Provodnikov vs. Popoca on Friday, Shiflett-Chisolm on Friday, Boxer Cestone Passes Unexpectedly

CHICAGO, IL (April 14, 2011) Undefeated junior welterweight prospect Ivan Popoca faces the biggest challenge of his career this Friday night, April 15th, facing off against Russia’s Ruslan Provodnikov in the ten round main event of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights from the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California.

Long a fan favorite in Chicago, fighting under the 8 Count Productions banner, the heavy handed Popoca has comprised a record of 15-0-1 with ten knockouts over the course of his five year career.

Having fought his last six fights at Chicago’s UIC Pavilion as part of the WINDY CITY FIGHT NIGHT series, Popoca has thrilled local fans with his devastating knockout power and aggressive style.

“Ivan’s one of the toughest fighters we’ve seen in Chicago in many years. He’s got very good boxing skills, but if a war is going to happen he’s the guy you want. With Provodnikov’s brawling style this has Fight of the Year candidate written all over it” said Dominic Pesoli, President of 8 Count Productions.

Last May, Popoca was involved in an ESPN Round of the Year candidate for his battle with Jose Luis Soto Karass. Although down hard in round four, Popoca picked himself off the mat and won the round, stopping Soto Karass in the following round.

In his last major bout, Provodnikov, 18-1-0 (12KO’s), lost a twelve round unanimous decision to Mauricio Herrera on January 7th in a bout which was broadcast on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights from Las Vegas.

Popoca won an eight round unanimous decision over Martin Tucker on November 19th, cutting off the ring and blasting away with heavy body shots throughout the fight.

Said Pesoli, “Here in Chicago, Ivan’s become almost a cult figure here. Fans can’t wait to see him in action. In his last fight against Tucker in November, the huge crowd was standing and screaming from the opening bell.”

“We sat down at the beginning of the year and he told me he wanted to fight the “big boys” at 140. He wanted Victor Ortiz, Danny Garcia, those types of world class talents. If he beats Provodnikov, he’ll get his chance at bigger fights so he knows this is his time to shine.”

“ESPN2’s got themselves a great fight this week In this case boxing fans, be happy because you got what you wished for.”

ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights has a starting time of 9pm EST, 8pm CST this week.

8 Count Productions, HOME OF THE BEST IN CHICAGO BOXING, was started by Dominic Pesoli in 1998 and has consistently presented the highest quality professional boxing events in Chicagoland.

Fighters currently under the 8 Count Productions banner include; super middleweight contender Donovan George, light heavyweight Andrzej Fonfara, junior welterweight prospects Ivan Popoca, Adrian Granados and Ramiro Carrillo along with welterweights Achour Esho and Jaime Herrera.


BALTIMORE, MD (April 14, 2011) Chris Middendorf and United Boxers have planned a sensational evening of professional boxing for this Friday night, April 15th at the Maryland Sportsplex in Millersville, Maryland, just outside of Baltimore.

Over a nine bout action packed card, the inaugural United Boxers Event features the finest in the talent rich Baltimore area.

Headlining the United Boxers Event will be Baltimore fan favorite Russell “The Hammer” Shiflett in a scheduled six round cruiserweight battle against Gainesville, Florida’s Willie Chisolm.

The undefeated Shiflett, 10-0-1 (5KO’s), returned to the ring in 2010 with three wins, most recently stopping veteran Ariel Espinal in the fourth round in Ranson, West Virginia.

Upset minded Chisolm is a veteran of the rugged Florida fight scene and brings a record of 6-10-0 (2KO’s) into battle.

Co-featured on Friday night is outstanding welterweight prospect Emmanuel “The Transformer” Taylor of Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland. Only 20 years old the welterweight has thrilled crowds along the East Coast with his devastating knockout victories.

Taylor, 10-0-0 (8KO's), will see action in a six round tilt against Chicago based warrior Guadalupe Diaz, 5-8-3 (1KO).

In a six round junior middleweight bout, Baltimore’s James “Keep em Sleepin” Stevenson, 13-0-0 (10KO’s) will face off against Jacksonville, Florida’s Jose Angel Roman, a veteran of 46 professional bouts.

Last starting on March 20, 2010, Stevenson sparkled in a ten round unanimous decision over George Rivera at the DuBurns Arena in Baltimore.

Super middleweight contender Jessie “The Beast” Nicklow, 20-2-3 (7KO’s) returns to the ring in a six round matchup against Hannibal, Missouri battler Steve “The Spoiler” Walker, 26-25-0 (18KO’s).

The 24 year old Nicklow battled twice in 2010, a ten round decision over Scott Sigmon on March 10th and a majority draw over ten rounds with cross-town rival Julius Kennedy on September 17th.

Also on Friday night, Baltimore based cruiserweight prospect “Slick” Nick Kisner will test “tough as nails” North Dakota native Leo Bercier.

Just twenty years old, the heavy handed Kisner has impressed Baltimore fight fans since turning professional fifteen months ago, comprising a record of 7-0-0 with five knockouts.

The vastly more experienced Bercier, holds a win over current WBF Cruiserweight Champion Andres Taylor, defeating him in 2009.

In a four round super middleweight bout, Washington D.C.’s Jarell Mason-Jackson, 8-5-1 (4KO’s) makes his return to the ring for the first time since November 2008 against Lumberton, South Carolina, native Michael Rayner, 6-16-0 (5KO’s).

Undefeated light heavyweight Dale “Hit Hard as Hell” Robeson-EL, 6-0-0 (4KO’s) will hit the ring in a scheduled four rounder against Tim Franklin, 1-1-0 (1KO).

Baltimore based junior middleweight newcomers will face off in a four round bout featuring Mischa ‘The Assassin” Christensen, 2-1-0 (1KO) challenging Stephen Franklin, 1-2-0 (1KO).

Rounding out the card, Baltimore’s Angelo “Seek and Destroy” Ward, 1-0-0, will battle Tevin Farmer, 0-1-0, in a four round junior lightweight bout.

The Maryland Sportsplex is located at 1031 Benfield Boulevard in Millersville, Maryland. For directions please visit their website at Doors open at 6:30pm with the first bell at 8pm.

Boxer Cestone Passes Unexpectedly

Bobby Hitz and the Hitz Boxing Family are sad to announce the loss of Chicago native and once-beaten 39-year-old cruiserweight Kevin Cestone, who passed away suddenly earlier this week. Cestone (5-1, 3 KOs), who returned to boxing last May after 10-year retirement, was in the process of transitioning into a trainer and starting his own boxing gym when tragedy struck. The cause of death is still unknown.

Cestone had worked as a stock trader in his native Chicago and was a father of three small children. He was a former five-time Golden Gloves Champion who went 67-4 as an amateur.

"I've known Kevin and his family since he was eight years old and this is a terrible tragedy," said a still shocked Hitz. "Kevin is a member of the Hitz Boxing family and he will be sorely missed."

Kevin Cestone's wake is scheduled for Friday, April 15 in Roselle, Illinois at Salernos (located at 450 Lake St) from 5 pm to 9 pm. Church Service will be held on Saturday.

Article posted on 14.04.2011

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