News: Frankie Figueroa; Michael Faragon; More

Junior welterweight contender Frankie "El Gato" Figueroa is set to return to the ring on May 21st versus undefeated Russian prospect Ruslan Provodnikov (15-0 10 KOs) in the co-feature to the lightweight clash between Ji Hoon Kim and Ameth Diaz. The bout will be televised by ESPN Friday Night Fights beginning at 9pm EST. The ten round bout will be for the jr. welterweight NABA and WBO Asian Pacific title. Figueroa has been out of action since fighting Rashad Holloway to a draw on November 11th of last year. In that bout, "El Gato" of Bronx, NY, broke his left wrist in the fight and had a subsequent surgery which was a success..

"I was on the shelf for a little while. After a pin was put in place, I couldn't fight because it couldn't get wet. In January I had the cast and pin removed and I was able to test out my hand when I sparred with Juan Urango," Figueroa stated. "My hand held up well and I am ready to go."

In addition to preparing for the Provodnikov bout, Figueroa will be sparring with Nate Campbell as Campbell prepares for his upcoming clash with Victor Ortiz.

"This sparring will work for both of us. Nate Campbell is an aggressive body puncher just like Provodnikov. I can be the active boxer like Victor Ortiz to help Campbell out and he is helping me prepare for Provodnikov's style," he shared. "Of course I am more than just a boxer and I can change my styles up but this sparring will help Campbell and myself greatly."

Figueroa is very excited to be returning to network tv.

"This is a great opportunity for me. I am a very fan friendly fighter. People have seen me fight on TV before and I think the fact that I am coming back so soon from a broken wrist can inspire people," Figueroa said enthusiastically. "It shows that no matter what happens, you have to keep moving forward."

The Puerto Rican native is by no means taking Provodnikov lightly. He knows this is a fight he needs to win and he knows what is at stake.

"It is going to be a good fight for me. Provodnikov is a great fighter and a heavy puncher but I am by far his toughest opponent that he has faced," he says thoughtfully. "People complain about a lot of non competitive fights on ESPN but this will be a tremendous co-main event. I want to fight for a championship and by beating this prospect it will get me a step closer to that."

El Gato encourages fans to follow him at and for the latest Gato news and video footage.

Michael Faragon Joins The Empire!

Co-Founders Greg Cohen and Barry Honig of The Empire Sports and Entertainment proudly announce the signing of Schenectady, New York's Michael "Baby Face" Faragon (10-0, 4 KOs) to a promotional agreement.

For good reason, the undefeated 22-year-old Faragon has been called "the most promising young fighter to come out of the Capital Region in a long time."

Before his 10-fight winning streak as a professional, Faragon compiled and 85-15 amateur boxing record and won the state Golden Glove Championships twice, the Western Olympic trials and a junior national championship. He was also the number one ranked light welterweight in the United States in 2007.

"Michael is an exceptionally gifted young man with enormous talent and we're extremely pleased to be working with him," revealed Cohen. "He's a good looking kid with all the right tools to become a world champion."

Since making his pro debut in November 2007 on the undercard of Cotto vs. Mosely, Faragon has been extremely impressive while tearing through his first 10 professional opponents. He fights with power in either hand, but is best-known for his agility and poise, especially on the inside.

Faragon is managed by Stan Hoffman, who has guided the careers of over 31 world champions including The Empire's Hasim "The Rock" Rahman.

"With The Empire as his promoters and Stan Hoffman for his manager, Michael now has a team in place that will definitely give him a leg up on the competition," said Cohen. "He's a fan favorite in New York and that will quickly spread to the rest of the world, as we guide him to the top of boxing. We're looking forward to helping him build himself into one of The Empire's next generation of champions."

Boxing Royalty to Attend "Hassle at the Castle"

Very special professional boxing benefit gala to be held May 7 at Oheka Castle in Huntington, New York

On Friday, May 7, 2010, at the incredible Oheka Castle in Huntington, New York, X-Cel Worldwide and promoter Nick Garone, in Association with Film Producer John Edmonds Kozma his company Bang Productions and the legendary Lou Duva, are proud to present a star-studded professional boxing benefit gala honoring the Shea Megale Trust for SMA and the Elena Melius Foundation.

Much more than an ordinary night at the fights, "Hassle at the Castle" will feature six world-class professional boxing bouts, as well as countless celebrity guests, high-fashion models, and a special tribute to legendary trainer and manager Lou Duva.

In the main event, power punching two-time former Super Middleweight World Champion Byron "Gator" Mitchell (28-5-1, 21 KOs) will face "Next Great Champ" winner Otis "Triple OG" Griffin (21-6-2, 8 KOs) in a 12-round duel for the USBA Light Heavyweight Title.

In the main supporting bout, former #1 heavyweight contender "Big" Michael Grant will make his return to the ring. The towering 6' 7" Grant (45-3, 33 KOs) is undefeated since 2003 and was last seen scoring a unanimous 12-round decision over the respectable Paul Marinaccio at the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel.

Also scheduled for action are Maryland-based welterweight Emmanuel "Tranzformer" Taylor (6-0, 5 KOs), and Patterson, New Jersey's Elvin "KoKo" Sanchez (3-0, 3 KOs) and two more fights that are currently TBA.

The all-star celebrity guest list reads like a Hall of Fame induction ceremony directory and includes 1984 Olympic Boxing Team: Lou Duva, Evander "The Real Deal" Holyfield, Pernell "Sweat Pea" Whitaker, Tyrell Biggs, Mark Breland, Plus "Gentleman" Gerry Cooney, Burt Sugar, Emile Griffith, "Vicious" Vivian Harris and a Mystery Hall of Famer.

Between bouts, high-fashion models will showcase Carla's Closet Swimsuits, as seen in 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

Oheka Castle is the second largest residence in the United States and is an architectural wonder to behold in itself.

On fight night, doors will open at 6:30 pm. A VIP Meet & Greet will be held from 7:00 to 9:00 and the first bout starts at 7:45.

Tickets are priced at General $350 and VIP $500 and are available at or by calling 310.592.9134.

Open Bar and Hors D'oeuvres are included with ticket purchase.

Oheka Castle is located at 135 West Gate Drive in Huntington, New York. For more information, call 310.592.9134 or visit

Article posted on 28.03.2010

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