News: Mike Lee Breaks Camp in Houston, Heads to Chicago; Spinks ready for Bundrage; More

HOUSTON, TX, May 25, 2010 — Former Notre Dame Boxing Captain and 2009 Chicago Golden Gloves Champion Mike Lee has wrapped up training in Houston, Texas and is headed to his highly anticipated pro debut this Saturday night, May 29th, at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. Lee’s four round light heavyweight bout against Emmitt Woods is one of the feature bouts at the Chicago debut of TOP RANK LIVE, presented by Top Rank Incorporated and Chicago’s 8 Count Productions..

The 22 year old Lee has been training with noted trainer Ronnie Shields since January in Houston.

“I am very excited to step into the ring for the first time as a professional fighter. It’s something I have been training extremely hard for and view it as my first important step in my goal of becoming a world champion,” said Lee, a graduate of Benet Academy in Lisle, Illinois.

“I am thrilled to make my professional debut in my home town of Chicago. As a fighter you perform your best in a comfortable environment and having my family, friends and fans there to support me means a lot to me.”

Trainer Shields has guided numerous world champions over the last twenty years including Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, Meldrick Taylor and Vernon Forrest.

Continued Lee, “Working with Ronnie Shields has been a life changing experience. His knowledge is deep and his love of the sport of boxing is admirable. I have learned things from him both in the ring and out of the ring that I will carry with me forever. He has made me a better fighter and I look forward to a long professional relationship with him.”

Lee signed with Top Rank Incorporated earlier this year and looks forward to pursuing his dream of becoming a world champion.

“I would like to thank Bob Arum and Top Rank for giving me this opportunity. As a fighter you want to surround yourself with the best and there is no doubt in my mind that I have done that.”

The main event at TOP RANK LIVE will feature an outstanding ten round welterweight showdown between Mexican veterans Jesus ‘Renuente’ Soto-Karass and Gabriel ‘EL Rey’ Martinez.

The undercard will feature Chicago’s Omar Henry, Ivan Popoca, Antonio Avila and Polish heavyweight prospect Krzystof Zimnoch.

Advance tickets for TOP RANK LIVE, presented by Top Rank Incorporated and Chicago’s 8 Count Productions, priced at $101, $51 and $31 are now on sale through Ticketmaster (, the UIC Pavilion Box Office (312-413-5740) and the 8 Count Productions’ Office (312-226-5800).

Doors on the evening of the event will open at 7pm with the first bell at 7:30pm. 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.

Spinks ready for Bundrage

Adding intrigue to Cory Spinks' defense of his International Boxing Federation junior middleweight crown in St. Louis on June 12 against IBF mandatory challenger Cornelius Bundrage is the fact that Bundrage will be trained for the first time by International Boxing Hall of Fame member Emanuel Steward while Spinks' new trainer is former two-time world champion James "Buddy" McGirt.

Maybe the most interesting fact of all is that the globe-trotting Steward-who may be best known now for his longtime role as a boxing analyst for HBO Sports-will be making his first visit to the Gateway City.

"Believe it or not, I've never stepped foot in the city other than making a connection at the airport," Steward said. "The closest I've ever been to St. Louis is drinking a Bud Light, my favorite beer. I'm looking forward to seeing the Gateway Arch, which is something I have always wanted to see."

Steward says the IBF No. 1-ranked Bundrage (29-4, 17 KOs), from Detroit, is younger than his 37 years would indicate due to his lack of an amateur boxing background.

"The bottom line is Cornelius learned how to fight as a professional," Steward said. "I don't think he ever participated in an amateur tournament. Like Larry Holmes and Bernard Hopkins before him, Cornelius has learned his craft while working professionally. This helps to explain some of his earlier losses against top-flight opposition, but what I've seen in the last two years tells me he's putting it all together now."

Steward points out that when K2 Promotions (who also promotes Steward-trained heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko) was looking for an opponent in 2008 to face then-undefeated (19-0, 16 KOs) 154-pounder Zaurbek Baysangurov, they picked Bundrage. After traveling to Germany on short notice, Bundrage shocked the Russian by stopping him in the fifth round.

"Cornelius has long arms, fights tall and can control a fight with his left hand," Steward noted. "Not only does he have skills, but he will come into the gym and box for 15 to 20 rounds, so he's in good shape too.

"If he can put pressure on Cory by focusing his energy and placing his punches-but not reckless pressure like just running in-he can win this fight. Speed slows with age and Cory was never a big puncher, so the opportunity is there for Cornelius, who I view as fresher in the ring at 37 than Cory is at 32."

Bundrage has always fought under Steward's famous Detroit boxing brand of the Kronk Gym but was trained by Steward's nephew, Javan Hill. Steward has acted as Bundrage's manager but will join Hill in the corner for the Spinks fight.

Steward has taken Bundrage with him to Tampa, Fla., where he is training alongside Steward's latest client, Miguel Cotto, who will face another 154-pound world champion, Yuri Foreman, on June 5 at Yankee Stadium. Steward would like nothing more than to pick up two world titles in one week.

Steward knows and admires Spinks and thinks he has made a good move by hiring McGirt as trainer.

"Buddy is a beautiful guy," Steward noted with enthusiasm. "You know who he reminds me of? He's just like Muhammad Ali's trainer, Angelo Dundee. Angelo and Buddy are two of the nicest people I have ever met.

"I told Angelo the other day that I was facing Buddy, and I told him Buddy's got his personality. Both guys never have a bad word to say about anyone and are very talented."

