News: Darchinyan-Arce; Edner Cherry; Gus Johnson

World Super Flyweight Champion VIC "Raging Bull" DARCHINYAN weighed in at 123.6 pounds for his World Boxing Council-mandated 30-day weigh-in, well below the maximum limit of 127 pounds. The weight was certified for the WBC by Gary Soo, M.D. Luis M. Escalona, Chairman of the WBC Safety Committee, informed promoters Gary Shaw Productions and Top Rank, that World Boxing Association interim super flyweight champion JORGE "Travieso" ARCE had yet to furnish his required 30-day weigh-in result..

"Do you know the weigh to San Jorge?' quipped Darchinyan upon hearing the news that Arce's weigh-in result was still missing in inaction. "Maybe he should switch to sugar-free lollipops to facilitate his weight loss? I just hope Jose Luis Castillo isn't his nutritionist! All I want is a level playing field. Rules are rules and they should be enforced equally for both sides."

Darchinyan (31-1-1, 25 KOs), of Sydney, Australia by way of Armenia, and Arce (51-4-1, 39 KOs), from Los Mochis, Mexico, will settle their bitter hostilities toward each other, once and for all, in a fight to the finish, Saturday, February 7, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.. Darchinyan will be making his first defense of the WBC, WBA and International Boxing Federation 115-pound titles he unified when he knocked out defending WBC/WBA champion Cristian Mijares on November 1 -- a Fight of the Year candidate.

Remaining tickets, priced from $35, can be purchased at the Honda Center box office, through Ticketmaster (all Ticketmaster outlets), by phone, 714-740-2000, or online at

Their battle will be televised live nationally on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast.) The broadcast will open with the North American Boxing Organization Lightweight Championship featuring Antonio DeMarco (19-1-1, 13 KOs), of Tijuana, Mexico, risking his three-year, 13-bout unbeaten streak and Top-10 rating in a career-defining fight against the battle-tested Almazbek "Kid Diamond" Raiymkulov (27-1-1, 15 KOs), from Las Vegas, Nev., by way of Kyrgyzstan, who is enjoying his own two-year winning streak. These four gladiators boast a combined record of 128-7-4 (92 KOs) – a winning percentage of 92% and a victory by knockout ratio of 72%.

Edner "Cherry Bomb" Cherry Promises to Shine in '09

WBC USNBC Lightweight champion Edner "Cherry Bomb" Cherry (24-6, 12 KO's) has stated that 2009 will be his year. In early 2009, Cherry will be stepping back into the ring for the first time since his loss to WBC light welterweight champion Timothy Bradley back in September. Since that fight, Cherry has been training hard with head trainer Pete Fernandez, and they have been making significant changes to his training procedures and will be returning to the lightweight division. Cherry says the training changes will help him get back on a winning streak, help return him to the top of the lightweight division.

Despite the loss to Bradley, 2008 was a good year for Cherry. On May 21st, Cherry knocked out former IBF lightweight champion Steve Johnston in round ten at Camp Lejuene, North Carolina. That fight was the headliner for a tribute to the troops. With victories like that and his previous two wins over Wes Ferguson, a Floyd Mayweather Jr. protoge, Cherry states it will be good to get back to what got him on to the top. Also in 2008, Cherry was the subject of a national rumor, stating he had a run in with Floyd Maywether Jr in a Las Vegas, Neveda nightclub and wound up knocking Floyd Jr. out cold. This rumor was proven false, but gave Cherry some press.


Longtime Host Steve Albert Will Have a Continuing Role on the Series

NEW YORK (Jan. 7, 2009)—Dynamic play-by-play broadcast veteran Gus Johnson of CBS Sports signed with Showtime Networks Inc. to host and call the action on the premium network’s flagship sports series SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, it was announced today by Ken Hershman, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Showtime Sports & Event Programming.

Johnson replaces Steve Albert, who has served as the play-by-play voice of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING since 1987. Johnson will work alongside color analyst Al Bernstein on the monthly series.

"SHOWTIME has been on fire for several years—televising some of the most important and evenly matched world title fights in boxing, breaking ground by televising mixed martial arts and adding INSIDE THE NFL to the line up," said Johnson, who has called boxing for CBS Sports and Madison Square Garden Network. "I am thrilled to join the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING team. And as a division of CBS, my work with SHOWTIME will be complementary to that of CBS Sports.”

Johnson will make his SHOWTIME debut on the first SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast of 2009 – live on Feb. 7 (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) – when the hard-hitting and outspoken Super Flyweight World Champion Vic Darchinyan faces dangerous Mexican champion Jorge Arce, in what is expected to be a thrilling, all-action title fight.

“Gus brings incredible energy and a fresh approach to every broadcast,” said Hershman. “He has the ability to match the intensity of the moment and there are few moments in sports more intense than a hard-fought boxing match. Gus and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING are the perfect match.”

Albert, who will remain with SHOWTIME Sports and fill in for Johnson when his CBS Sports schedule conflicts, said: “I never imagined that when I called my first fight on SHOWTIME back in 1987 that I‘d still be announcing boxing today. But after 21 years at SHOWTIME, 25 years all told in the sport, I thought it was finally time to pull back. I am happy to remain a part of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and also excited to be in the process of pursuing other interests.”

Johnson has served CBS Sports as play-by-play announcer for its coverage of the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Championship since 1995, the National Football League since 1998 and CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS in 2008, among others. He will continue as an active member of the CBS Sports broadcast team.

Johnson is a practicing mixed martial artist who studies Shing Yi Kung Fu, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing.

“Having worked with the likes of Gil Clancy, Tony Paige and Steve Farhood, calling the New York City Golden Gloves and the Broadway Boxing series has prepared me for this tremendous opportunity with SHOWTIME,” said Johnson. “And to work alongside Al Bernstein will be a tremendous honor. I have admired Al’s work for so many years dating back to his time at ESPN. He is a boxing historian, a boxing purist and a true fan. Above all, he is a great broadcaster. I think I will learn a lot working with Al.”

“We welcome Gus to the SHOWTIME family,” said David Dinkins Jr., executive producer, SHOWTIME Sports. “When I first worked with him at the 1998 Olympics Games, I was immediately impressed with his talent and unabashed enthusiasm. He brings those same skills to every event he broadcasts. Gus is a longtime fan of combat sports which adds to his presentation of boxing and MMA.”


Johnson's credits at CBS Sports also include play-by-play for college football, track and field, the Hambletonian, and bobsled and luge at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games. He serves as host of AT THE HALF®, CBS Sports' college basketball halftime studio show, and SPORTSDESK, CBS Sports' wraparound studio show.

Johnson also is the radio voice of the NBA's New York Knicks and has provided play-by-play for the Madison Square Garden Network's coverage of the WNBA's New York Liberty. He has provided commentary for MSGN’s coverage of the New York City Golden Gloves Tournament.

Johnson also calls college basketball games on the Big 10 Network and has called play-by-play for the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves, Big East Basketball on the Big East Network, college basketball on ESPN and the Canadian Football League on ESPN2. Prior to joining MSGN, he hosted "Black College Sports Today" on ESPN and was the weekend anchor for WTTG-TV Washington, D.C. (1991-92).

Johnson has a degree in political science from Howard University where he played four years of Division I baseball as a catcher and outfielder. He lives in New York and has one son.

Article posted on 07.01.2009

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