Boxing News: Miranda vs Cruz; Munroe vs Martinez; Slug Fest 2009
NEW YORK (Jan. 7, 2009) – For two, unproven, but talented prospects, the New Year brings a dangerous challenge that will test their ring smarts, skills, mental toughness and unbeaten records. Leonilo Miranda (24-0, 23 KOs), a featherweight from Mexico, will aim for another knockout victory when he faces fellow unbeaten Orlando Cruz (15-0-1, 6 KOs) of Puerto Rico, in a 10-round featherweight bout on Friday, Jan. 16, 2009, live on ShoBox: The New Generation (SHOWTIME 11 p.m. E/PT, delayed on the West Coast)..
Article posted on 07.01.2009
Both prospects are southpaws and both are making their American television debut. “ShoBox is in large part about giving young talented, unknown and untested fighters opportunities to take center stage,” said Gordon Hall, Executive Producer of the acclaimed SHOWTIME Sports series, ShoBox. “Miranda and Cruz will be fighting, to live up to lofty expectations and to keep their undefeated records intact. They are unproven and untested until they fight on ShoBox.”
Miranda, who supports his boxing career by working as a full-time fisherman in Mexico, finds himself outside the friendly confines of his home state of Sonora for the first time.
“There’s going to be some pressure on Miranda to perform well because this is his first fight in the U.S. and it’s on SHOWTIME so this is a big deal for him,” said Julio Marines of Marines Promotions, the company that co-promotes Miranda along with Gary Shaw Productions. “We feel he has the right tools and attitude to become a special prizefighter.”
Miranda, a tall lefty with an upright boxing style, is coming off an impressive eighth-round knockout victory over the iron-chinned Cruz Carbajal in July 2008. His precise jab, solid footwork and two-fisted power was on display on that summer night.
“His record is deceiving because his high knockout rate would suggest he is mostly a brawler, but he can box beautifully too,” Marines said. “He uses his jab well and he is a sound technician. He didn’t have much of an amateur career so we’re still developing his boxing skills. Once he puts everything together, he’s going to raise some eyebrows.”
Marines was first turned on to Miranda two years ago when one of his talent scouts tipped him off about a certain, young Mexican fisherman who happened to have power in both mitts.
Miranda, who is fighting for the first time outside of Mexico, is thought of as an unproven prospect. Ranked No. 7 by the WBC at the featherweight division, Miranda will get his shot to show off his impressive power on January 16.
“We are impressed with his sparring,” Marines said of 26 year old Miranda. “He moves real well on his toes. He has good footwork which we didn’t expect. He has an amazing story. Leonilo comes from a family of fishermen. The kid has never been away from home and his mom was brought along so she can cook his meals. I didn’t want him to get homesick.
Cruz, a 2000 Olympian with over 180 amateur fights, is also a southpaw, and much like Miranda, he is an untested prospect. “I have a lot of experience from my past that I rely on,” said Cruz.
While not a power puncher, Cruz has the ability to outbox his competition. He is coming off a 12-round unanimous decision win over Carlos Guevara in March 2008. Cruz’s manager, Victor Montanez, is confident that he will come out on top. “Orlando looks better than he has ever looked in his life. He is completely mentally and physically prepared,” said Montanez. “We believe that Orlando will put on a beautiful show on January 16.”
Cruz, a proud Puerto Rican, grew up idolizing his 2000 Olympic teammates and fellow countrymen, boxing stalwarts, Miguel Cotto and Ivan Calderon. His manager, Juan De Leon, believes that he will one day follow in their footsteps and see the same success that they have achieved. “With his ability and potential, he will make it to the top. Not only does he deserve to be there for his skills but he has the heart of a champion as well.”
In the co-feature, Marvin Quintero (14-1, 11 KOs) of Mexico will face his toughest test to date against ShoBox alum Nick Casal (18-3-1, 14 KOs) of Chicago, in an eight-round lightweight bout.
The event is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions and will originate from the Million Dollar Elm Casino in Tulsa, Okla.
Nick Charles will call the action from ringside with Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst. The executive producer of ShoBox is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
For more information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go to the new SHOWTIME Sports website at http://sports.sho.com.
MARTINEZ WILL BE PUT OUT WITH THE RUBBISH
RENDALL MUNROE has landed home advantage for his European super-bantamweight title defence against old rival Kiko Martinez.
