DiBella Entertainment Signs Ray Joval

05.06.04 - Middleweight contender Ray “Hallelujah” Joval, ranked #2 by the IBF, has signed an exclusive promotional agreement with DiBella Entertainment, president Lou DiBella announced today. The 36-year old was born in the Netherlands city of Den Haag and now fights out of Brooklyn. Currently second to Robert Allen in the IBF rankings, Joval also holds number nine rankings in the WBA and WBO.

Joval, the reigning IBO Middleweight Champion, is set to face Sam Soliman (26-7) on July 18 at the Pecahanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, CA. The winner of that bout will claim the IBF’s number one contender position. Joval previously defeated Soliman in January of 2001, scoring a 12-round decision to defend his IBO Middleweight Title.

"Raymond Joval is one of the best middleweights in the world,” says DiBella. “He factors in with the very best at the super competitive middleweight division. We are proud to promote him.”

In his last outing, Joval scored a technical decision over Angel Hernandez (26-5) on February 6, 2004, after action was stopped in the eight round due to multiple cuts to Hernandez’s forehead. Joval, riding a nine-bout win streak, hasn’t lost since he dropped a decision to Antonio Perugino in December of 1999.

"We went to Lou because he has proven to us with Monte Barrett that he really gets behind his fighters and offers total support,” says co-manager Stan Hoffman. “He is fair and honest and the way he exudes enthusiasm is reassuring to us.”

If Joval passes his next test, he would become an elite player in the middleweight division. “Lou understands his job as a promoter is to provide the best match-ups he can,” says Hoffman.

Joval’s first ten fights were on the East Coast as he began his professional career in 1994. He then joined ranks with a European promoter and became a big draw fighting in his native Netherlands, Belgium, England, Denmark, Germany and Italy. After twenty consecutive bouts in Europe, Joval moved to the US last year, hoping the geographic proximity will improve his chances for bouts with American superstars like Bernard Hopkins, Oscar De La Hoya and Jermain Taylor.

Article posted on 05.06.2004

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