Boxing

News: Lenroy Thomas; Danny O'Connor; International Boxing Hall of Fame

TAMPA, FL (April 13, 2009) Friday night in Tampa, Florida, Jamaican born heavyweight prospect Lenroy Thomas thrilled the huge “HOMECOMING” crowd with a vicious second round knockout of Wes Taylor at the Sun Dome arena. The Thomas/Taylor bout was the co-main event to the Jeff Lacy/Otis Griffin headliner..

The action packed first round saw Thomas drop Taylor with a marksmen like left hook body shot towards the end of the first stanza. Thomas then finished him off with a barrage of punches at the 1:17 mark of the second round.

Said Thomas, now 12-1-0 (8KO’s), “He came out very aggressively from the opening bell, but once I was able to time him I was able to land at will. Dan Birmingham and I worked on that in the gym and we were able to use it in the bout.

It’s always great to fight in Tampa and the crowd on Friday night was terrific for this event.”

The 24 year old Thomas had spent the last two months in Las Vegas training and sparring with boxing superstar Winky Wright in preparation for his HBO televised bout Saturday night showdown Paul Williams.

About his future, Thomas said “I’ll let Chet and TKO decide where and when I’ll be fighting next, but I want to face other top prospects in the heavyweight division. The camp in Las Vegas with Winky put me in great shape and that’s where I’m going to stay.”

Said promoter Chet Koerner of TKO BOXING Promotions, “We’re very happy with Lenroy’s performance. He worked hard in training camp with Winky and was easily able to handle Taylor ’s aggressiveness. The body shot that he dropped him with in the second would have worked against any heavyweight in the world.

Our plan is to keep him very busy this year, this was his second fight in 2009, and we want to get him on TV where he can truly showcase his skills to the boxing fans everywhere.”


Intense body work for prospect Danny O’Connor

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (April 13, 2009) – Promising prospect Danny O’Connor recently spent 10 days working out at the famed Athletes’ Performance Institute in Tempe, Arizona.

Athletes’ Performance, where Boston Red Sox stars Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury trained during the off-season, is home base for numerous athletes in several sports. O’Connor arrived there right after a slew of college football players, including potential top pick Matthew Stafford (U. of Georgia quarterback), preparing for the NFL combine had departed, which afforded Danny extra time and special attention.

“One of my best friends went to school for sports medicine and he has a good job there (Athletes’ Performance),” Danny said. “He talked to the people who run the facility and I did 10 days of legitimate training there. I was very impressed. I got educated about my body, nutrition, recovery work, and not getting injured. It was like going to school to learn how to be an athlete. It was way better than going to the gym and punching the heavy bag. I had a little time off after my last fight. I could have taken a vacation, or taken a vacation in Arizona and training at Athletes’ Performance. I learned a lot of new stuff. I was like a sponge; taking in as much knowledge as possible to make me a better athlete.

2004 U.S. Olympic Team alternate O’Connor (5-0, 2 KOs) is coming off his first-round TKO of Charles Wade before 300 of his passionate fans 3 ½ weeks ago in Boston. “The place was jam-packed,” Danny noted. “They kept me until the last fight. I didn’t watch any of the other fights so I could concentrate on mine, but when I went out there everybody – family, friends and fans – were standing and it was so loud. I was really taken back to think they were all there to see me. It was a good feeling.”

The 23-year-old O’Connor, who defeated 2008 Olympic Gold medalist Felix Diaz, of the Dominican Republic, last May in a USA-Dominican Republic dual meet, is gradually dropping down from light welterweight (140) to lightweight (135). His connections at Athletes’ Performance set him up with a strength and conditioning coach, Eric Cressey, in Hudson (MA).

“Eric is a well known strength coach who worked a lot with (former Red Sox star) Curt Schilling,” O’Connor added. “He has me doing a lot of ply-metrics, similar to workouts we did with the Olympic Team – interval and explosive training. I feel good about my fights. I’m getting stronger and better each fight. I’m not the type to ever get out of shape, but I’m on a mission to be world champion and everyday, I wake up thinking of what I can do to make that happen. Mornings, I work with Eric, and nights I’m at the gym in Providence training with my coach, David Keefe.

