News: Griffin vs Thompson; Fonfara vs Cantrell; Mark “TNT” Tucker

An opponent has been chosen for former WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Montell Griffin's quest for his 50th victory. Fighting in the main event of Hitz Boxing's action-packed "Quest for 50" professional boxing event on May 29 at the "Venue" in the Horseshoe Casino, in Hammond, Indiana, Griffin (49-8, 30 KOs) will face capable former world title challenger Ross "The Boss" Thompson (27-14-2, 14 KOs)..

A seasoned veteran of the sport, Thompson says it makes no difference if Griffin handed Roy Jones Jr. his first loss or that he beat James Toney twice. He feels a mistake has been made in choosing him for the supposed 50th victim. "I've been in with the best in the world, so nothing can intimidate me. I know Montell's style. We're both slick fighters, but my quickness will be a little too much for him in the end."

The "Quest for 50" undercard is loaded with a long list of comebacking veterans and up-and-coming young contenders from the Chicago area.

Scheduled to appear in separate bouts are middleweight Henry "Western Warrior" Coyle (10-2, 9 KOs) from Chicago via Ireland. Coyle comes from a fighting family and was an All Army champ, who had over 300 amateur fights.

Also slated for battle are Chicago welterweight Achour Esho (7-0, 5 KOs); power punching Chicago-based cruiserweight and former UFC fighter Terry Martin (4-0, 4 KOs); Chicago middleweight Mike Kurzeja (3-0, 3 KOs); Chicago super middleweight Ninos Abraham (4-0, 1 KO) and Chicago light welterweight Russell Fiore (3-0, 3 KOs).

In addition, comebacking Chicago-based former bantamweight and featherweight contender John Lewus (23-4, 19 KOs) will have his second fight in 12 years; and Rafael Murphy, son of former cruiserweight contender Kenny Murphy and nephew of former IBF Cruiserweight Champion Leroy Murphy, will make his professional debut.

Hitz Boxing CEO Bobby Hitz says the high-class atmosphere and luxurious surroundings the Horseshoe has to offer make this show a Las Vegas-style night of boxing you don't have to get on a plane to enjoy. "This is the best place to see boxing in the area, bar none. The Horseshoe Casino has an intimate, comfortable venue with luxurious seats, a spectacular gaming area, free parking, exquisite food and all the amenities -- and we're 20 minutes from Downtown Chicago. Plus, we've got a full-night of world-class boxing to offer for reasonable ticket prices."

Thompson, who says he and Griffin are friends dating back to the amateurs, claims it will be nothing personal when he spoils Griffin's bid for a landmark victory. "It'll be no hard feelings," he laughs. "We'll go to dinner after the fight probably."

"Quest for 50" tickets are on sale now, starting at a fan appreciation price of $10, and are available at the "Venue" box office, and all Ticketmaster outlets.

For more event information, visit The Horseshoe Casino's event page online here or the Hitz Boxing Facebook page here.


CHICAGO, IL (April 21, 2010) Chicagoland fan favorite Andrzej “THE POLISH PRINCE” Fonfara will battle Roger “NEVER CAN TELL” Cantrell in a scheduled ten round light heavyweight battle on the off-TV portion of the huge SHOBOX broadcast tripleheader, THE NEW GENERATION OF SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHTS, on Friday April 30th at Chicago’s UIC Pavilion, it was announced today by Dominic Pesoli, President of 8 Count Productions.

The Fonfara/Cantrell showdown will be contested for the vacant WBC Youth World Light Heavyweight Title.

The 22 year old Fonfara, a native of Warsaw, Poland, now based in Chicago, sports a record of 13-2-0 (4KO’s) since turning professional four years ago. Highly popular in the huge Chicago Polish community, Fonfara started off his 2010 campaign in style with a fourth round knockout of Adan Leal at the UIC Pavilion in front of a massive, flag waiving contingent of fans.

Fighting out of Seattle, Washington, the 23 year Cantrell, 15-1-1 (8KO’s), has won three in a row, most recently winning a six round decision over veteran Rayco Saunders in Grand Ronde, Oregon. Cantrell’s only loss over his five year professional career was to current super middleweight world champion Andre Ward in November, 2007.

