30.03.05 – The Bey Brothers, Mickey Bey, Jr. and Cortez, natives of Cleveland and possessors of dominant amateur boxing careers, will make their professional debuts on April 29 at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University. Roy Jones, Jr.’s Square Ring, Inc will promote the evening of boxing.. In the main event, former champion Raul Frank will battle Fernando Hernandez for the vacant USBA Jr. Middleweight title. Also featured on the card will be local favorite and Women’s World Champion Vonda Ward.
The Bey brothers had dominant amateur careers winning championships at all levels. The twenty-one year old Mickey Bey, Jr. is a two-time National PAL Champion, 2002 National Golden Gloves and two-time US Jr. Olympic Champion. Cortez Bey, a year younger, was 2002 US Jr. Olympic Champion. History was made, however, at the finals of the 2003 National PAL Championships.
Throughout their amateur career, Cortez always boxed at one weight limit below Mickey, but he could no longer make the weight and in this tournament he boxed in the 125-pound weight class, where Mickey was ranked No. 1 nationally. Cortez fought and beat four of the top five rated US amateurs to get to the finals, including the 2003 National Champion. Mickey won his half of the bracket, making it the first time in the history of the P.A.L. Championships that brothers would be matched in the championship bout.
They would never fight though, as Cortez followed through on a pact he made with Mickey going in, “If I make the finals against Mickey, I will pull out.” Mickey, Jr. thus won the championship by walkover, and followed that up by winning the Olympic Trials and Olympic box-offs to be named to the 2004 US Olympic Team.
Cortez then moved up to 132-pounds in a last ditch effort to make the Olympic Team himself, but was denied one opportunity due to late entrance and another due to illness.
Raul Frank (26-4-1, 13 KOs) hails from Guyana and currently fights out of Brooklyn, NY. Frank, a former USBA champion has lost only once (Vernon Forrest L12) in his past fifteen bouts dating to 1995. The International Boxing Federation currently ranks him No. 11 in the junior middleweight weight class.
“Fearless” Fernando Hernandez (17-6-2, 7 KOs) fights out of Windy City Gym in Chicago, IL. He is a former kick boxer turned Golden Gloves Champion and began his professional career with twelve straight wins. After taking a few last minute fights in Europe and coming up on the short end, Fernando is back on track and has the opportunity to become a champion. In addition to his boxing career, Hernandez trains well-known celebrities and travels with them as a body guard..
Vonda Ward (19-1, 16 KOs) from Northfield, OH, is a former standout high school athlete, NCAA basketball star, member of the 1993 US Women’s National Basketball Team and played for the Colorado Xplosion of the American Basketball League. After retiring from basketball, Vonda was found in a gym hitting the heavy bag by a local boxing trainer. Her tools soon became refined and she became Women’s World Heavyweight Champion as a professional boxer.
Roy Jones, Jr., whose stellar amateur career culminated with being named 1988 Olympics Most Outstanding Boxer, won the Silver Medal at the 1988 games after being robbed of Gold, and burst onto the pro scene in 1989 at age 20. The self-managed and self-promoted Jones would go on to become world champion in four weight classes and become the first former middleweight champion to win the heavyweight crown in over 100 years. He will now use his unprecedented credentials to guide future world champions.