Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum and Todd duBoef announced the signing of Méxican-American amateur sensation JOSE RAMÍREZ to an exclusive long-term promotional agreement with Top Rank today. Ramírez, arguably the crown jewel of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, will make his professional debut, in a four-round lightweight bout, on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao – Juan Manuel Márquez 4 welterweight event, Saturday, December 8, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Pacquiao-Márquez 4 will be produced and distributed Live on HBO Pay-Per-View®, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
“I feel very blessed to have the team that I have around me and that Top Rank will make my team even stronger,” said Ramírez. “I feel I’m in great hands with Top Rank and they care about their fighters.”
“We are ecstatic to sign Jose Ramírez to a promotional contract,” said Arum, Top Rank’s founder and CEO. “We considered Jose to be the leading prospect among the fighters comprising the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team.”
“After structuring one of the most complex and detailed agreements, we are thrilled to include the premier 2012 U.S. Olympian to our Top Rank stable,” said duBoef, president of Top Rank. “We have followed Jose’s highly-decorated amateur career and look forward to paving and developing a path for his professional career.”
“I am excited about our relationship with Top Rank because they believe in Jose and they have faith that Jose will excel in the sport,” said Armando Mancinas, coach and co-manager of Ramírez. “Their history of developing fighters should prove beneficial for Team Ramírez.”
“After countless meetings, months of research and preparation it was decided that as Top Rank raised boxing’s superstars in the past that they are poised to do the same with the next generation of the sport’s elite,” said Rick Mirigian, Ramírez’s co-manager and deal agent. “The structure, stability, partnerships and experience To Rank has in place is second to none. They stepped up and showed they share the same belief in Ramírez as we do and historically they don’t just sign anyone as they deal in quality, not quantity. I look forward to working close with them to create the sport’s next superstar and usher in a new generation of boxing.”
Ramírez, 20, who began boxing when he was 8, and hails from Avenal, Calif., surpassed Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Shane Mosley to become USA Boxing’s all-time lightweight record holder. The No. 1-rated amateur lightweight in the U.S., Ramírez’s resume boasts 145 victories and 11 National titles. His trophy case glistens with gold including: U.S. Olympic Team Trials Champion (2012), National Champion (2010-2011), Junior Olympic National Champion (2010-2011) and USA Boxing National Champion (2011.)
“Jose’s fan-friendly style of fighting – always on the attack and throwing lots of punches – is a perfect fit for Top Rank,” said Hall of Fame matchmaker Bruce Trampler. “We have very high expectations for him.”
Barthelemy Homecoming vs. Usmanee to Headline Night of ESPN Boxing in Magic City
On Friday, January 4, 2013, Warriors Boxing and Bad Dog Productions in association with the Magic City Casino will proudly present the year’s debut broadcast of the popular professional boxing series ESPN’s Friday Night Fights (10 PM Eastern on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, online through WatchESPN.com, and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app.) live from Stage 305 in the Magic City Casino in Miami, Florida.
The 12-round super featherweight main event will feature towering Cuban dynamo Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy (17-0, 11 KOs), currently ranked #5 in the world by the IBF, who will look to continue his undefeated run against fellow undefeated prospect and Afghani-Canadian Arash Usmanee (20-0, 10 KOs), who is ranked #8 in the world by the WBA.
In the co-featured televised bout, a couple of tough junior middleweight contenders will tangle, when young Puerto Rican powerhouse Jonathan “Mantequilla” Gonzalez (15-0-1, 13 KOs) takes on highly regarded Philadelphian Derek “Pooh” Ennis (23-3-1, 13 KOs).
Cuban-born 26-year-old hometown favorite Barthelemy is one of three Barthelemy brothers who are now professional fighters. His younger brother Leduan (2-0, 2 KOs) and his older brother, 2004 Olympic Gold medalist Yan (12-3, 4 KOs), are both fighting in the Super Bantamweight division. Standing an imposing 5′ 11″ for a 130-lb fighter, Barthelemy’s size is a huge obstacle for opponents to overcome. In the biggest fight of his career last March in Las Vegas, and televised on ESPN, Barthelemy took a unanimous decision over formerly undefeated fellow prospect Hylon Williams, prevailing by scores of 80-72 and 79-73 twice.
30-year-old Arash Usmanee is a five-time national amateur champion in his adopted home of Canada. He was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and moved to the Canadian Province of Alberta when he was only three years old, after his father was killed in a bombing. World rated Usmanee has already won the NABA and WBC Continental Americas Championships as a professional. He has relocated his base of operations to Montreal, Quebec.
23-year-old Gonzalez is a former amateur standout and a 2008 Olympic representative for Puerto Rico. As a professional, the heavy-handed slugger has already won the NABO and WBA Fedelatin Junior Middleweight Championships. Identified as one of boxing’s hottest young prospects, and ranked #6 in the world by the WBA and #10 by the WBC, Gonzalez has continued doing well in the ring while stepping up the competition. In his last fight, the San Juan native fought to a disputable draw with recent world light middleweight champion Serhiy Dzinziruk (37-1-1). The fight was broadcast nationally on HBO and further established Gonzalez as a top 154-lb contender.
