News: Adamek takes on Banks; Valentine's Day Massacre Seat Special

Newly-crowned IBF Cruiserweight Champion Tomasz "Goral" Adamek of Jersey City and Golwice, Poland returns to Newark's Prudential Center on Friday, February 27th to make the first defense of his world title against Detroit's undefeated Johnathon Banks when Main Events and Ziggy Promotions, in association with K2 Promotions, bring boxing back to "The Rock." The inaugural event of Main Events' "Brick City Boxing Series" at the Prudential Center also will be aired on Showtime as part of its ShoBox boxing series..

Just a month ago, Adamek (36-1, 24 KO's) thrilled thousands of cheering fans as he electrified Newark's state-of-the art arena, scoring three knockdowns over defending champion Steve Cunningham, to earn a blistering 12-round win in a fight that many boxing scribes have dubbed "The Fight of the Year." Also the former WBC Light Heavyweight Champion, Adamek is no stranger to "Fight of the Year" consideration. Making his first-ever US appearance, the former Polish national amateur standout traveled to Chicago in May of 2005 and defeated Number One Contender Paul Briggs in a brutal 12-round slugfest hailed as a candidate for "Fight of the Year" honors.

Rated number 8 in the world by the IBF and number 1 by WBO, Banks (20-0, 14 KO's) is a product of Detroit's famed Kronk Gym, where he is managed by Motor City boxing legend, Emmanuel Steward. A Hall of Fame trainer/manager/color commentator, Steward has helmed the careers of numerous notable world champions, including Thomas "Hit Man" Hearns, former Heavyweight Champions Michael Moorer and Lennox Lewis and current World Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko, to name a few. Banks has had the benefit of training side by side with Lewis and Klitschko throughout his career and is associated with the Klitschko brothers' promotional arm, K2.

Noted Boxing writer Tim Smith said of the Adamek - Cunningham battle , "Fight Of The Year: My pick is Tomasz Adamek - Steve Cunningham for the IBF Cruiserweight title….I saw it live at the Prudential Center in Newark….(The fans) were treated to a rousing display of courage and guts. Adamek had Cunningham on the canvas three times in the fight, and twice he had him down and hurt. But Cunningham kept bouncing back up and firing at Adamek, who has a granite chin….How either man stayed upright for 12 rounds is beyond me."

"Sometimes, when a fighter with an exciting style, like Tomasz Adamek, gets the chance to perform in front of a huge, enthusiastic crowd of supporters, the level of excitement rises to the point where magic happens," said promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events. "Tomasz' appearance at the Prudential Center last month was one of the most exhilarating nights of boxing that I have experienced in a long time. I can't wait to get back there on February 27th to watch Tomasz make the magic happen again with Johnathon Banks. I have no doubt that everyone who was lucky enough to be there in person last month feels the same way."

"We are looking forward to this fight for Johnathon," said Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions. "Adamek is considered the #1 Cruiserweight in the world, but Emanuel has been working with Banks his entire career to get him ready for a fight like this. Johnathon has sparred numerous rounds with Wladimir over the last few years, and he hits a lot harder than Adamek. It is a tough fight, but we believe that Banks will beat Adamek to become champion and join Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko as Champions for K2 Promotions."

"Boxing is back in Brick City and Prudential Center is proud to usher in a new era of championship fighting with Main Events", said Brian Gale, director of marketing and booking at the arena. "We are excited to welcome back Adamek and hope to give boxing fans quality fights for years to come at Prudential Center."

An exciting seven-bout undercard featuring local fan favorites is being finalized and will be announced shortly. The first bout starts at 8:30 p.m. and doors open at 8 p.m.

Tickets go on sale Thursday, January 29 at noon. Priced at $38, $53, $78, $103, and $253, tickets can be purchased at the arena box office or by calling Ticketmaster at 201-507-8900.


Boxing promoter Don King will present another tremendous international boxing event in South Florida when his "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" lands at BankAtlantic Center on Saturday, Feb. 14 featuring unified lightweight world champion-and Jacksonville native-Nate "Galaxxy Warrior" Campbell (32-5-1, 25 KOs) opposing International Boxing Federation mandatory challenger Ali "Rush Hour" Funeka, from East London, South Africa.

Colorful crowd favorite and former three-time world champion Ricardo "El Matador" Mayorga (28-7-1, 22 KOs), from Managua, Nicaragua, will appear against World Boxing Council No. 3-ranked super welterweight Alfredo "Perro" Angulo (14-0, 11 KOs), from Mexicali, Mexico. This match is an elimination bout to determine the WBC's No. 1 ranking at the 154-pound limit and become the mandatory challenger to the organization's champion.

