News: Escalante vs Stark This Friday On ESPN2; Anthony Thompson Returns May 2nd

CHICAGO, IL (April 21, 2009) Boxing fans in Chicago are talking “Fight of the Year” candidate about this Friday night’s battle between junior featherweights Antonio Escalante and Gary “KID” Stark in the ESPN2 FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS main event at the UIC Pavilion. An open to the public press conference will be held on Wednesday night at 7pm at the Union Park Lounge, 228 S. Racine Ave in Chicago, just three blocks north of the UIC Pavilion. Escalante and Stark along with the undercard fighters will attend. Presented by Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and Dominic Pesoli’s 8 Count Productions, tickets for ESPN2’S FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS, starting at $31, can be purchased through Ticketmaster (Online:, Phone: 312-559-1212) and through the 8 Count Productions office at 312-226-5800..

Said Pesoli, “Since we announced the fight, I’ve had many people who know both fighters tell me their styles make for an outstanding fight. Escalante has only lost once in the last five years. He’s shown numerous times, particularly against Jose Hernandez at Cicero Stadium three years ago when he was hurt badly early in the fight, that he’ll do whatever it takes, absorb whatever punishment to win a fight.”

“About four months after the Hernandez fight, Antonio came back to Chicago and beat Juan Ruiz for the NABO belt in a fantastic war. This is his fourth fight in Chicago and he’s obviously very popular amongst the local fight fans.”

The 23 year old Escalante has won five in a row, brings a record of 19-2-1 (12KO’s) and is ranked #6 by the World Boxing Association.

The New York native Stark, making his first Chicago appearance, brings a record of 22-2-1 (8KO’s) into the twelve round battle with Escalante. He’s won four in a row, most recently a unanimous decision over Leiva Brea in New York City.

Continued Pesoli, “I’ve seen Stark fight a number of times on TV and what always strikes me is his exceptional spirit in the ring. Two fights ago he had a rematch against a tough Colombian, Andres Ledesma, who had knocked him out a couple of years ago.”

“But there’s Gary telling his promoter, “Get me Ledesma again” a year later. And in the second fight which I just watched again his right eye was swollen for most of the fight. Even after the eighth round when the doctor almost stopped the fight because he could barely see, Stark kept attacking Ledesma and got his well deserved revenge taking the decision.”

“Both of them are true warriors and these are the types of fighters I’m honored to promote for the Chicago fight fans and the ESPN2 audience.”

In the co-main event, sensational super middleweight prospect Daniel ‘THE GOLDEN CHILD” Jacobs, 14-0 (13KO’s) of Brookyn, New York, will face Jose “TERRIBLE” Varela, 23-5-0 (16KO’s) in the eight round co-main event.

Also returning to the ring will be Chicago favorite, Ivan Popoca. The junior welterweight, 9-0-1 (7 KO’s), will square off against Canadian veteran Sebastien Hamel, 10-17-1 (1KO), in a scheduled six rounder.

Rounding out the card is 2008 U.S. Olympian Deontay “THE BRONZE BOMBER” Wilder, and Chicago natives; lightweight veteran Leo Martinez and newcomer Noe Perez. Also featured on the undercard will be pro debuters; junior welterweight Ramiro Carillo and Nigerian heavyweight Enobong Umohette.

Doors on the evening of the event will open at 7:30pm with the first bell at 8:15pm. The UIC Pavilion is located at 525 N. Racine, at the corner of Harrison and Racine in the downtown West Loop area of Chicago.

Further details for the UIC Pavilion, including directions, can be obtained through their website at


JOHNSTOWN, PA (April 21, 2009) Junior middleweight contender Anthony “THE MESSANGER” Thompson will return to the ring against Luis “EL LOBO” Lopez on Saturday, May 2nd in one of the feature bouts at “FISTS OF THUNDER II” at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, it was announced today by Chet Koerner, President of TKO BOXING Promotions.

This will be Thompson's first bout following his highly controversial loss against Ishmail Arvin

on August 15th in Washington, D.C. which was broadcast on ESPN. During that bout, Thompson suffered a bad cut in the third round from an accidental head butt, the same round in which he dropped Arvin twice.

Despite the cut, Thompson continued to dominate the bout until the commission doctor stopped the fight after the sixth round. Although the cut was initially and incorrectly ruled as coming from a punch, ESPN replays viewed by the commission clearly showed the cut was caused by an accidental head butt. Despite viewing the replay, the commission refused to change the referees’ incorrect call and Arvin was awarded the win. At the time of the stoppage, Thompson was leading the scorecards, 59-53, 58-54 and 57-55.

Said Koerner, “The loss was initially devastating to Anthony, but he’s regrouped and he’s ready to make a run towards the top of the division. It starts with Lopez who is an aggressive, crafty veteran.”

The 27 year old Thompson brings a record of 23-3-0 (17KO’s) into the scheduled six round battle with Washington state native Lopez, 14-15-1 (6KO’s). Lopez’s eight year career includes bouts against Jesse Brinkley, Peter Manfredo Jr., David Banks and Hector Camacho Jr.

Finishing up a sparring session with Philadelphia prospect Mike Jones, Thompson discussed his return.

“I was very upset when it happened but I have to get past the Arvin fight. I was close to beating Yuri Foreman in the bout before Arvin, but I had to put that in the past and move forward. Lopez is a tough rugged guy, but I’ve trained hard and I’m in great shape.”

Along with being promoted by TKO BOXING Promotions, Thompson is guided by award winning manager Cameron Dunkin.

“Chet and Cameron have solid plans for me to get right back in the mix for a world title shot this year. I plan on doing my part inside the ring” said Thompson.

“FISTS OF THUNDER II” is presented by Chet Koerner’s TKO BOXING Promotions, curators of the highly acclaimed national boxing series “HOMETOWN HEROES TO WORLD CHAMPIONS” and Team Taylor Made Boxing in association with Rezk Medical Supply

Headlining “FISTS OF THUNDER II” is an outstanding cruiserweight battle between the fighting pride of Johnstown, PA., Andres “TAYLOR MADE” Taylor and Philadelphia’s Simon Carr.

A full undercard will be announced shortly.

Starting at $22, tickets can be purchased in person at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena Box Office or by phone at 800-243-8499. They are also on sale locally at Giant Eagle Super Markets (Richland and West End) in Johnstown. Doors on the evening of the event will open at 6:00pm with the first bell at 7:30pm. The Cambria County War Memorial Arena is located at 326 Napoleon Street in Johnstown

Article posted on 20.04.2009

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