Boxing


News: Berto-Collazo This Saturday; Gary Russell Jr ShoBox Debut; Manuel Quezada

An undefeated young titleholder looks to start the new year off with a bang versus a battled-tested veteran in the 2009 premiere of the network’s hit late-night boxing franchise when HBO BOXING AFTER DARK: ANDRE BERTO VS. LUIS COLLAZO is presented SATURDAY, JAN. 17 at 9:45 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT), from the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Miss., exclusively on HBO. The HBO Sports team will be ringside for the event, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino..

Undefeated Florida native Andre Berto (23-0, 19 KOs) enjoyed a splendid 2008, winning all three of his fights and serving notice he is on the verge of becoming one of the elite stars of the talented welterweight division. Now he gets to test his game against a rock-solid opponent in former welterweight champion Luis Collazo (29-3, 14 KOs) of Brooklyn. The winner gets a head start on sorting out the crowded 147-pound division in 2009.

The co-feature of Sergio Martinez vs. Joe Greene has been cancelled due to Greene withdrawing for medical reasons.

The executive producer of HBO BOXING AFTER DARK is Rick Bernstein; producer, Jon Crystal; director, Mike Sheehan.


U.S. OLYMPIAN GARY RUSSELL, JR. WILL MAKE HIS PRO DEBUT ON THIS FRIDAY’S OPENING SHOBOX TELECAST

ShoBox: The New Generation Friday, Jan. 16, 2009, Live on SHOWTIME, 11 p.m. ET/PT From Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma

NEW YORK (Jan. 13, 2009) – United States Olympian Gary Russell, Jr.’s dream of competing in the Olympic Games last August ended without him throwing a punch. But he promises that won’t be the case this Friday night as he makes his pro debut in what is now a tripleheader on ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).

Russell will be opposed by Antonio Reyes (3-2) of Dallas in a four-round featherweight bout at the Million Dollar Elm Casino in Tulsa, Okla.

Russell, a two time National Amateur Boxing Champion, passed out in his Beijing dorm room on the eve of the weigh-in, at approximately 1 a.m. The 20-year-old boxer wasn’t hospitalized, but he was not permitted to participate in the weigh-in, or the Games.

“To be honest, none of it made sense to me,’’ Russell said. “I still do not know for sure what happened that night and never received the official diagnosis as to why or what happened. Olympic doctors never gave me an exact reason. They just said, ‘it could be this, it could be that.’

“I’d been in Beijing for a month and everything was fine. I was ready to achieve a life-long goal, something I had dedicated myself to for eight or nine years. When it all came down, when I couldn’t fight, I was so mad and blown away. Everything I worked for went down the drain in an instant.’’

Reports blamed dehydration for Russell’s collapse, saying he had been fighting at 125-plus pounds in recent fights and that making 119 had become an impossible chore.

But Russell insists excess poundage was not a factor. “I don’t think it had anything to do with weight,’’ he said. “I think I weighed 120.4 the day before the weigh-in, which is not bad for me.

“My dream was to become an Olympian, but that is not the same as not competing. Turning pro will definitely help. I am really looking forward to fighting on SHOWTIME and appreciate the opportunity. I have a lot of family, friends and fans who’ve supported and followed my career a long time. I really want to make it up to them.

“I’m 100 percent now and really looking forward to making my mark on SHOWTIME.”

ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael likes what he’s seen from Russell.

“I've been following Russell's amateur career for several years since he's from the area where I live and I have always thought he'd be a quality professional prospect,’’ Rafael said. “I thought he was one of the best medal hopes for the U.S. at the Beijing Olympics, so it was unfortunate that he was unable to participate because of his weight situation.

“But as a pro,’’ Rafael concluded, “he'll be a featherweight instead of a bantamweight, and I think he's got a lot of potential. He's got speed, skills and good defense from what I've seen of him in the amateurs. I'm looking forward to following his progress in the pros.’’

Undefeated featherweights Leonilo Miranda (24-0, 23 KOs), of Mexico, and Orlando Cruz (15-0-1, 6 KOs), of Puerto Rico, will clash in an excellent ShoBox 10-round main event. The co-feature will match Marvin Quintero (14-1, 11 KOs), of Mexico, against Nick Casal (18-3-1, 14 KOs) of Chicago, in an eight-round lightweight bout. The first ShoBox event in 2009 is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions.

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.


WBC CABOFE CHAMPION MANUEL QUEZADA

WBC CABOFE heavyweight champion, Manuel "El Toro" Quezada (25-4, 15 KO's), returns to the ring February 6, 2009 at the Tachi Palace Casino in Lemoore Ca.

In an eight round bout, Eric Boose (14-3-1, 18 KO's) of Puyallup, Washington will attempt to put an end to Quezada's 15-fight winning streak. "Every fight that I'm in is a big fight to me," said Quesada. "My dream of fighting for a title gets closer with each victory. Expect me to come forward and apply pressure. I'm excited and I'm ready to go."

Quezada's last victory was a 10 round unanimous decision over Teke "The African Prince" Oruh on November 29, 2008. This bout is promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions in association with the Tahci Palace Casino. For ticket information call the Tachi Palace Box Office at (559) 924-7751 or the Tickets.com call center at 1(800) 225-2277.

The Tachi Palace Casino wants to announce that they have moved their previously scheduled February 5th boxing card, to Friday February 6, 2009.

Article posted on 13.01.2009



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