46-year-old Oliver McCall faces Mariusz Wach on November 5th
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Oct. 19th, 2011) – Even at age 46, Oliver McCall is as quick with his words as he is with his signature right hand, the same one he used to turn the heavyweight division on its ear in 1994 when he knocked out Lennox Lewis.
Article posted on 20.10.2011
Now the former world champion is gearing up for one last run at heavyweight supremacy, a journey that continues Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., when he faces undefeated Mariusz Wach (25-0, 13 KOs) for the World Boxing Council (WBC) International heavyweight title. The 12-round Wach-McCall showdown is the main event of Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports’ “November Reign” professional boxing event, presented in association with Global Boxing Promotions.
“Expect to see a new and improved Oliver McCall,” said the Chicago heavyweight, who is known primarily for beating Lewis in ‘94, in addition to a bizarre incident inside the ring three years later in the rematch and the legal troubles that followed.
With a new team behind him, McCall (56-11, 37 KOs) is ready to write a new chapter in his career, perhaps establishing his legacy as one of the most underrated – and, in some cases, underappreciated – American heavyweights of the Don King era, a stretch of dominance highlighted by the success of fellow countrymen Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe.
“America is looking for its next up-and-coming heavyweight. I want to show them we already have one,” McCall said. “I want to get that world title back.”
McCall’s second-round knockout over Lewis for the WBC world title in ‘94 reestablished America’s dominance in the heavyweight division. A year earlier, Lewis had become the first foreign-born heavyweight champion in WBC history. He held the belt for 16 months before losing to McCall at Wembley Stadium in London.
America did not reclaim the title until Tyson beat Frank Bruno in 1996, a short-lived stretch that ended when Lewis regained it the following year and subsequently held it for the majority of the next six years with the exception of the seven-month stretch in which Hasim Rahman held the title.
Lewis’ second stint as WBC champion ironically began in ’97 with a bizarre win over McCall in which McCall suffered what he described as a “breakdown” in the fifth round and began crying. Referee Mills Lane stopped the fight, awarding Lewis the victory by technical knockout. McCall remained successful in the ring, winning 13 of his next 14 fights, but his personal life spiraled out of control due to his problems with substance abuse.
McCall spent time at drug rehabilitation facilities to get his life back on track and eventually resurrected his career in 2007 when he beat Sinan Simal Sam for the WBC International title. On the cusp of earning another world title shot, McCall lost a close, unanimous decision to Juan Carlos Gomez in his next fight, costing McCall his spot as the WBC mandatory challenger.
At the time, it seemed as though the 42-year-old McCall had run out of ammunition, but he continued to chase the dream two years later after taking a break to rehabilitate a shoulder injury. His knockout win over John Hopoate in May of 2009 began a streak of three consecutive victories, culminating with a 10-round unanimous-decision win over veteran Lance Whitaker.
Once again, McCall finds himself on the brink of something major, knowing next month’s showdown against Wach could be his last shot at winning another title. Perhaps it’s only fitting that the man who’s never been knocked down in his professional or amateur career is still standing after all these years.
“I’m ready to show people I can still win a world title,” McCall said. “I love boxing. It’s part of my life. I’m real good at it, and I can still fight. I’m coming off a big win [over Damian Wills in August] and I’m looking forward to becoming an old heavyweight champion.
“I always knew I’d get another shot; it was just a matter of when. I’m definitely ready now.”
Facing Wach will be a tall task, both literally and figuratively. The 6-foot-7 Polish heavyweight is coming off a knockout win over Kevin McBride in July for the then-vacant WBC International title, but McCall, who stands in at 6-2, is no stranger to facing taller opponents.
“He reminds me of Henry Akinwande without the jab,” McCall said of the retired, 6-7 British heavyweight, whom he defeated via 10th-round knockout in 2001.
“He doesn’t have the ring generalship Henry fought with. I have the ring generalship and the experience. I’ve had a lot of tough fights against world champions. I have the will to win. I’m very sturdy and tough. The better shape he’s in, the better it’ll be for me, because he’ll take more chances underestimating me because of my age.
“I’ve had a lot of success fighting taller guys. I’m a pit bull in that ring, and I like to bring it to the fighter. You’re going to see a spectacular performance in November.”
“November Reign” will also feature a 10-round North American Boxing Federation (NABF) middleweight title bout between undefeated Patrick Majewski (17-0, 11 KOs) of Atlantic City, N.J., and Dionisio Miranda (21-7-2, 18 KOs) of Barranquilla, Colombia. Reigning WBC U.S. National Boxing Council (USNBC) middleweight champion Elvin Ayala (24-5-1, 11 KOs) of New Haven will face Miguel Hernandez (20-11, 10 KOs), a former contestant on Season 3 of “The Contender,” in a 10-round non-title bout.
The undercard also features a four-round super middleweight bout between New Haven’s Rick Dawson (4-0, 1 KO) and Borngod Washington (2-9) of Queens, N.Y., and a battle of unbeaten between New Haven’s Edwin Soto (7-0-1, 3 KOs) and Diego Pereira (6-0, 2 KOs) of Pawtucket, R.I., in a six-round bout. Junior featherweight Josh Crespo (0-0-1) will battle newcomer Nate Green of New Haven in a four-round bout. Super featherweight Kamil Laszczyk (4-0, 3 KOs) of North Bergen; cruiserweight Jose Torres (0-1) of Springfield, Mass.; and heavyweight Artur Szpilka (7-0, 5 KOs) of Wieliczka, Poland, will also be on the card in separate bouts. Junior welterweight Christian Lao (2-1, 1 KO) of New Haven will face Angel Chaves Fernandez (0-5) of Brockton, Mass., in a four-round bout.
