New York, July 31—Dino Duva’s cruiserweight champion Ola Afolabi, the NABO titlist, will make his long-awaited national television debut on Friday night, August 15, in an eight-round affair on ESPN2s Friday Night Fights from Ibiza Night Club in the nation’s capital, Washington, DC. The card will be presented by Duva Boxing and Major Boxing Promotions..
Afolabi will make his first appearance under the Duva banner. The main event will pit Anthony Thompson (23-2, 17 KO’s) of Philadelphia against local product Ishmail Arvin (14-1-4, 6 KO’s) of Baltimore, MD, in the IBO/USBO. Junior middleweight title bout, a 10-round contest.
Afolabi, like Duva Boxing stablemate WBC heavyweight champ Samuel Peter, is a native of Nigeria with a big knockout punch. Afolabi gives Duva a powerful punching duo in his stable of fighters. Duva continued to tap into the extraordinary Nigerian talent pool when he signed Afolabi on May 1.
Afolabi was born in Nigeria, but his parents moved to London, where the heavy-puncher was raised. He now lives in Los Angeles. The 28-year-old cruiserweight has a 12-1-3 ring record with 5 victories coming by way of knockout.
In his last fight in April, Afolabi destroyed one of the most tal ked-about prospects in the world, Eric Fields, to win the NABO Cruiserweight title. Despite taking the bout with only a month’s notice, and fighting for the first time in over two years, Afolabi scored a convincing triumph.
“The most amazing thing about him is that for a man of his obvious tremendous skills, he never had an amateur fight!” says Duva. “I’ve never seen a fighter with incredible skills despite having no amateur background. This is the most excited I’ve been about signing up a fighter since my last Nigerian signup, Sam Peter, and that was seven years ago.”
“It’s a delight to work with Major Promotions on an ESPN Friday Night Fights show of this caliber,” said Duva. “Both the fans in attendance at this unique venue, and the television audience will get a real charge out of this fight card.’
“Our mandate is to bring championship boxing back to dc in a monthly series, and our main event of Arvin and Thompson will give our fans an idea of what we plan to deliver. To start this series on ESPN in a co-promotion with Duva Boxing is one hell of a way to kick things off!,” said Rico Major, Major Boxing Promotions.
Jhonny Gonzalez Headlines TeleFutura “Solo Boxeo” Broadcast
Boxing’s back in Tucson in a big way. Desert Diamond Casino and Golden Boy Promotions are teaming up once again to bring the best in boxing to Southern Arizona. On Friday, August 1st, the gloves will be flying in a scheduled eight-fight event, featuring Nogales, Mexico’s David Lopez, former World Champion Jhonny Gonzalez and 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Yan Barthelemy.
Tickets for the exciting night of boxing are now on sale and range from $30 to $100 in advance. They can be purchased at any Ticketmaster location, by calling 520-321-1000, by contacting the Desert Diamond Casino Box Office, or by visiting www.desertdiamondcasino.com. Doors open at 4:00 PM with the first bout starting at approximately 4:30 PM. Jhonny Gonzalez and Yan Barthelemy will be featured in separate bouts on the TeleFutura “Solo Boxeo” broadcast starting at 5:00 PM PT.
In the evening’s televised main event, fan favorite and the pride of Nogales, David “The Destroyer” Lopez (35-12, 22 KOs), will take on Billy Lyell (16-5, 3 KOs) of Niles, Ohio. Lopez, who has been unstoppable during an extraordinary eleven-fight win streak, is looking for a world title shot, but will have to get past Lyell first in a 10 round middleweight war.
The televised co-main event of the evening features the return of former World Bantamweight Champion Jhonny Gonzalez (38-6, 32 KOs) to the Diamond Center. Gonzalez is on a four-fight win streak and is currently ranked fourth by the WBC, third by the WBA and sixth by the WBO. His most recent fight in Tucson was a ninth round TKO of Former World Champion Irene Pacheco at the Diamond Center in a defense of his WBO World Bantamweight title in March 2007. He will face New Jersey’s Leivi Brea (16-6-3, 8 KOs) in an eight-round featherweight bout.
The event will also feature unbeaten 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist, Yan Barthelemy (6-0), a 28-year-old, slick southpaw who defected from Cuba in 2006, began his pro career in April of 2007 and has since been tearing through the junior bantamweight division. His August 1st match will be his first bout under the Golden Boy Promotions banner. He will battle Ernie Marquez (6-4 3 KOs) of Fort Morgan, Colorado in a junior bantamweight six-round fight.
Also featured on the show will be Daniel Cervantes (10-0-1) from Oxnard against Lake Elsinore, California’s Mauricio Herrera (4-0, 2 KO’s) in a six round welterweight battle; Houston, Texas’ Elizar Renteria (7-0, 5 KO’s) facing Baladan Trevizo (5-16-7, 2 KO’s) from Rio Rico, Arizona in a four round junior lightweight war; Ashanti Jordan (4-0, 4 KO’s) of San Francisco, California taking on Long Beach, California native Ethan Cox (2-1, 1 KO) in a six round heavyweight fight; Hylon Williams (2-0, 1 KO) of Houston, Texas taking on San Antonio, Texas native Ramiro Torres (3-12-1, 2 KO’s) in a four round lightweight clash; and Houston’s Jermell Charlo (3-0, 2 KO’s) in a junior middleweight bout against an opponent to be determined.
Desert Diamond Casino on Pima Mine Road, Desert Diamond Casino♦Hotel on Nogales Highway, and the Golden Ha:san in Why, Arizona, are enterprises of the Tohono O’odham Nation. Further information can be found at www.desertdiamondcasino.com or by calling 866-DDC-WINS.