Said Pesoli, “Matching up Fonfara and Cantrell is a terrific addition to the SHOBOX tripleheader. With similar records and both of them known for their action packed fights, we’re sure to see a terrific battle over ten rounds.”

THE NEXT GENERATION OF SUPERMIDDLEWEIGHTS tripleheader is headlined by Chicago’s Donovan “DA BOMB” George taking on Ghanaian veteran Osumanu Adama. Also featured is Edwin “LA BOMBA” Rodriguez of Worcester, MA, battling St. Louis’ Kevin Engel.

Rounding out the SHOBOX broadcast is a ten round bout between Houston’s Marcus “TOO MUCH” Johnson and Derek “THE BLACK LION” Edwards.

Presented by DiBella Entertainment, Warriors Boxing and Chicago’s 8 Count Productions, advance tickets for THE NEXT GENERATION OF SUPERMIDDLEWEIGHTS, starting at $31, can be purchased through Ticketmaster (, phone 1-800-745-3000) and the 8 Count Productions Office, (312-226-5800). Doors on the evening of the event will open at 7:00pm with the first bell at 7:30pm.

THE NEXT GENERATION OF SUPERMIDDLEWEIGHTS will be broadcast on “SHOBOX, The New Generation” with a start time of 11PM ET, 10PM CST.

Additional bouts on the exciting undercard will be announced shortly.

The UIC Pavilion is located at 525 S. Racine, just one block south of the Eisenhower Expressway. For further information, please visit their website at The UIC Pavilion is now serving alcohol at all boxing events.


(New York, NY – April 22, 2010) DiBella Entertainment (“DBE”) made another significant addition to its stable, signing unbeaten light heavyweight prospect Mark “TNT” Tucker. Tucker, 22, fighting out of Eldersburg, Maryland has hit the ground running in his two year pro career, amassing a 13-0 record with 7 KOs.

Tucker had an impressive 2009, stepping in with and defeating numerous respected veterans the likes of former world title challengers Rubin “Hollywood” Williams and Ross “The Boss” Thompson. With DBE in his corner, Tucker has big plans for his career in 2010.

“I want to stay undefeated, get a bigger fan base, and appear on television more,” said Tucker, who has already made a habit of regularly selling out venues in Maryland. “I believe DBE can get me there.”

Tucker, who legally has “TNT” in his name, had a successful amateur run, compiling a 140-22 record under the watchful eye of his father/trainer Mark “Spirit Bear” Tucker, Sr.

Despite guiding his son to where he is now, the elder Mark, who remains on board as manager and head trainer, is comfortable handing the promotional reigns of his son’s career over to DBE.

“I’ve done all I can do for him,” said Tucker, Sr. “We’ve built him up with a fan base locally. Now it’s time for him to get national exposure and national TV fights and we believe Lou DiBella is the right man for the job.”

The DBE stable of unbeaten prospects is an impressive one, including heavyweight Tor Hamer, light heavyweight Isiah Thomas, super middleweights Marcus Johnson and Edwin Rodriguez, middleweights Aleem Whitfield and Willie Monroe, Jr., and super featherweight Luis Del Valle. Tucker adds another exciting young prospect to that list.

“Mark is only 22 years old; the sky is the limit in terms of what he can accomplish in a boxing ring,” said DiBella. “Mark, Jr. and his father have already gone through so much that a little adversity in the boxing ring won’t faze him at all. They have a remarkable story and I believe it will help guide them to a successful boxing career.”

The story DiBella alludes to involves “TNT” and “Spirit Bear” learning to survive living in the woods after their house burned down when the junior Mark was just a baby.

Three years back, Tucker’s career was almost permanently put on hold when he suffered third degree burns on his left arm, up to his left hand. A minor medical miracle, Mark was cleared to fight just four months later in a national amateur tournament and his since regained full strength in that left hand.

All adversity behind them the Tuckers are ready to move forward.

“I see myself becoming a world champion, and staying undefeated for a long time,” said “TNT,” “I wouldn’t mind being pound for pound one day.”

Article posted on 21.04.2010

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