18.02.08 – By Andre Courtemanche: Leon Margules, Executive Director of Florida-based Warriors Boxing, will co-promote the “Double Main Event” ESPN2 broadcast from the Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, Louisiana on February 29 along with Keeppunching Entertainment and Holden Productions. Warriors Boxing has enjoyed some tremendous successes under the leadership of Margules with WBO Heavyweight Champion Sultan Ibragimov, former cruiserweight champion O’Neil Bell and light heavyweight top contender Glen Johnson among the elites in their stable..
The Louisiana promotion will feature Warriors fighter and IBF #1 super welterweight contender Sechew Powell (against Kansas City’s undefeated Kevin Finley), sharing main event status with super middleweight contender Allan Green.
What are your thoughts about the upcoming event you are co-promoting (with Keeppunching Entertainment and Holden Productions) at the Paragon in Louisiana?
It’s a beautiful place. It has around 3000 seats and it’s got risers and cushioned stadium seating. It’s a smaller version of the Hard Rock. Anytime you can open a new venue for boxing, I’m excited about it. Kerry (of Keeppunching) is a great guy. He knows how to promote. It’s an all-around good situation.
Isn’t it risky to put your guy, Sechew Powell, in the ring when he could potentially have some big fights in his near future?
I’m a promoter, so I don’t make the matchmaking decisions. Chico Rivas is a great matchmaker. Sechew is fighting Kevin Finley. Kevin is a tough guy. He just doesn’t have the same experience Sechew does. These are the types of guys Sechew has to beat. We want to keep him on TV. The Spinks fight (against Verno Phillips) was rescheduled twice already. He may not get the fight until nine months after Spinks’ fight with Verno — and Spinks then could ask for an exception. Sechew is the number one contender, but you can’t force a mandatory for a year. So, what’s he going to do? He has to stay busy and I want to keep him on TV and you have to take risks to be on TV.
What can we look for from Sechew that night?
He has to make people forget his fight against Ishe Smith, where he wasn’t impressive, that fight and the Kassim Ouma fight. He was spectacular against Terrence Cauthen. That’s what people are expecting of Sechew Powell. He says he’s completely rejuvenated with new management, new promoters, and a new trainer. So, that’s the Sechew Powell that people want to see. Now he has to prove to the boxing world, and especially to the pay networks, that he can fight with a more exciting style than what he’s shown them in the past. Sechew is a good kid.
Warriors Boxing has continued to climb as a promotional company under your leadership, what were some of the keys to that climb?
I work hard. I think that what turned the operation around was a couple things. I had credibility in the industry when I took over. Warriors has a solid financial base, so when a guy they knew started running things, they didn’t hesitate to bring their fighters. The day I took over, Sultan Ibragimov’s people wanted to come meet with me, same thing with Glen Johnson. Henry Foster came in to see me. They knew me as a lawyer in the industry but I didn’t have the financial level I have now with the tribe’s backing. So they felt it was a good fit for them. We won a few fights and I think a guy like Edison Miranda helped put us on the map. Juan Urango winning a title helped as well.
So, you’re leaving to go to another fight soon? (WBO Heavyweight Champion and Warriors’ fighter Sultan Ibragimov will face IBF Champion Wladimir Klitschko on February 23 in New York to unify the heavyweight titles).
Yes, we’ve got a little fight at the Garden.
What would it mean to Warriors Boxing to have a unified heavyweight champion in your stable?
I think it’d be good for boxing. I think Sultan would be good for boxing. The best fighters should fight the best fighters. Our sport needs that. Taylor/Pavlik, everybody is excited. Floyd Mayweather fought Oscar De la Hoya. Klitschko and Sultan are two guys willing to fight, two compelling guys who will fight each other. I think what it would mean to the company is that, historically, a universally recognized heavyweight champion is what drives the sport and until a couple years ago, all the PPV numbers were for heavyweight fights. Lately, there haven’t been any compelling heavyweight HBO fights to drive the boxing machine. A unified guy will change that. And obviously when you have the best heavyweight in the world, you have certain leverage in the industry.
Tickets are on sale now, priced at $100 Ringside (Limited Seating) and $40 (Reserved Stadium Seating) and can be obtained through www.ticketmaster.com or by calling the Paragon Casino Resort at 1.800.WIN.1.WIN. For more information on the upcoming show, go to www.keeppunching.com. To visit the fabulous Paragon Casino go to www.paragoncasinoresort.com.
Paragon Casino go to www.paragoncasinoresort.com.