News: Banks vs Gavern; Rahman vs Miller; Kim vs Diaz

NABF heavyweight champion Johnathon Banks makes his first title defense May 29 on the “Fists Of Steel” pay-per-view event, featuring WBC heavyweight title holder Vitali “Dr. Ironfist” Klitschko against challenger Albert “The Dragon” Sosnowski, live from the 61,000-seat Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Detroit punisher Banks (24-1, 17 KOs), ranked # 7 in the world by the WBC and #9 by the IBF, takes on veteran Jason “The Sensation” Gavern, rated in the top 15 of the WBC, in the 12-round co-feature..

“Fists Of Steel,” presented by K2 Promotions and Klitschko Management Group, is being distributed in North America by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 3 PM/ET – 12 PM/PT on both cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, DIRECTV, Avail-TVN and DISH Network in the United States, as well as Bell TV, Shaw PPV and Viewer’s Choice in Canada, for a suggested retail price of only $24.95.

A 3-time U.S. national amateur champion, Banks captured the NABF crown last March in what was voted NABF Fight of the Year, stopping Travis Walker (34-3-1) with a dramatic KO in the sixth round of their title fight in Germany. The former NABO and IBO cruiserweight champion, Banks has been the chief sparring partner for the Klitschko brothers for the last three years. He has now emerged in his own right as one of the top heavyweights in the world.

“We’re excited by the progress Johnathon has made in the heavyweight division,” said Tom Loeffer, managing director of K2 Promotions. “He was struggling to make weight as a cruiserweight when he lost to Adamek, but now he is much stronger as a heavyweight. By winning the NABF title the way he did, Johnathon has established himself as one of the top heavyweights in the world today.”

Gavern also won a title in his lasts fight, when he captured the WBC Caribbean Boxing Federation title with a win over Manuel Quezada. In what turned out to be the biggest win of his career, Gavern beat Quesada (29-4), rated #7 at the time by the WBC, by a 10-round decision to capture the title. The battle-tested Floridian has also defeated Cisse Salif, Jermell Barnes and Raphael Butler during his 7-year career.

In the 12-round main event, Sosnowski will attempt to upset Klitschko to become the first Polish heavyweight champion of the world against 3-time heavyweight champion Klitschko (39-2, 37 KOs), who returned to the ring after a 4-year retirement to regained his WBC championship belt by stopping Samuel Peter in 2008. He has since defended his title three times by stopping Juan Carlos Gomez and Chris Arreola, and winning every round against Kevin Johnson last December.

Sosnowski (45-2-1, 27 KOs), now fighting out of the United Kingdom, became the European champion by capturing the European Boxing Union heavyweight title in his last fight. He won a 12-round decision last December against Italian Olympian, Paolo Vidoz.

For more information about the Klitschko-Sosnowski PPV event go to

Rahman Charms Niagara Media

Former Heavyweight Champion Hasim "The Rock" Rahman (46-7-2, 37 KOs) kept a big group of assembled local media captivated today, during a press conference at the Niagara Falls Conference Center to announce Rahman's main event against Troy New York's Shannon Miller (16-4, 9 KOs) on June 19.

Never short of wit, when informed Miller couldn't attend because of his job as head of a security firm, Rahman quipped "That's ok. He's going to need security when I get through with him."

"The Rock Returns" is promoted by X-Cel Worldwide in association with The Empire Sports and Entertainment.

The conference was emceed by former #1 heavyweight contender "Baby" Joe Mesi. Also in attendance was Niagara Falls, New York mayor Paul Dyster.

Also slated for action on June 19 are undefeated former Canadian Olympian and recent X-Cel promotional signee Donald "Donnie Boy" Orr (15-0, 6 KOs) in an eight-round tilt, as well as sensational Zambian future star Hastings "Sting" Bwalya (2-0, 2 KOs); Buffalo, New York's superb, undefeated light heavyweight Lionel Thompson (2-0, 1 KO); and unbeaten heavyweight Johnnie Davis (1-0) in separate four-round bouts.

"We've teamed up with Greg Cohen and The Empire to put on this terrific night of boxing," revealed X-Cel Worldwide CEO and Founder Nick Garone. "The name Hasim Rahman speaks for itself. He scored the knockout of the decade over Lennox Lewis. We've got him taking on a tough guy from New York in the main and then five undefeated kids from nearby and all over the world on the undercard."

Single-handedly resurrecting a once-flagging local boxing scene, Garone has done five shows in the Buffalo/Niagara area in the last 18 months. "I love doing shows in this area because this area loves boxing!"

Tickets for "The Rock Returns" are available online at or by calling 716.278.2195. They are priced at $25 $45 and $65 for ringside, in advance. Special VIP seating is available by calling 631-878-1676. For more information, visit Doors open at 6:30 on fight night and the action starts at 7:30.


Cerveza Tecate invites fans 21 and older in Laredo, Texas to be part of this fight during the live taping of ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” on Friday, May 21. The event will be broadcast live on ESPNDeportes and ESPN2 as part of the cerveza con carácter’s support of the sport.

The main fight of the night will be between Korean Ji Hoon Kim 20 (KO 17) + lost 5 (KO 1) vs. Panamanian Ameth Diaz 27 (KO 19) + lost 9 (KO 6), in 12 rounds of lightweight power.

The live broadcast on ESPNDeportes, ESPN2 and starts at 10:00 p.m. CT/ 11:00 p.m. ET

Laredo Energy Arena
6700 Arena Blvd.
Laredo, TX 78041

Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster by calling to 1-800-745-3000 or by going to the website:

Prices range from $10.00 to $50.00

For the second consecutive season, Tecate, cerveza con carácter, is the leading sponsor of ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights”. Broadcast live on ESPN2, ESPNDeportes and every Friday from a different city, the program presents some of the sport’s rising stars and brings the passion of the sport straight to adult fans.

Article posted on 20.05.2010

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