more than 60 bouts as an amateur, advancing to the Golden Gloves National Championships in 2005 and later representing Puerto Rico twice in the Pan American games, but the birth of his daughter in 2007 temporarily derailed his career.
“I started working two jobs just to support my family,” he said. “I didn’t even fight at all in 2009.”
By then, Graceski was 21 and had been inactive for almost two years. His brother gave him an ultimatum – get back in the ring now, or you’ll regret it when you’re too old to fight. Graceski chose the former; he revived his amateur career in 2010 and advanced to the finals of the Golden Gloves Tournament in Lowell, Mass., before making his professional debut a month later with a win over Paul Gonsalves.
Shortly thereafter, Graceski’s career hit another roadblock when he learned his mother had cancer, which kept him out of the ring for nearly two years until she recovered.
“I really wasn’t feeling it anymore,” he said.
“She’s healthy now, but it wasn’t easy. After that, I told myself I’d give boxing one more try or I’d have to find another job.”
Graceski quickly linked up with Hersey, whose gym opened this past summer, and made his second – and hopefully his final – comeback on May 5, beating Washington by unanimous decision.
As he pursues his dream of winning multiple world titles, Graceski continues to operate his clothing line, which, for now, is a viable source of revenue while he continues to build toward a much bigger prize in the ring. If all goes well, Graceski will soon be sewing his own trunks for a world title fight instead of someone else’s.
As for what he plans on wearing Nov. 29, that – along with the game plan inside the ring – remains a well-kept secret.
“Trust me, they’ll look good,” Graceski said. “I’ve got to shine.”
Tickets for “The Pride Is Back” are $40.00, $60.00, $100.00 and $150.00 (VIP) and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at www.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com, at the Players Club booth at Twin River, or through any TicketMaster location. Doors open 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7.
Manfredo Jr. will face Pittsburgh’s Rayco Saunders (22-18-2, 9 KOs) in the 10-round main event. “The Pride Is Back” also features the return of Providence super middleweight Vladine Biosse (14-1-1, 7 KOs) along with a six-round super middleweight intrastate showdown between Alex Amparo (5-0, 3 KOs) of Providence and Joe Gardner (9-5-1, 1 KO) of Woonsocket.
Middleweight Thomas Falowo (8-1, 6 KOs) of Pawtucket, R.I., will face Julio Garcia (5-3, 3 KOs) of Boston (Rincon, Puerto Rico) in a six-round bout; female bantamweight Shelito Vincent (5-0) of Providence (New London, Conn.) will battle unbeaten Rosie Thomas (2-0) of Ottawa, Canada; and Burlington, Vt. (Willimantic, Conn.), light heavyweight Kevin Cobbs (6-0, 2 KOs) will face Tylon Burris (3-0, 2 KOs) of Hartford, Conn. All bouts subject to change.
(Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for “The Pride Is Back.” Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must enter through the West entrance.)