News: Haye-Barrett Undercard; Popoca vs. Logan; Steve Cunningham

Leon Williams looks to channel Tyson on November 15 - Before Streatham’s Leon ‘Solid’ Williams enters the ring on November 15 at The O2 he’ll first pinch himself and then ponder how his hero would deal with this situation – a professional boxing debut. In 1983, Leon’s hero, a man named ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson, knocked out Hector Mercedes inside the very first round of his pro debut in New York..

Light-heavyweight Williams will look for something of the same on November 15 when he strips away the vest and head guard for the very first time.

“Watching videos of Mike Tyson was my main inspiration growing up,” explains the big-punching Williams. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I first saw Tyson. He was such a frightening force inside the ring.

“Watching Tyson gave me an adrenaline rush and made me want to go out, join a boxing gym and knock people out.”

After watching Tyson, Williams went out, joined a boxing gym and started knocking people out. 18 at the time, Williams quickly grew a reputation within London boxing circles as a man not to be messed with. Possessing TNT in either fist and an unbreakable will, Williams found most opponents falling over inside schedule.

“I never realised I could hit hard,” admits the 24-year-old Williams. “It’s only when people tell me I hit hard that I start to believe them. It’s just normal for me. I don’t feel like it’s anything special. Punching people hard is just like walking through the front door for me.”

Tutored at the famed Fitzroy Lodge A.B.C – the same gym that produced Hayemaker team mate David Haye – Williams scored London ABA success in 2007. With only 17 amateur bouts to his name, Williams is the first to admit there are rough edges to his game. Yet the two ‘unteachables’, power and desire, stand him in good stead as he embarks on a promising pro career.

“I’ve always had natural punch power and now we’re just trying to add other areas to my arsenal,” he says. “Right now I’m just punching hard with my arms. I’m not using my whole body to follow through with my punches. Once I get the technique sorted – and also my defence – I’m going to be destroying people in there.

“I don’t look to score points. I look to hurt the guy I’m facing and get them out of there. I don’t ever plan on hanging about. If the knockout is there, I’ll take it. There’s no tap-tap-tap with me - just big bombs from the first bell.”

Williams’ big bombs will be felt for the first time on November 15 at The O2. Whereas Tyson was able to ease himself into his pro career at the Plaza Convention Centre in Albany, Williams will instantly face the attention and pressure of a big event. Nevertheless, it’s not something that worries this confident light-heavyweight banger.

“It’s been a long time coming now and I just can’t wait to get out there and put on a show,” says the man nicknamed ‘Solid’. “I’ve been given an opportunity that every other boxer in the country would love to take from me and I need to show I’m worth it.

“I still pinch myself when I think of what’s going on in my boxing career. Despite only having 17 amateur fights, I’ve been signed up by Hayemaker Boxing and will be fighting live on Setanta Sports at The O2. It’s crazy how quickly it’s all happened and I’m not about to let anyone down. This is where it all begins.”

*** The hard-hitting Leon Williams’ eagerly-anticipated pro debut makes up part of the undercard to David ‘The Hayemaker’ Haye’s intriguing heavyweight showdown with Monte ‘Two Gunz’ Barrett at The O2 on November 15. HAYEMAKER2: ‘One Hayemaker vs. Two Gunz’ will be screened live and exclusively on Setanta Sports. To subscribe, log on to or call 08712 00 33 22.

*** To purchase tickets for HAYEMAKER2: ‘One Hayemaker vs. Two Gunz’ contact the Box Office on 08448 560 202 or visit For further information on Haye’s

heavyweight curtain raiser or any other forthcoming Hayemaker shows, log on to the official website,

*** The O2 are now offering a 2-for-1 ticket deal on all tickets priced £80 and over. Contact or for more details.


CHICAGO, IL (November 11, 2008) Further details of the terrific undercard of “SHOWDOWN”, an outstanding evening of world class professional boxing set for this Friday night at Cicero Stadium, have just been announced by 8 Count Productions, HOME OF THE BEST IN CHICAGO BOXING.

Advance tickets for the six bout “SHOWDOWN” card can be obtained by calling the 8 Count Productions office at 312-226-5800. Cicero Stadium is located at 1909 S. Laramie in Cicero . Doors on the evening of the event will open at 7pm with the first bell at 8pm.

Headlining “SHOWDOWN” is an outstanding Chicago light heavyweight showdown between Mike “THE HAMMER” Nevitt, 15-1 (6KO’s) and “MARVELOUS” Shay Mobley, 17-9-1 (17KO’s) in an eight round bout.

In the co-main event, Chicago ’s hottest prospect, Ivan Popoca will battle Memphis veteran, Marteze “TOO SWEET” Logan in a six round junior welterweight bout.

Popoca, 8-0-1 (7KO’s), has thrilled Chicago fight fans this year with his brutal power and aggressive style. His last two bouts have ended in devastating first round knockouts.

