News: Israel Vazquez; Jesse Brinkley; Stephen Haughian

LOS ANGELES, CA (January 4, 2009) World Boxing Council Junior Featherweight Champion and “Pound for Pound” Candidate Israel “EL MAGNIFICO” Vazquez has been honored across the board by boxing writers as his epic third bout against Rafael Marquez has received numerous “2008 Fight of the Year” awards. The third bout which took place March 1, 2008 at the Home Depot Center in Carson , California was won by Vazquez punctuated by a brilliant final round which saw the champion score a knockdown in the waning moments of their unforgettable fight..

Said Vazquez, “The fight took place ten months ago and it’s truly an honor to have the boxing writers choose this fight as the best of the year. It was a special night when Rafael and I fought back in March; we were both at the top of our game.”

Said manager Frank Espinoza, “So many fights have taken place since their third fight, which makes this a special award. The fight truly captured the essence of what boxing can be and I’m thrilled for Israel that the boxing writers have chosen this bout as the 2008 Fight of the Year.”

The Vazquez/Marquez battle also was a unanimous winner in the fans voting on the Showtime website (, with a stunning 89% vote for “2008 Fight of the Year” for bouts broadcast on Showtime.

Vazquez, 43-4 (31KO’s) is currently ranked on numerous Pound for Pound lists including # 4 by Yahoo Sports, # 6 by ESPN and Ring Magazine and # 7 by Sports Illustrated. More information can be viewed at his website,


PAWTUCKET, RI (January 3, 2009) Three thousand miles from the warm sandy beaches of San Diego, in a scene reminiscent of Marvin Hagler’s “going to war” training camps, world ranked super middleweight Jesse Brinkley has returned to Manfredo’s Gym in Pawtucket, Rhode Island to prepare for “CIVIL WAR”, his long awaited grudge match with Joey Gilbert at the Reno Events Center on Saturday, February 14th.

“It’s really become a ritual for me, leave my family behind, fly cross country to Rhode Island and bunker down here”, said Brinkley who spent Christmas in Yerington, Nevada with his family and friends.

“Training with Peter Manfredo Sr. works perfectly here, it’s a little cold but that doesn’t bother me, the sparring is terrific and I can totally focus on the task at hand, which is beating Gilbert” continued Brinkley when asked specifically about the training for the bout with Joey Gilbert who has set up camp in the San Diego area.

Brinkley, 32-5-0 (22KO’s), returned to the ring after a six month layoff with a third round knockout of James Johnson on December 20th in Washington , D.C.

“I’d been in training for about three months prior to the Johnson fight and wanted to get a little rust off, it felt great to get the stoppage and now its full speed ahead to Gilbert. Like a train coming down the tracks with only one stop ahead of me and that’s in Reno on February 14th” said Brinkley. “This is the fight everyone in Reno and Yerington has been talking about for three years; I don’t think they’re going to be disappointed.”

Tickets for “CIVIL WAR”, priced at $253.25, $153.25, $78.25 and 43.25 are on sale now at the Reno Events Center box office and through Ticketmaster. A five dollar discount is available on tickets priced at $43.25 for students, active military, and police and fire department personnel with valid ID. Doors will open the night of the event at 6pm, with the first bell at 7pm.

“CIVIL WAR” is presented by Las Vegas based TKO BOXING Promotions and Reno ’s “Let’s Get It On” Promotions.

Formed in early 2008, Chet Koerner’s Las Vegas based TKO BOXING Promotions stable includes; super middleweight Joey Gilbert, middleweights Bastie "THE BEAST" Samir and James Countryman, junior middleweight Anthony Thompson, lightweights Rolando Reyes, Raul Tovar and Terrance Crawford, the sister team of Katy and Emily Klinefelter, featherweight Carney Bowman and super bantamweight Rafael Valenzuela.

Further information on TKO Boxing Promotions can be viewed at

Reno, Nevada based “Let’s Get It On” Promotions was founded in 2000 by legendary boxing referee Mills Lane . In early 2005 he was joined by sons Terry and Tommy in the operations of the company. Along with Jesse Brinkley, “Let’s Get It On” Promotions also promote undefeated lightweight Bayan Jargal as well as highly regarded brothers Tyler and Derek Hinkey. They have consistently promoted world class boxing events in northern Nevada .

Further information on “Let’s Get It On” Promotions can be viewed at

Homecoming for Haughian

Stephen Haughian believes he’s ready to start chasing down major titles in 2009. The Co. Armagh boxer will look to take his career to the next level when he headlines a first ever pro fight night at the Craigavon Leisure Centre on Saturday, February 7th.