The Leicester binman, 28, will make his fourth title defence against the Spaniard (20-1) at Barnsley Metrodome on February 27.
Promoter Frank Maloney managed to lure the mandatory challenger to England with a big enough offer, but he refused to fight in Rendall's beloved East Midlands.
Southpaw Munroe, (17-1) ripped the title from Martinez last March in one of the year's biggest upsets and Maloney is convinced he'll repeat that brilliant points win.
Maloney said: "I would back Rendall to beat Munroe in his favourite tapas bar back home in Spain.
"There was a good offer to go there, but my job is to do everything I can to get the fight in Rendall's favour.
"Rendall is climbing the world rankings now and there is a lot for him to go for in 2009.
"A defence against Bernard Dunne would be good business, but his manager Brian Peters is on another planet and needs to land on earth.
"Rendall is also climbing the world rankings so I may even get one of the big named champions here."
In the chief support, Munroe's stable mate in the Shinfield camp, Derby's Scott Haywood (19-2) will challenge WBC ranked number three, Ajose Olusegun (25-0) for the Commonwealth light-welterweight title.
Tickets for the show, priced £30 and £80 are available from www.frankmaloney.com and 0871 226 1508
JIMMY "THE FIGHTIN' SCHOOL TEACHER" HOLMES MAKES HIS MUCH ANTICIPATED RETURN TO THE RING, ALONG WITH "MERCILESS" MARY MCGEE FOR "SLUG FEST 2009"
FRIDAY, JANUARY 23rd IN MERRILLVILLE
January 7 (Merrillville, In) -Jimmy "The Fighting School Teacher" has always been a fan's favorite and his absence inside the ring has definitely been felt. Maybe it's his pure love for the sport or maybe it could be the true devotion he has for his students at Lincoln Elementary in Roselawn, In.
Whatever the case may be, Holmes has crept into the hearts of those fans that follow Octavius James' One In A Million, Inc. and his nearly year layoff will come to an abrupt end on Friday, January 23rd at the Radisson Hotel @ Star Plaza in Merrillville, In.
Holmes will be squaring off against a TBA opponent, in his first fight since Feb. 1st, 2008, at "SLUGFEST 2009" as the Main Event of a card that also boasts the NABC Lightweight World Champion Gary's own "Merciless" Mary McGee.
Holmes' last fight ended after his opponent was dropped, but recovered to only be disqualified in the 4th round for excessive holding giving the DeMotte native a victory and improving his record to 17-1-2 (9 KOs).
"I've learned a lot from that fight, but you always learn from every fight," said Holmes of his last fight. Holmes has been sidelined following a minor injury, but the 31 year-old is back in prime form and ready for a SLUGFEST of his own.
"This has been the longest layoff of my career and it just gives you more motivation," added Holmes. "Everyone can expect nothing less than a good solid Jimmy Holmes performance."
Octavius James has seen the growth of Holmes fans and doesn't think his long layoff will negatively affect his hardnosed fighter. "We are really intrigued by Jimmy (Holmes) and he definitely brings plenty excitement to each and every fight," said James.
Lightweight "Merciless" Mary McGee (15-0, 9 KOs) looks to stay unblemished, as she makes a triumphant return to the ring for the first time since successfully defending her coveted NABC Lightweight World Championship at U.S. Steel Yard back in August.
Hobart's undefeated Ed Ochoa (6-0, 6 KOs) will also be on the card and light heavyweight "The Bulldog" Jimmy Perez Jr. (3-1, 1 Kos) of Hammond will also look to stay hot. Powerhouse welterweight Marcus Thompkins (2-0) of Michigan City will attempt to stay unbeaten.
Very skilled middleweight Josh Crouch of Schererville (2-0, 2 KOs) will look to continue his tear. A young Chicago-product Orphius Waite (3-0, 2 Kos) looks to continue to impress and run through the middleweight division.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at $100 for VIP, $75 VIP ringside, $50 ringside and $30 general admission. They are available from any Ticket Master location at (219) 791-1234, (312) 559-1212, (866) 438-7372 or www.TicketMaster.com.
The Radisson is located at I-65 & US 30 in Merrillville, IN. Doors open at 7 p.m. The first bout is at 8 p.m.
For more information visit us at: www.oneinamillionboxing.com
previous article: Remembering Alex Miteff
next article: Puerto Rico: A Tapestry of Boxing