News: Kentikian vs Reid; Shawn Estrada; Gary Russell Jr

Female WBA World flyweight champion Susi Kentikian (23-0, 16 KOs) returns to action in front of her hometown crowd. In a very attractive matchup on March 20th at the 'ProSieben Fight Night' at the famous Sporthalle in Hamburg, the 'Killer Queen' will defend her WBA belt against Elena Reid. The experienced American is best known for her two grueling bouts with female ring legend Regina Halmich. ProSieben will broadcast the fight live from 10:15 pm. Elena "Baby Doll" Reid (19-4-6, 5 KOs) is well known to the German boxing fans when she battled Regina Halmich twice. In their first bout in november 2004 Reid claimed a controversial draw..

In their rematch in 2005 Halmich had to give her best to win on points this time against the powerful and lively US girl Elena Reid. Susi Kentikian, who showed great fights in the past, will have to demonstrate her excellent skills. Unbeaten in her 23 fights with 16 coming by KO, the reigning world champion had tough battles against Hagar Finer Shmoulefeld und Anastasia Toktaulova which she has mastered superbly. Promoter of the event will be Spotlight Boxing from Hamburg.


Question: On March 27 at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Downtown, Los Angeles, you will be in the ring with a fighter who has double your professional experience in the ring and just as many KOs. Do these stats make you change your normal game plan?

Answer: You would think that stats should intimidate me or make me switch up my plan, but it doesnít. I am going in with the same plan, get rid of my opponent. My confidence is always up because I stay in shape, which allows me to believe I can stop anybody. Also, I know that I am skilled.

Question: I was speaking to your promoter and he said that he was thrilled with the ultimate decision you and your management team made to opt for therapy rather than surgery. To put it in his words, "Shawn Estrada became a professional outside the ring with this decision." Does the fact that therapy is resolving the problem make you feel that indeed you grew as a pro with this decision?

Answer: Yes, I definitely grew as a professional for making that decision. I trusted my instincts and felt better that the people (my team) that surrounded me supported my decision. I feel that the instinctual decisions that I make are inherited by my fatherís guidance of me throughout my childhood. I feel that I have probably avoided long term bodily problems for an instantaneous solution. The human body is an amazing thing, it heels well on its own but with the therapy, it helps speed up and improve the healing process.

Question: Have you had to change any of your training in order not to strain your shoulder and counter act your physical therapy?

Answer: The therapy helped my shoulder heal rapidly. The training is just as intense and rigorous as ever.

Question: What does a typical day of training consist of for Shawn Estrada?

Answer: A typical day in training is a way of life. I train throughout the entire day. What I mean by that is in the mornings I usually run for 45 minutes or so, in the afternoon, I will either take a bike ride and/or do weights. If I donít do either of those you will find me in the gym training. I like to keep active.

Question: Your two wins were by way of knockout. Are you always looking to end your fights in such a spectacular fashion?

Answer: I never look for the KO. When I enter the ring I know itís going to be a tough fight. If a KO happens, then it happens. But I do know the fans love seeing great knockouts. Itís like hitting a home run.

Question: How do you see your fight going on March 27 when the bell rings?

Answer: On March 27 Iíll look to entertain all the fans that come out to see me fight, and the ones that will be there to see the heavyweights. I am going to treat it like it is a championship fight. I look to win and if a KO comes, it comes, but I want the fans to remember Shawn Estrada.

Question: This is the first boxing event ever at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE and it will be televised on ESPN. Do you feel any pressure to perform even at a greater height because the event is the first at Nokia and in front of your hometown fans?

Answer: I fought at Citizens Business Bank Arena on their first boxing card ever and I confess I did feel nervous on that one. Although this is the first fight card at Nokia I am not nervous on this one. I feel quite excited. Excited to fight in Los Angeles and at Nokia. Itís so close to where I am originally from itís a good feeling.

Question: Have you seen a growing fan base since turning pro?

Answer: I have noticed a lot more friends. When people approach me they tell me that they know my accomplishments and that theyíve learned about my struggles. It feels great because we connect with each other, itís not just them connecting with me. They believe they know me personally and it gives me a sense of pride. I want to excel and do better for me, my dad, my family and that includes my fans who are always so supportive.

Question: What would you want to say in closing?

Answer: I love to fight and I canít wait till March 27. Nokia, ESPN in front of my hometown fans. Itís going to be memorable.

U.S. Olympian Gary Russell, Jr. Returns to ShoBox in a March 28th March-up with Julio Valdez

(CAPITOL HEIGHTS, MD.) Ė U.S. Olympian Gary Russell, Jr. (Capitol Heights, Md.) (2-0) will return to the ring and ShoBoxís airwaves on Saturday, March 28 at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla. Russell will battle Julio Valdez (San Antonio, Texas) (3-3) in a four round featherweight contest.

The bout will mark Russellís third professional fight and his second appearance on Showtimeís airwaves. Valdez will be facing his second 2008 Olympian, following a February match-up with Russellís Olympic teammate, Luis Yanez. The featherweight battle will be showcased on the undercard of 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Andre Dirrellís bout with Derrick Findley. Russellís professional debut on January 16 was also showcased on ShoBox Ė The Next Generation, as Russell administered an impressive third round TKO of Antonio Reyes.

The March 28th match-up will be Russellís second professional fight in the state of Oklahoma, following his January 16th professional debut in Tulsa. Russell is coming off a unanimous decision victory over John Wampash in his second pro fight in Sunrise, Fla., on February 14.

Valdez has faced a high level of competition during his career with Russell serving as his fourth opponent who competed in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Despite Valdezís impressive track record, the 20-year-old Russell plans to show off his own distinctive skill set in Miami.

He is currently training in his home gym in the Washington DC area with his father and trainer Gary Russell, Sr., before departing for Oklahoma on Thursday, March 26.

Russell turned professional on January 16, 2009 with a spectacular third round TKO over Antonio Reyes in Tulsa, Okla. The 20-year-old enjoyed a stellar amateur career, which included two national championships, a Golden Gloves title and a bronze medal in the 2005 World Championships before culminating in a berth on the 2008 United States Olympic Team.

Article posted on 17.03.2009

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