With three successful title defenses on the year, WBA champion Danny “Baby Face Assassin” Roman has as good as case as anyone for the Boxing Writers Association of America “Fighter of the Year” award.
Roman, 28, began the year traveling to Japan to defend his 122-pound title against the No. 13 rated challenger and previously unbeaten Ryo Matsumoto. The Los Angeles-based Roman handled his first defense with aplomb, thoroughly outpointing the taller Matsumoto through 12-rounds (118-110, 119-109 twice).
After his win against Matsumoto, Roman talked unification, but that would seemingly have to wait until after his mandatory defense with top challenger Moises Flores in June. The fight, which was televised live on Showtime from the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys’ indoor practice facility, was another one-side affair with Roman controlling the fight from start to finish (120-108, 118-110, 116-112).
Roman’s next fight would be against the No. 4 ranked Gavin McDonnell in October from Chicago and streamed live on DAZN, the sports streaming giant that signed Roman to a long-term deal in July.
Roman battered and bruised McDonnell to the tune of a tenth round knockout. Roman again called for a unification fight against any of the other belt holders.
“It has been my intention to unify ever since I became world champion last year in September,” said Roman, who is promoted by long-time promoter Thompson Boxing and new partner Matchroom Boxing. “I don’t care who steps up to the challenge. I’ll fight any of them. I want all the belts.”
Banner Promotions has announced the signing of two-time Olympian and undefeated light heavyweight Kennedy Katende to a promotional contract.
Katende of Sweden was born in Uganda, and competed in the 2008 and 2016 Olympic Games.
Katende has an unblemished professional record of 4-0 with one knockout.
The 33 year-old began fighting at the age of 12 after his mother passed away.
“We moved to Sweden, and it was hard for me. I started to gain weight, and my father made me run to get back in shape. My older brother started boxing and I followed him to the gym. My father was hard on me to lose the weight, and I started to box, just so I wouldn’t have him yell at me while running,” said Katende.
Katende then had a very successful amateur career where he win approximately 175 of 200 bouts.
Katende qualified for the 2008 Olympics for his birthplace of Uganda, but lost to current IBF Light Heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev. Katende was the only fighter to go the distance with Beterbiev. Katende also participated in the 2016 games.
Katende fought in the World Series of Boxing where he had a record of 11-2.
Katende turned professional on November 26, 2016 with a four-round unanimous decision over Tracey Johnson. Katende has wins over undefeated Lyubomyr Pinchuk (4-0) and his last bout where he defeated hard punching Luther Smith (10-2) on April 21st in Brooklyn.
“I signed with Banner Promotions because I have heard good things. Artie Pelullo called me, and that meant a lot to me. I know Banner Promotions is a big promoter that has a lot of success with European boxers. I know Artie has heard a lot about me, and I know that he can get me to a world title. ”
“I have had tough fights. My last fight I took on two days notice. That shows that I am willing to fight anyone.”
Katende, who has been fighting at cruiserweight will campaign at light heavyweight.
When describing his style, Katende says he is really fast, and has good reflexes who likes to box from both the orthodox and southpaw stances.
The Articulate Katende is studying to become a Physical Education teacher in Sweden, and is a personal trainer.
Katende has one daughter and raises three more children with his girlfriend in Sweden.
Said Katende’s manager Pat Zagarino, “I view this as a great opportunity to manage a potential world champion. He will be a serious challenger to any of the existing world champions. He will not be a secret for very long. I am grateful for this unique opportunity with Banner Promotions. Banner Promotions has had great success with foreign fighters getting them world title opportunities.”
“We are excited to have Kennedy in the fold,” said Banner Promotions President, Artie Pelullo. “He is a very good prospect with a terrific pedigree. We look forward to getting him in the ring and have him in meaningful fights and eventually a world championship.”
Welterweight contender Dusty Harrison will return to the ring as he takes on battle-tested, James Winchester in the 10-round main event on Saturday, December 1st at The ESA- Entertainment and Sports Arena, (1100 Oak Drive, Washington, DC)
The card is promoted by Tricky Entertainment & DC Fightnight.
Harrison of Washington, D.C. has an undefeated mark of 30-0-1 with 15 knockouts.
Harrison, 24 years old was a decorated amateur who turned professional at the age of 17.
Harrison has racked up wins against Josh Torres (12-2-1), former world title challenger Michael Clark (44-11-1) & Tommy Rainone (22-5-1).
In his last bout, Harrison took a ten-round unanimous decision over Thomas LaManna (21-1) to capture the USBA Welterweight title on September 15, 2016 in Philadelphia.
Winchester has a record of 20-13 with eight knockouts.
Winchester of Reidsville, North Carolina is a 15 year professional who has a win over John Butler (23-3) and has taken on fighters such as Matt Korobov, Glen Tapia, Luis Arias, Terrell Gausha and his last bout when he went the distance with top-prospect Jaron Ennis on March 31, 2017 in Philadelphia.
A bevy of the finest fighters from the Beltway region will be on display such such welterweight Kareem Martin (10-2, 3 KOs), who will take part in the eight-round co-feature. Also appearing in an eight-round bout will be light heavyweight Alexander Johnson (16-4-1, 7 KOs)
Seeing action in six-round bouts will be cruiserweight Sam Crossed (7-0, 5 KOs) and pro debuting heavyweight George Harris.
Fighting in four-round bouts will be junior welterweight Antonio Magruder (5-0, 4 KOs); junior featherweight Jordan White (5-1, 4 KOs); junior welterweight Tyrek Irby (5-0, 2 KOs); super middleweight Genc Pllana (2-0, 1 KO) and pro debuting middleweight Tyrell Boyd.
Tricky Entertainment has been promoting music, entertainment and lifestyle events in D.C. for the past ten years, and is run by Erwin Pendergrast.
DCFightNight is run by Sean Magruder, and this will be his second boxing show in DC.
The Matchmaker is Chris Middendorf.
Ticket Prices begin at $45 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.