ST. LOUIS (November 20, 2012) – The freakish physical attributes of North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Super Welterweight champion Willie “The Great” Nelson presents a clear and present danger, as well as a totally unique challenge, for World Boxing Council (WBC) 154-pound king Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (41-0, 30 KOs).
Nelson(19-1-1, 11 KOs), the top-ranked American in the World Boxing Council (WBC) ratings at No. 6, stands 6′ 4″ and has an 81″ reach. The 5′ 9″ Alvarez has never fought anybody even remotely close to Nelson’s size. In fact, in his six world title fights, the popular Mexican fighter’s opponents have averaged 5′ 9″ with a 70 3/4″ reach. The 5′ 11″ Kermit Cintron with his 74″ reach is the tallest and longest-reaching foe Alvarez has fought to date.
Rumble Time Promotions president Steve Smith, who co-promotes Nelson along with Lou DiBella (DiBella Entertainment), believes Nelson is ready to make some noise. “Willie’s willing to fight the top super welterweights in the world. He is done ruining the dreams of top prospects, as he did in his last two fights, and is ready to wake-up the boring 154-pound division. Willie can deliver to the networks what boxing fans really want to see – excitement and action! He can be a fresh face for the public to enjoy, replacing the same old faces of recycled fighters that fans are tired of watching. This is Willie Nelson’s time.”
Neither No. 1 ranked Erislandy Lara (17-1-2, 11 KOs) nor No. 2 Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan distinguished themselves as viable title contenders in their recent WBC title eliminator. The only thing more disappointing than it ending in a nine-round draw, due to a cut over Martirosyan’s left eyebrow, resulting from an accidental clash of heads, was their overall lack of action.
Lara and Martirosyan have been awarded a rematch by the WBC to determine its mandatory challenger for Alvarez,whohas been granted a voluntary defense option. Although Alvarez is reportedly eying a mega-fight in May against Floyd Mayweather Jr., Miguel Cotto or Sergio Martinez, if none of those fights are made, Nelson is ready, willing and able to accept that challenge.
“If ‘Canelo’ was going to fight the winner of Martirosyan and Lara,” Nelson’s head trainer Jack Lowe said, “hands down, Willie would give him a much better fight than either of those two guys. That fight was disgusting, the most boring title eliminator I’ve ever seen. Neither kid wanted it. They were fighting for a big payday and world title shot but neither of them wanted to really fight. ‘Canelo’ is the champ and I’ll give him his props, but Willie is next in line in the junior middleweight division. I’ve looked across the board, at all of the top boxing organizations, and there isn’t a world champion or top 5-fighter we wouldn’t fight right now. If not Alvarez, I’d like to see Willie in against Cotto, who has had his day, and I’d put him in against (Austin) Trout tonight. (Alfredo) Angulo, (James) Kirkland…those are the type of guys we’d like to fight.”
Nelson is coming off of impressive back-to-back victories by 10-round decisions over a pair of previously unbeaten prospects, two-time Cuban National champion Yudel Jhonson (12-1) on ShoBox, and WBC Youth champion John “Dah Rock” Jackson (13-1, 12 KOs), for the vacant NABF super welterweight title, on the September 15th Sergio Martinez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. HBO Pay-Per-View event.
The only fighters ranked ahead of Nelson in the WBC ratings, other than Lara and Martiosyan, are virtually unknowns in North America: 3. WBC Baltic champion Damion Jonack (34-0-1, 21 KOs), of Poland; 4. WBC International titlist Emanuele Della Rosa (30-1, 8 KOs), of Italy; No. 5 European and WBC Silver champ Sergey Rabchenko (21-0, 16 KOs), of Bellarussia.
Cleveland-native Nelson, who trains in Youngstown, Ohio with Loew, has a rich amateur pedigree having had nearly 250 matches, including title-winning performances in the PAL Nationals twice and Under-19 Tournament, and only 22 losses.
Because of his freakish size for a junior middleweight, Nelson has been favorably compared to a right-handed Paul Williams, or a young Tommy Hearns. Nelson may not be as famous as his singing namesake, but Alvarez has never fought anybody like him, and boxing fans most certainly would be entertained by their contrasting styles and divergent body stature.