The Lurgan welterweight who trains out of John Breen’s Gym in Belfast is hoping to enjoy the same success in 2009 that gym mates Paul McCloskey and Martin Rogan enjoyed last year. Both ended 2008 on a high with McCloskey claiming the British Light Welterweight title and Rogan ending any remaining World title aspirations that Audley Harrison might have had.

“They say success breeds success and I certainly think that’s the case in the gym at the minute,” said Haughian. “Paul had a terrific win over Colin Lynes at short notice and I always fancied Martin to beat Harrison because of his attitude.

“He just loves a challenge and everyone in the gym is the same. The two lads are proof that is you put the work in the rewards can come your way so they’ve definitely been an inspiration to me.”

Haughian has compiled an impressive record of 16 wins from his 17 outings since turning professional in 2005. The sole blemish on his record remains a controversial points defeat to Giammario Grassellini for the IBF Intercontinental title at the Kings Hall in Belfast just over a year ago.

Haughian however reversed that result last time out by outpointing his Italian rival decisively on a Bernard Dunne undercard in November. Despite only recently turning 24 Haughian now feels he’s ready for the best in Britian.

“I’d like to think this year will be a big one for me. Obviously it’s getting off to the best possible start with me headlining my own show and after that I’ll be looking for an Irish or Celtic title. After that I’d love a crack at either the British or Commonwealth titles.”

Haughian’s promoter Brian Peters is confident of delivering those opportunities. “Stephen’s the mandatory challenger for the Celtic title so hopefully we can make that happen in the next few months. I’ve made repeated attempts to get Billy Walsh to defend his Irish welterweight title against Stephen but he’s obviously not interested. He’s been talking ridiculous money for an Irish title fight but I think he’s pricing himself out of the fight deliberately because he knows Stephen would be far too much for him.”

“Obviously the Irish title is something that Stephen would love to win but if we can’t make that fight then we’ll move on to the Celtic title and hopefully a British or Commonwealth title opportunity later in the year.”

Haughian’s trainer John Breen believes that his charge is more than capable of matching the achievements of his gym mates. “I’ve been saying for a long time that Stephen’s my secret weapon. He goes about his business quietly but I see him in the gym day in and day out and I believe he has the potential to be as good a fighter as I’ve ever worked with. I don’t see anyone out there in Britain to trouble him.”

Haughian’s February 7th date is essentially a hometown appearance for the Lurgan native and he says all his sacrifices over Christmas will be worthwhile for the opportunity to showcase his skills in front of his own supporters.

“I only live a few miles from the venue so it will be as good as having the fight in my back garden. I’ve been training hard all over Christmas and there’s already a bit of a buzz around the place about it. Everyone’s really looking forward to it. The love their boxing here and when I fought in Lurgan a few years back the venue was too small and they actually had to turn people away at the door.

“My Dad runs the Phoenix amateur boxing club here and his shows are always packed as well so I think there going to be a great atmosphere next month. People can’t get enough of boxing here.
An action packed undercard will feature a host of Irish boxing’s finest talent. Former World title challenger and British Champion, Neil Sinclair will be looking to showcase his feared punching power while unbeaten Michael Kelly will be returning after a break of almost 3 years.

Undefeated in 6 pro starts the former Irish amateur champ says he’s hungrier than ever and wants to emulate the pro success of former amateur rival, Paul McCloskey.

Another man hungry for titles is Belfast’s Kevin O’Hara. By his own admission O’Hara’s career has yet to live up to expectations but with 14 wins from his 18 starts “Sweet Pea” knows that he has solid foundations to launch a fresh bid for titles in 2009.

Also on the card is popular Omagh prospect, Damian Taggart. The Tyrone man has been mentored by the county’s All Ireland winning football manager, Mickey Harte since turning pro just over a year ago and he’s hoping 2009 will be a massive year in his fledgling pro career.

Tickets priced £30, £40 and £60 are available from:

Stephen Haughian 07595672699
Maurice Haughian 07733413516
Woodville Arms 02838324005
Ashburn Hotel 02838325711
John Breen 07802898054
Breens Gym (above Monico Bar, Belfast) 02890278708
Neil Sinclair 07707971854
Damian Taggart 07746527958
Michael Kelly 0877618356
Coley Traynor 07779594007
Best Rate Bureau 02830252595

Article posted on 03.01.2009

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