Another bout of great importance at 154 pounds will be showcased when interim WBC super welterweight champion Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez (44-1-1, 24 KOs), from Buenos Aires, Argentina, takes on former welterweight world champion Kermit "The Killer" Cintron.

The BankAtlantic Center will be configured in a fan-friendly half-house configuration with only the best seats in the lower bowl and floor areas being placed for sale. In addition, promoter Don King has created a special "Valentine's Day 2-for-1" ticket promotion where almost everyone who buys a seat will get an additional ticket for free, starting at just $25 (except a small number of golden circle seats).

"A two-for-one ticket offer and setting up the arena so all fans will be as close to the ring as possible are innovative and great ideas for this card," King said. "This way, more of my Florida neighbors can afford to bring their sweethearts, family or friends to see this great night of boxing on Valentine's Day at BankAtlantic Center."

Florida Panthers President Michael Yormark is excited to have boxing at BankAtlantic Center, the Florida Panthers home arena.

"Don King is one of the biggest names in sports and we are honored to welcome him to the BankAtlantic Center," said Yormark. "His track record for promoting world-class events speaks for itself. That said, it is a great thrill to bring boxing to the BankAtlantic Center for the first time, which once again reinforces our ability to successfully host nearly any type of event."

Tickets priced at $200, $75, $40 and $25 (with all seats 2-for-1 excepting a limited number of golden circle seats) will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone at (800) 745-3000, by visiting or at the BankAtlantic Center box office.

Campbell picked up his world titles in a tremendous, upset victory over then-unified lightweight champion Juan "Baby Bull" Diaz. Campbell outgunned and battered the previously unbeaten Diaz for 12 rounds on March 8 in Cancun, Mexico. He won the fight by split decision but there was little doubt among the Mexicans assembled in an outdoor bull ring that Campbell had made good on his pre-fight prediction to take his younger but more heralded opponent into deep water to defeat him.

His win culminated a made-in-Florida dream that saw Campbell escape from his violent upbringing in a Jacksonville ghetto, embark on an improbable career in boxing at the late age of 24 and reach the pinnacle of his sport.

The fast-handed and even-faster-talking new champion's first defense of his titles was slowed by Joan Guzman, who failed to make weight the day before the two were scheduled to meet on Sept. 13 in Biloxi, Miss. Guzman said he was too weak to fight over the limit, scratching the match altogether.

The road gets no easier for Campbell, who must now meet his IBF mandatory challenger in Funeka. This will be the first time the South African has appeared outside of his country, but he was able to stop highly regarded Zahir Raheem in the fourth round when they met on July 25 to earn the right to face Campbell.

At his loquacious best, Campbell is still no match for the Nicaraguan boxer also appearing on the card, flashy Ricardo Mayorga, who is in a class by himself when at his trash-talking best. Mayorga, who often trains in South Florida but will make his first prizefighting appearance here, tends to batter opponents outside the ring verbally as well as physically inside the squared circle.

His meteoric rise captured the imagination of the boxing world when he dethroned reigning 2002 Fighter of the Year Vernon "The Viper" Forest twice in succession in 2003. He went on to face some of the most well known boxers in the sport including Cory Spinks, Felix "Tito" Trinidad, Oscar de la Hoya, "Ferocious" Fernando Vargas and, most recently, "Sugar" Shane Mosley.

Mayorga is a dangerous marauder who always comes to fight. Extra motivation may come from the fact that the young, undefeated prospect Alfredo Angulo, 26, thinks he can dispatch the big-fight veteran Mayorga, 35, in just his 15th professional appearance.

A win here for Mayorga would extend his notable career, while Angulo would benefit from beating, by far, the biggest name on his building resume. Known for his punching prowess, Angulo must first prove he will not be overly influenced by the withering verbal assaults he can expect from Mayorga designed to mine the depths of his being in search of the slightest weakness or trigger point-a ploy that his ensnared fighters of much greater experience and left them psychologically disheveled.

Another bout of significance at 154 pounds will also be featured when interim WBC super welterweight champion Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez (44-1-1, 24 KOs), from Buenos Aires, Argentina, faces the highest profile opponent of his career in former IBF welterweight champion Kermit "The Killer" Cintron (30-2, 27 KOs), from Reading, Pa.

Martinez, 33, earned his interim title in his last appearance on Oct. 4 when he dominated Alex Bunema, making him quit after eight rounds. The former champion Cintron, 29, brings a title-fight experience and considerable skills into his first fight at 154 pounds.

The event is promoted by Don King Productions with a full undercard. Campbell vs. Funeka is presented in association with One Punch Productions. Mayorga vs. Angulo is a co-promotion with Gary Shaw Productions. Campbell vs. Funeka, Mayorga vs. Angulo and Martinez vs. Cintron will also be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

Article posted on 28.01.2009

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