“What’s very interesting is that ‘Canelo’ was supposed to fight Paul Williams (who was paralyzed in motorcycle accident),” Loew added. “So, it’s not like Alvarez won’t take a fight against a guy with Willie’s freakish stature. I thought Paul would have had an excellent shot of beating Alvarez, as long as he didn’t get hit by a shot over the top. ‘Canelo’ is improving each fight but I don’t think he is a superstar. If he’d fight Paul Williams with his style, why not give us a shot? If Willie had only 15-20 amateur fights, I wouldn’t say he’s ready for ‘Canelo’ right now, but Willie had more than 200 amateur fights and 21 in the pros. He’s ready for Alvarez and confident.”
Go online to www.RumbleTimePromotions.com for more information about Nelson or any of his Rumble Time Promotions stable-mates.
Jennings-Tupou, Adamek-Cunningham 2 tickets
In keeping with the Thanksgiving tradition of holiday sales, Main Events presents its own version of the annual pre-holiday sales extravaganza–”Black Eye Friday.”
Fans who purchase ringside or box seat tickets to any of Main Events’ next three upcoming NBC Fight Night events during this coming weekend will save 20% off the face value of the ticket. The sale begins on Black Friday, November 23 and ends at midnight Sunday, November 25.
This special, “Black Eye Friday” offer includes:
Jennings-Tupou: Ringside tickets for the December 8th NBC Sports Network event featuring America’s top up and coming heavyweight, Bryant Jennings vs. tough Tongan, Bowie Tupou at Temple University’s McGonigle Hall in Philadelphia. For three days only, beginning 10AM ET, Friday, November 23, ringside seats priced at $75 will be available at a 20% discount, for $60 per ticket, plus applicable taxes and fees. Fans can order by calling 215-704-6055 until 10PM ET Sunday, November 25th.
Adamek-Cunningham 2: While the ringside seats for the December 22nd rematch between heavyweight contenders Tomasz Adamek and Steve Cunningham at the Sands Event Center in Bethlehem, PA have already sold out, a limited number of box seats for the historic NBC afternoon show have been added to the manifest. Those seats–located directly across from the ring and featuring the option of food and beverage service are perfect for large groups, parties and those who simply wish to have an incredible view of the action. Priced at $130, the box seats will be available at a price of $105.00, plus Ticketmaster fees during the sale, beginning 10AM ET, Friday, November 23. Box seats can be purchased at this special rate through the website only through 10PM ET, Sunday, November 25th. Discount code is BLACKEYE. Ticketmaster link to 12/22 Adamek – Cunningham
Great Christmas Gift-Campillo-Kovalev: Finally, tickets to the highly anticipated showdown between former World Light Heavyweight Champion Gabriel Campillo and up and coming Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev make the perfect Holiday gift for boxing fans. On January 19th, 2013 the NBC Sports Network travels to the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CN. Beginning Friday, November 23 at 10AM ET, ringside seats, regularly priced at $125, will be available to fans at $101, plus Ticketmaster fees during the big “Black Eye Friday” sales event. To take advantage, log on to Ticketmaster link to 1/19 Campillo – Kovalev before 10PM ET, Sunday, November 25th. Internet only – discount code is BLACKEYE.
Biosse anticipates Nov. 29 return; eyes major prize on Rhode Island boxing landscape
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Nov. 20, 2012) – Having been out of the ring for nearly four months, Vladine Biosse is itching to show his loyal fans what he learned during his much-needed “vacation” when he returns Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 at Twin River Casino.
“You’re going to see a different Vladine Biosse,” promised the super middleweight prospect from Providence, R.I., appropriately nicknamed “Mr. Providence,” who will star in the six-round co-feature of the finale of Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports’ Thursday Night Fight Series next week.
Of course, the term “vacation” is used facetiously since Biosse (14-1-1, 7 KOs) never really left the gym this summer despite not having a fight to prepare for. Instead, he and his trainer, Orlondo Valles, headed back to the drawing board to figure out what Biosse could do better, even in the aftermath of his knockout win over Michael Walchuck on July 19 at Twin River.