“I’m coming down in weight, little by little, to 135. The morning of my last fight I weighed 137+ but when I learned my opponent wasn’t coming in close to 140, I ate more and weighed in at 141. With proper nutrition, I want to be a strong 135, not weak making it. I’m on a great diet plan and when I’m comfortable at 135, I’m going to be a monster.”

Danny’s head trainer and co-manager, David Keefe, believes the move to make his prize pupil a lightweight is a major step in the right direction. “Our goal is to drop weight gradually until he hits 135 in about six months,” Keefe explained. “Eventually, Danny will be the champion of the world in the division that suits him best - lightweight. He’s going to be a big lightweight. I’ve always told Danny that he had the weight to lose. Hooking-up with Eric Cressey will help him drop weight and make him stronger at the same time, something Rob Valle (O’Connor’s other co-manager) and I are excited about.”

O’Connor, promoted by Seminole Warriors Boxing, is scheduled to fight an opponent to be determined April 25 on Showtime’s Carl Froch-Jermain Taylor card at MGM Grand Foxwoods. “That’s another big card where I can showcase my talents to a lot of different people,” Danny concluded. “It’s a great fight card and Foxwoods is close to home, so I know a lot of my fans will be there (Ledyard, Connecticut).”


INTERNATIONAL BOXING HALL OF FAME PREPARES FOR 20th ANNUAL INDUCTION WEEKEND

CANASTOTA, NY – APRIL 13, 2009 – The International Boxing Hall of Fame is eagerly anticipating the celebration of its landmark 20th anniversary. Many events are being planned to celebrate the occasion, including the Annual Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, June 11-14th.

Since the Hall of Fame opened in 1989, progress has been made in honoring the international sport of boxing. The first class of inductees was enshrined in 1990 and the first expansion to the Museum was completed in 1992. The Hall celebrated its 5th Anniversary in 1994, its 10th Anniversary in 1999 and its 15th Anniversary in 2004. In late 2002, ground was broken for the Event Pavilion, which was completed in the spring of 2003. The Event Pavilion now proudly houses the world famous Madison Square Garden boxing ring. The Hall's collection of memorabilia and research material has grown immensely through the years and has helped entertain and educate boxing fans from around the world.

"With the 20th anniversary upon us, it's a great time to reflect on the strides made in 'Boxing's Hometown' while casting an eye towards the future," said Hall of Fame Executive Director Edward Brophy. "We want to thank everyone in the boxing community who has played a part in the success of the Hall of Fame."

Events planned for the Induction Weekend include a banquet, night of rising stars, parade, golf tournament, boxing autograph card show, cocktail party and the Official Induction Ceremony honoring the Class of 2009. In addition, other special activities will be implemented for the celebration, including a fireworks display.

New inductees to be honored are bantamweight champion Orlando Canizales, heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, junior lightweight champion Brian Mitchell, matchmaker / publicist / promoter Bob Goodman, promoter Akihiko Honda, journalist Hugh McIlvaney and broadcaster Larry Merchant. Posthumous inductees will also be honored.

According to Hall of Fame officials, nearly 200 volunteers are contributing their time and effort to make the Hall of Fame Weekend a success. Planning for the event began last fall and everything is on schedule for a memorable and exciting Hall of Fame Weekend.

An impressive list of boxing legends of yesterday and today are scheduled to participate in weekend festivities. Tickets for all events are now available and capacity crowds are again anticipated for June.

“Boxing fans from throughout the United States and abroad have already reserved tickets and made hotel accommodations for the weekend,” said Brophy. “This event will be one that everyone involved in the sport will be proud of and will hopefully generate additional interest in the sport.”

For more information on the Hall of Fame’s 20th Anniversary please call (315) 697-7095 or visit www.ibhof.com

Article posted on 12.04.2009



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