When told of Steward's kind words, McGirt said it didn't surprise him.

"There is a reason why Emanuel has been so successful, which goes beyond his undeniable talent as a trainer and manager," McGirt said. "Manny looks for the good in people, not the bad.

"Having said that, don't think for a moment this means he's not trying to out-train me or that he doesn't want Cornelius Bundrage to upset Cory Spinks in his hometown on June 12. You don't get where Manny's gotten in the sport of boxing by forgetting what your job is. The difference with Manny is he can do that and still have class. This is going to be an interesting chess match between Manny and me."

Both Steward and McGirt enjoyed success as boxers. In 1963, Steward won the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions in Chicago. While younger, McGirt became IBF junior welterweight champion in 1998 and World Boxing Council welterweight champion from 1991 to 1993. McGirt then followed in Steward's training footsteps, too, having trained notable world champions like Arturo Gatti, Antonio Tarver, Vernon Forrest, Tomasz Adamek, Lamon Brewster, Paulie Malignaggi and, now, Spinks.

"Manny's from the Old School," McGirt added. I've learned a lot from him and all the Old School trainers. They should be a guide for all the young guys that are into boxing."

With Spinks, McGirt believes he's got an edge in this fight.

"I keep saying that all I have to do with Cory is remind him of how great he is," McGirt said. "This guy has all the ability in the world, much of which comes from his family tree that includes his father, Leon (whom Steward managed at one time), and uncle, Michael, both former heavyweight world champions. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter who is training who. It's who has the better fighter and who wants it the most inside the ring. So far, I've won the first two."

Tickets priced at $28, $50, $87, and $200 are on sale now at, the Chaifetz Arena Box Office, MetroTix outlets at select Schnucks and Macy's stores, or charge by phone at (314) 534-1111. The event is being promoted by Don King Productions and will be the first world championship boxing match at Chaifetz Arena. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and a full undercard will be presented.

NYC’s longest Running Fight Series Presents The First Ever All Female Fight Card!

The Church Street Boxing Gym’s Friday Night Fights NYC Series brings New Yorkers the first ever All Female Fight card featuring top female athletes in Muay Thai Kick Boxing and Amateur Boxing.!

Whether or not you’re a fight fan, the Friday Night Fights NYC Series is known throughout NYC as the event to be at. And on Friday June 11thMay, The Show will feature more than a dozen Muay Thai and Boxing matches with the top female fighters from NYC and beyond. A portion of the proceeds will go to support the Lower East Side Girls Club.

While the fight game is generally considered a man’s domain, on Friday June 11th, these women will demonstrate that they indeed have the experience and skill level to merit their own show!

The popularity of Muay Thai has grown in recent years, especially in New York, where MMA is still illegal whereas Muay Thai is perfectly legal. Many industry insiders look forward to the June 11th event as an excellent opportunity for both die hard and casual fight fans to see what female fights are all about.

The Friday Night Fights NYC are the perfect combination of the old school New York club fight shows of the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s and the new genre of “hipsters and tastemakers”, those new enthusiasts to the sport – Urban professionals and trendsetters itching to get a taste of the old school club fights of yesteryear. Since the events began in 1997 the crowd just keeps on growing – what started as “under ground” fights for a couple of hundred people has grown into a real happening, consistently attracting sell out crowds!

THE RESULTS -- May 21 boxing at Cox Convention Center

It was an extraordinary night of boxing in OKC at the Cox Convention Center. As reported by the Oklahoman the following morning, Zuhdi and Fields "...were both impressive in winning separate bouts Friday night at the Cox Convention Center." "Spectators at the fights included OSU running back Kendall Hunter, former top 40 recording artist and Miss Oklahoma 1958 Anita Bryant, and former Oklahoma wrestling coach Stan Abel" (head coach 1974 OU National Championship Team), the Ardmorite.

Many who witnessed the fights Friday night believe that the fight card of Friday, May 21, 2010 could easily have been the best live fight card put on in Oklahoma since former World Heavyweight Champion Max Baer fought Jimmy Merriott in Oklahoma City on June 13, 1936.

Eric "Danger" Fields (15-1, 12 KOs) wins six round decision over Edward "The Iron Man" Gutierrez. Fields showed why he is ready for a world title fight against the tough Gutierrez, dominating Gutierrez every round. Guitierrez had fought David Tua and went the distance with Matt Godfrey, the current NABF Cruiserweight Title holder.

Noah Zuhdi (10-1, 10 KOs) knocks out rugged veteran John Temple of Monroe, Louisiana, in the third round of the scheduled six-rounder in the co-main event. Temple has been in with the best, beating highly regarded Tommy Parks, who had a record of 21 wins. Zuhdi and Temple had a fight reminiscent of the Gillette Friday Night Fights of yesteryear, what a fight!

Former Oklahoma City Blazers hockey player Ron Aubrey toppled Tahlequah's David Fuller in a heavyweight fight.

Pauls Valley's Gary Townsend KO'd Oklahoma City's Josh Stonebraker in round one in a slugfest.

In the first round, Chris Ledbetter took down Oklahoma City's game and tough Travis Hoffman in a light heavyweight duel. Hoffman has all the heart in the world and the fight was extremely close until the KO.

Please visit our web site (Event Page) for photos of the fights. And keep checking back for additional photos as they become available. Also, please keep checking our web site for upcoming boxing events.

Article posted on 26.05.2010

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