Helenius tops WBO Heavyweight Rankings; Trainer George Benton passes away

Robert Helenius (16-0, 11 KOs) is the new top-ranked challenger in the latest World Boxing Organization (WBO) Rankings. The Nordic Nightmare, who holds the WBA & WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Titles, most recently completed his KO hat-trick of former world champions. He has now knocked out Lamon Brewster, Samuel Peter and Siarhei Liakhovich.

“I am thrilled to be the top-ranked challenger with the WBO,” Helenius said. “That´s fantastic news and shows that my performances inside the ring have not gone unnoticed in the world of boxing. I am very ambitious and there is a lot more to come.”--

Hall Flags at Half-Staff for George Benton

CANASTOTA, NY - SEPTEMBER 19, 2011 - The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced its flags will fly at half-staff in memory of trainer George Benton. He passed away this morning at St. Joseph’s Hospital in North Philadelphia. He was 78.

Hall of Fame Trainer George Benton

Born May 15, 1933 in Philadelphia, Benton was a top rated middleweight from 1949 to1970 who was known for his classic boxing skills. He posted a 61-13-1 (36 KOs) record and holds wins over Holly Mims, Lester Felton Joey Giardello and Jimmy Ellis. Following his pro career, he turned his attention to training and became known as “The Professor.” He orchestrated the strategy of Leon Spinks' upset of Muhammad Ali and has imparted his boxing knowledge to such fighters as Evander Holyfield, Mike McCallum, Pernell Whitaker, Meldrick Taylor, Rocky Lockridge, Michael Moorer and Johnny Bumphus. For 17 years, Benton worked together with Lou Duva and Main Events as the head trainer for many of their fighters. In 1989 and 1990 he was awarded "Trainer of the Year" honors by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

“George Benton was one of the most knowledgeable teachers in the sport of boxing,” said Hall of Fame Executive Director Edward Brophy. “The Hall of Fame joins the boxing community in mourning his passing.”

In 2001, Benton was elected into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Real Steel at The Hard Rock!!

Hollywood, FL--What is the future of boxing? For years, self-professed prognosticators predicted its inevitable extinction due to avaricious promoters, self-involved fighters and corrupt sanctioning bodies.

Throw in the concussive effects of repetitive blunt force trauma and you could make a case for this point of view. However, what would happen if technology invaded the sport as it seems to have done with all other aspects of modern life?

That’s precisely the scenario for the upcoming Dream Works blockbuster film Real Steel, starring Hugh Jackman. Premiering October 7th, the film centers on the near-future world of robotic boxing, starring Jackman as a former boxer forced into premature retirement. Jackman’s character quickly adapts and gets into the promotional side of the sport, which recently replaced men with 9-ft tall 2000-lb humanoid robots in the ring.
In a case of art imitating life, promotional powerhouse Panther Promotions formed this year helmed by former fighters Harold Weston and Eliot Alvarado to bring local boxing to new heights of glory. Joined by fellow boxing insider Bennie Collins, Panther launched their first show at The Seminole Hard Rock last July. Judging from the heated competitiveness of the bouts, Panther’s stated goal to provide fans the best boxing entertainment for their dollar became real.

It gets more real this Friday from the Seminole Hard Rock Live as Panther presents their “Future Superstars” card headlined by an explosive 10-round main event featuring former NABA lightweight titlist Edner “Cherry Bomb” Cherry against former IBF super-featherweight champion Eric “Mighty Mouse” Aiken.

To help promote the event, Dreamworks approached Panther and offered to provide an actual 9-ft robotic “boxer” from the movie during Friday night’s fight and VIP reception at The Hard Rock Live. Fans will get a chance to view and interact with the powered pugilist all day Friday via computer console. As if that wasn’t enough, former 8-time world champion Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns will be on-hand to sign autographs during Thursday’s weigh-in and Friday’s live action while sharing stories from his days as “The Motor City Cobra.”

Fight fans will not want to miss this unique fusion of real-life boxing royalty and Hollywood innovation. One tagline from the film reads: “If you get one shot, make it real!” Will robots eventually participate as combatants within the squared circle? Who knows? But it’s blatantly obvious that Panther Promotions is taking a real shot at preserving the future of the sport.

Article posted on 19.09.2011

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