32-year-old Ennis won the USBA Light Middleweight Championship in 2009 with a furious 12-round decision over Nigerian Olympian Eromosele Albert. Ennis has collected three “Fight of the Year” accolades in the Philadelphia boxing scene, most notably his vanquishing of current IBF#1, Philly’s Gabe Rosado in a 12-round instant classic. With lightning-quick hands that crack like thunder, Ennis can be elusive, but has been known to win grueling brawls.
“We are really excited to start off our 16th season of Friday Night Fights on January 4 with a solid main event down in Miami, which will be a hub of excitement leading up to the BCS a few days later,” said Doug Loughrey, director of programming and acquisitions at ESPN.
“It is an honor to be putting on this year’s premier broadcast and, clearly, it’s a solid night of action-packed boxing between four world-class fighters hungry to step up to the next level. The Magic City Casino is a beautiful destination in Miami and we’re looking forward to putting on an unforgettable night of boxing,” said Leon Margules, President of Warriors Boxing.
“Magic City Casino is thrilled to be the host site for the season opening event of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. The new venue will be packed and the main event featuring two world ranked undefeated fighters is sure to be a battle to remember,” said Scott Savin, Chief Operating Officer of Magic City Casino.
“We are delighted to showcase “Kid Blast” in Miami once again and to inaugurate the first sporting event at the spectacular new venue at the Magic City Casino” said Richard Dobal, managing member of Bad Dog Productions.” Barthelemy has had success at their outdoor facility, but the new indoor arena is a sight to behold. Bad Dog and Warriors Boxing expect ‘Stage 305’ at the Magic City Casino to become the ‘Mecca for boxing’ in Miami.”
The undercard, which will be announced shortly, will feature several young local and international rising stars.
Tickets go on sale today and can be bought on the Magic City Casino website www.magiccitycasino.com as well as in person at the Magic City Players Club. They are priced at $100, $75, $50 and $35.
Doors open at 7:30 pm and the first bell is at 8:00.
HUGE BALTIMORE CROWD SEES TERRIFIC FIGHTS AT JONATHAN OGDEN FOUNDATION CHARITY EVENT
Cockeysville, MD (November 9, 2012) Thursday night, in front of a huge crowd that included Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, numerous members of the first place Baltimore Ravens football team and Hall of Famer Lenny Moore, The Jonathan Ogden Foundation held their 7th Annual “An Evening Ringside” Charity Event at the Martins Valley Mansion in Cockeysville, MD.
Presented by Chris Middendorf and UNITED BOXERS an action packed evening featured a number of excellent matchups.
In the main event of the evening, Baltimore fan favorite James “Keep Em Sleepin” Stevenson stayed perfect with a unanimous decision over Akron, Ohio native Damon Antoine by scores of 40 X 36 on all three scorecards in their welterweight tilt.
Stevenson, 18-0-0 (11KO’s), was able to control the action throughout the fight, consistently beating the game Antoine, 10-43-2 (5KO’s).
In the fight of the night and a clash that will be talked about for many years, Rolando “Ironman” Chinea of Lancaster, PA battled Brooklyn, New York’s Ian James in a four round lightweight war.
Fighting through a broken jaw suffered in the first round, Chinea, who had to spit blood out throughout the fight, fought back from an early deficit to earn a draw from the hard throwing James, particularly in the fourth round when he had the New Yorker badly hurt.
Scores at the end of the war that had the fans on their feet throughout were 38-37 for Chinea and 38-38 X 2, resulting in a majority draw. Chinea’s record now stands at 3-0-1 (2KO’s), while James moves to 2-4-1 (1KO).
In a special attraction women’s bout, Baltimore’s Tyrieshia “Baby Girl” Douglas won a four round unanimous decision over Sherine “Rosie” Thomas of Ottawa, Canada.
Douglas, 2-0-0 (1KO), was able to outbox and consistently hurt Thomas, 0-1-0, earning the decision by scores of 40 X 36 on all three scorecards.
Returning to the ring after a three-year layoff, Baltimore’s Raymond Elliott drilled Shane Reynolds of Cincinnati, Ohio, to the canvas twice in the opening round with huge right hands with the bout being stopped at 1:43 mark of the opening stanza.
With the win Elliott improves to 2-1-0 (1KO), while Reynolds, suffering his first loss, moves to 1-1-0.
In a very spirited ladies bout, pro debuting bantamweight Kelan Robey, of Lynchburg, VA took a four round split decision over Philadelphia, PA’s Unique Harris, 0-2-0. A very close fought match throughout, Robey was awarded a split decision by scores of 39-37 X 2, 37-39.
In the first bout of the night, Baltimore’s Dan Cannaday won a four round shutout unanimous decision over cross-town rival Lee Snow in the super middleweight division. With the win Cannaday stays undefeated with a record of 3-0-0 (1KO), while Snow fell 2-3-0 (2KO’s.
The next UNITED BOXERS event will take place on Saturday, DECEMBER 1 at the Winchester Sportsplex in Winchester, Viriginia.
UNITED BOXERS was founded in 2010 by Chris Middendorf. The goal of the company is to develop world-class professional fighters and promote them to the championship level. For further information or to be added to their mailing list, go to their website, UnitedBoxers.com.