Tickets for “November Reign” are on sale now at $40, $65 and $105 and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254 or Ticketmaster at 1.800.745.3000. Fans can also purchase tickets online at www.cesboxing.com, www.ticketmaster.com, or at the Mohegan Sun Box Office.
For more information on “November Reign,” visit www.cesboxing.com or www.mohegansun.com. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the first bout scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
COMPLETE UNDERCAD ANNOUNCED FOR "OCTOBERFIST: FIGHT NIGHT DONE RIGHT"
Mashantucket, CT/New York, NY - (10/19/2011) - This Friday, October 21, DiBella Entertainment will present "Octoberfist: Fight Night Done Right", an exciting nine-bout cardfrom the beautiful MGM Grand at Foxwoods. The event will be co-headlined by a sizzling super middleweight showdown between Edwin "La Bomba" Rodriguez (19-0, 14KO's) and Will "Power" Rosinsky (14-0, 8KO's), and rising junior welterweight contender Gabriel "Tito" Bracero (17-0, 3KO's) taking on Daniel Sostre (11-4-1, 4KO's) for the vacant NABF title. Both bouts are scheduled for 10 rounds and will be televised on ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME®at 11PM ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
The undercard portion of "Octoberfirst" will be televised as the latest edition of DiBella's "Broadway Boxing" series, and will feature a number of DBE's up-and-coming prospects including Danny O'Connor, Ryan Kielczewski, Dyah Davis, Luis Rosa, Badou Jack and Delen Parsley, all in separate bouts.
The 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Alternate O'Connor (15-1, 4KO's) will be taking on heavy-handed Bryan Abraham (5-7-2, 5KO's) in a six-round junior welterweight match-up. O'Connor, who originally hails from Framingham, MA, has been training in Houston with Rodriguez under the watchful eye of top trainer Ronnie Shields. Abraham will be no pushover as he holds knockout wins over three previously undefeated fighters.
Davis (19-2-1, 9KO's), the WBA #10 and WBC #10-ranked super middleweight, is scheduled to take on veteran Darnell Boone (19-17-3, 8KO's). Davis is coming off of his most impressive victory to date, a 10-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Marcus Johnson (20-0, 15KO's). Davis-Boone is scheduled for eight rounds.
The popular Quincy-native Kielczewski (11-0, 2KO's), who goes by the alias "The Polish Prince", will face off against Willie Villanueva (10-3, 2KO's) in an eight-round junior lightweight showdown. Kielczewski had a stellar amateur career, registering an outstanding 118-26 record, and winning gold medals at the 2007 and 2008 New England Golden Gloves Tournament, capturing the prestigious Outstanding Boxer Award in 2008. Ryan reached the semifinals of the 2008 National Golden Gloves Tournament before turning pro later that same year.
New Haven's Rosa (8-0, 5KO's) will be looking to stay undefeated when he takes on Harvey Murray (4-2-2, 1KO) in a six-round bantamweight contest. Rosa was another decorated amateur, a gold medal winner at the 2007 National PAL Championships, a silver medalist at the Ringside World Championships and U.S. Nationals, in addition to being a member of the 2009-2010 U.S. Boxing Team, which competed against teams from Great Britain and Italy.
The 2008 Olympian Jack (7-0, 6KO's) will look to make it seven straight stoppage victories in a row when he takes on dangerous Eddie Caminero (7-5, 7KO's) in a six round super middleweight match-up.
Also looking to stay unbeaten on the card are Brooklyn junior middleweights Parsley (5-0, 2KO's) and Frank Galarza (3-0, 1KO's). Parsley is set to take on Jevon Boisseau (3-5-1) over six scheduled rounds, while Galarza, a former NY Golden Gloves Champion, will square off against Daniel Lugo (1-1) in a four-round scheduled match-up.
"Octoberfist: Fight Night Done Right" is presented by DiBella Entertainment, The Breast Cancer Charities of America, P3R Publicity, Everlast and Corona. Tickets are priced at $125, $85 and $50, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.foxwoods.com or www.ticketmaster.com, and by calling (800) 200-2882. Doors open at 7PM, with the first bout scheduled for 8PM. Showtime will begin live coverage at 11PM ET.
EMANUEL STEWARD WILL LEAD SEMINAR FOR PUERTO RICAN TRAINERS AT THE 24TH WBO ANNUAL CONVENTION IN PUERTO RICO
World Boxing Organization (WBO) president Francisco "Paco" Valcarcel announced today that great trainer Emanuel Steward will lead a seminar to Puerto Rican trainers next Wednesday, October 26, as part of the 24th WBO Annual Convention to be held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Isla Verde, Carolina, Puerto Rico from October 24 to October 29.
“We will have, among the personalities, Emanuel Steward, who will lead a seminar to the Puerto Rican trainers in one of the many activities in this Annual Convention", Valcarcel said of Steward, who trained among others, former World Champions as Thomas Hearns, Oscar de la Hoya, Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield and more recently World Champion, Miguel Cotto. Steward train the WBO Heavyweight Super champion Wladimir Klitschko. Also, Steward is a TV Commentator for HBO.
The seminar will take place Wednesday, October 26, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel III, IV and V Salon at 1:00 p.m. All trainers who will participate in the seminar must keep their Trainer ID of the Puerto Rico Professional Boxing C omission or the Puerto Rican Amateur Boxing Federation.
Remember the 24th WBO Convention in Puerto Rico, October 24-29. For reservations at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, can call 1 787 253-1700 Ext. 4161, 1 800 241-3333 or a accessing http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/SanJuan/Default.htm.
More information at www.wbo-int.com (www.facebook.com/WorldBoxingOrganization).
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