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News: Lopez vs. Soto; British Lionhearts; Battle of the Badges

World Boxing Federation World Welterweight Champion Jose “Piston” Lopez is set for a very tough first defense of his title, as he clash with fellow countryman and former three-time World Champion Humberto “Zorrita” Soto at the Estadio Morelos in Ecatepec, Mexico on Saturday November 10.

Only 21 years old, Lopez won the WBF World title this past August when he edged another Mexican, Jose Emelio Perea, by majority decision in Guadalajara, but while he is the defending champion and brings a fine record of 17-2-1 (19), some would consider the challenger as a slight favorite on fight night.

Humberto Soto is 58-8-2 (34) since turning pro at seventeen in 1997. Now 32, he will be going for his fourth world title, after capturing championships at Featherweight, Super Featherweight and Lightweight. He won his first world title in 2005 by beating highly touted US Olympian Rocky Juarez, and his second in 2008 when he stopped current world champion Gamaliel Diaz. In 2010 he decisioned former champion David Diaz to become a three-time champion.

And with all the accomplishments and experience of Humberto Soto in mind, the defending champion is well aware that he will be facing his careers biggest challenge, saying:

“I think I am part of a new generation of Mexican fighters, and I am ready to take over after the likes of Eric Morales and Rafael Marquez who are in the twilight of their careers. Adding a victory over Soto will help me do that, and I have been working hard with this in mind since I was told of the fight.”

“I know it will not be an easy task”, continued Lopez. “But nothing in life is easy, and on November 10 I will end the story of Soto and continue to build on the story of Jose Lopez.”

The Jose Lopez vs. Humberto Soto World Boxing Federation World Welterweight title fight will be promoted by Promociones Del Pueblo, and will be televised Live throughout Mexico on Televisa.

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British Lionhearts join WSB Season III

Lausanne, Switzerland, 06 November 2012 – World Series of Boxing (WSB) is delighted to announce the birth of a Great Britain WSB Franchise.

The British Lionhearts – that will compete in Group B along Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder, German Eagles, Ukraine Otamans, Astana Arlans Kazakhstan and USA Knockouts – will be fully supported by all of the three affiliated Home Nations: England, Scotland and Wales. Its full squad and further details about its management have just been unveiled this morning at a Team Launch in London.

The confirmed British Lionhearts team currently includes Bantamweights (54kg) Charlie Edwards (England), Sean McGoldrick (Wales), Andrew Selby (Wales), Gamal Yafai (England); Lightweights (61kg) Joseph Cordina (Wales), Sam Maxwell (England), John Joe Nevin (Ireland), Josh Taylor (Scotland); Middleweights (73kg) Aston Brown (73kg), Fred Evans (Wales), Anthony Fowler (England), Adriani Vastine (France); Light Heavyweights (85kg) Babacar Kamara (Sweden), Lawrence Osueke (England), Joe Ward (Ireland); Heayweights (91+kg) Mohammed Arjaoui (Morocco), Frazer Clarke (England), Uaine Fa (Tonga) and Joe Joyce (England).

“We are extremely happy that such a legendary boxing country has joined the World Series of Boxing. This latest addition gives a huge boost to the WSB program and demonstrates once more its worldwide appeal. A few months after having confirmed Franchises in Argentina, Poland, Ukraine – other major boxing markets – we are proud to make sure that the very best boxers in the world will compete in WSB this season”, stated Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, AIBA President and Chairman of the WSB Board.

The franchise is being run by a dedicated team led by Matt Archibald, Olympic Boxing Competition Manager of the London 2012 Olympic Games and now General Manager of the Franchise. The Lionhearts will utilize the GB Boxing infrastructure currently in place at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield where the main training site will be for all boxers.

Matt Archibald, expressed that, “The development and launch of the British Franchise is all about supporting some of our country’s most talented boxers. I am convinced that the Franchise will help the development of the best British boxers in all three British Nations, in a short term targeted for next Olympic Games in 2016″.

Derek Mapp, Chairman of the British Amateur Boxing Association (BABA) added: “This is an exciting development which is good news for the boxers and good news for the sport of boxing. It creates new career opportunities for the boxers that enable them to be rewarded for their achievements yet remain eligible to compete in the Olympics”.

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Battle of the Badges Rescheduled

New York, NY, November 6, 2012 – Due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy and the ongoing relief and recovery efforts of both the NYPD and FDNY, the “Battle of the Badges presented by Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey”, originally set to take place on November 9th, has been rescheduled and will now take place on Saturday, December 8th at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. All originally purchased tickets will be honored on the new date.

The NYPD will go head-to-head against the FDNY at the 30th Anniversary of the “Battle of the Badges Presented by Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey” boxing event from The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Once again, proceeds from the event will benefit the Atlas Cops & Kids Boxing Program as well as donating to US Marine Corp. Greg Caron who lost both legs and use of his right arm after stepping on an IED in Afghanistan.

Tickets for the “Battle of the Badges Presented by Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey” are priced at $65.00, $50.00, and $30.00 and are currently on sale. Tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets or online at www.thegarden.com.