“That time off wasn’t to rest. That time off was to learn,” Biosse said. “We feel like we’ve gotten to the level where we have to step up the competition even more, so we needed a little time away to try to put some things together – some different things we saw from previous fights we needed to fix.
“It was a good thing, but as much as I thought it was a good idea, I still missed being in the ring, so the time to rest is done. I’m ready now. I’m more prepared. I’ll be more relaxed and much stronger mentally when I’m in the ring. I feel great.”
There’s also the added bonus of fighting on the same card as Providence’s Peter Manfredo Jr., who will face Rayco Saunders in the main event next Thursday. Since his meteoric rise as one of New England’s top prospects, followed by a successful stint on the debut season of The Contender reality television series, which made him a household name worldwide, Manfredo Jr. has been Rhode Island’s most beloved fighter for the past decade.
With two nationally-televised wins already on his resume, a fan base that continues to grow with each fight, and an outgoing personality to match his ability in the ring, Biosse is right on his heels – perhaps the heir to Manfredo’s throne once “The Pride Of Providence” finally steps away from the ring.
Eight years ago, Vinny Paz, the former five-time world champion from Providence, passed the torch to Manfredo Jr., both figuratively and literally, shortly before Manfredo Jr. began his journey with The Contender. Could Biosse be next?
“That’s what I fight for,” he said. “I feel I have so much more to give in this game. Being the man Peter is and everything he’s accomplished in this sport, hopefully one day I’ll be the guy he turns to in order to pass it onto me.”
Until then, Biosse is just thrilled to share the same stage as a fighter he considers a close friend and a mentor.
“Peter is one of my favorites,” Biosse said. “When I was first starting straight out of college and learning to box, long before my first amateur fights, he was already a pro and the man on The Contender, and he was one of the guys always encouraging me. He’s such a great personality and a great person.
“He’d never tell anyone, ‘Hey, you’re too old,’ or, ‘You don’t have what it takes.’ He was always the guy who, despite the discouragement I’d get from others, would tell me, ‘Keep doing it. Keep pushing yourself.’ With a guy who is positive like that, you run out of words.”
Local fight fans have other ideas; many want to see that proverbial torch change hands in the ring. Biosse has heard all the rumors, and he remains focused on the task at hand, though he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of he and Manfredo Jr. facing one another if – somehow, some way – their paths crossed in the ring.
“There’s a time and place for everything,” Biosse said. “I will always respect Peter and have love for him whether we fight or not. When the time comes, it will come, but there will definitely be no animosity or hard feelings. The game is the game, and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. That’s part of being in this business.
“If that fight is ever offered to me I’d be honored just to get in the same ring with him.”
That “time and place” is nothing more than an illusion right now for both fighters. Manfredo Jr. is back after a one-year layoff with no plans of passing his torch just yet, while Biosse – despite everything he’s accomplished in just three years – is still climbing the ladder one step at a time. Neither fighter is looking past Nov. 29, especially Biosse, who is looking to shake off the rust and show off his new look for his hometown fans.
“I’ll be ready,” Biosse said. “My fans will get the best of me, as they always do.”
Tickets for Nov. 29 are $40.00, $60.00, $100.00 and $150.00 (VIP) and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at www.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com, at the Players Club booth at Twin River, or through any TicketMaster location. Doors open 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7.
The show also features a six-round super middleweight intrastate showdown between Alex Amparo (5-0, 3 KOs) of Providence and Joe Gardner (9-5-1, 1 KO) of Woonsocket. Female bantamweight Shelito Vincent (5-0) of Providence (New London, Conn.) will battle unbeaten Rosie Serine (2-0) of Ottawa, Canada; and Burlington, Vt. (Willimantic, Conn.), light heavyweight Kevin Cobbs (6-0, 2 KOs) will face Tylon Burris (3-0, 2 KOs) of Hartford, Conn. Springfield, Mass., light heavyweight Reinaldo Graceski (2-0), and middleweight Thomas Falowo (8-1, 6 KOs) of Pawtucket, R.I., will also be on the undercard in separate bouts. All bouts are subject to change.
(Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for “The Pride Is Back.” Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must enter through the West entrance.)