The 24 year old Logan, already a veteran of 63 professional bouts, has fought numerous world ranked fighters over his six year career. In just the last two years he has been involved in distance battles with brothers Anthony and Lamont Peterson, Lanardo Tyner, Damian Fuller and Emanuel Augustus..

Logan was featured on Showtime’s “This American Life” series in June of this year detailing his life in professional boxing.

Said promoter Dominic Pesoli, “ Logan is a very solid guy for Ivan to fight. Despite his record (26-34-2, 6KO’s), he’s fought a lot of tough battles and obviously he always comes to fight. Ivan’s been very diligent in his training but Logan will be a very good test for him.”

In a special attraction six round featherweight bout, undefeated super bantamweight prospect Eric “EL LOCO” Estrada, 5-0 (2KO’s) will battle Puerto Rican native Ivan “THE BABY FACED ASSASSIN” Rodriguez, 9-4-1 (3KO’s).

The 20 year Estrada has burst on the Chicago scene since turning pro one year ago and has quickly become a crowd favorite. Rodriguez is coming off an outstanding “blood and guts” win over Barbaro Zepeda on July 25th that had his legion of loyal fans on their feet from the opening bell.

Said Pesoli, “This is a terrific fans’ fight. Both guys have very loyal, large followings. Eric has gotten off to a very solid start in his pro career and Ivan is a real aggressive kid who always makes great fights.”

The full “SHOWDOWN” card is as follows;

Mike Nevitt vs. Shay Mobley, eight rounds, light heavyweights
Ivan Popoca vs. Marteze Logan, six rounds, junior welterweights
Eric Estrada vs. Ivan Rodriguez, six rounds, featherweights
Juan Bailon vs. Barbaro Zepeda, six rounds, featherweights
Ryan Smedick vs. Gustavo Palacios, four rounds, welterweights
Brian Cohen vs. Stevie Robinson, four rounds, light heavyweights

The public weigh-in for “SHOWDOWN” will take place at 7pm on Thursday, November 13th at Mullens Bar and Grill, 7301 N. Western on the North Side of Chicago.

The Master of Ceremonies for the evening will be noted boxing ring announcer Thomas Treiber.

“SHOWDOWN” is presented along with Budweiser, TCF Bank, Jack Daniels and EL Jimador Tequila.

TCF is a Wayzata, Minnesota-based national financial holding company with $16.4 billion in total assets. The company has 453 banking offices in Minnesota , Illinois , Michigan , Colorado , Wisconsin , Indiana and Arizona , providing retail and commercial banking services, and investments and insurance products. TCF also conducts leasing and equipment finance business in all 50 states.

8 Count Productions was started by Dominic Pesoli in 1998 and has consistently presented the highest quality professional boxing events in Chicagoland. In 2003, Pesoli along with former featherweight contender Mike Garcia opened JABB Boxing Gym, a 6,000 square foot venue dedicated to the finest Chicagoland boxers of all talent levels.

To view the seating chart and poster for this event or for more information on 8 Count Productions and JABB Boxing Gym, please visit and

IBF Champ, Steve 'USS' Cunningham, Tries A Different Combat Sport

International Boxing Federation cruiserweight champion, Steve ‘USS’Cunningham is set to experience a totally different type of “contact” sport on Wednesday evening, when he attends the New Jersey Devils vs New York Rangers ice hockey game as a special guest.

The volatile, local derby, game takes place at the Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey, the same venue where

‘USS’ Cunningham will defend his IBF crown against Tomasz ‘Goral’ Adamek from Poland on Thursday, 11th December 2008.

Cunningham, the recent recipient of a ‘Briscoe’ award as fighter of the year, spoke briefly about attending. “This is my first time. I’m really looking forward to getting to see a game - live. When we did the press conference at the Prudential Center last month we got to watch the Devils practising. Man, those guys are quick. I just don’t know how they even see the puck at that speed. We were standing in line with the goal keeper. Man, that dude’s amazing, he’d just catch it, or flick it away. He’s got amazing reflexes. I’m glad we were behind plexi-glass, some of shots ricocheted off the screen or ran round the edge of the boards right past us. We jumped back every time. Can you imagine what it must be like having them coming at you with nothing in the way like that. Man, they’re all crazy. I just can’t wait, I could easily get hooked on the sport, it’s wild.”

The New Jersey Devils vs New York Rangers game is on Wednesday, 12th November 2008 at The Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey and starts at 7pm.

The International Boxing Federation World Cruiserweight Championship Title Fight between Champion, Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham and challenger, Tomasz ‘Goral’ Adamek is co-promoted by Kathy Duva’s Main Events and Don King Productions and takes place at The Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Thursday December 11th 2008.

Tickets priced at $303, $153, $78, $53, $38 are on sale now and can be purchased at The Prudential Center box office or by calling TicketMaster on 201-507-8900.

Article posted on 12.11.2008

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