ARENA-CEO Ahmet Öner confirms that two-times Olympic gold medallist Guillermo Rigondeaux has finally defected from Cuba, has arrived in Miami, Florida, and signed with ARENA Box-Promotion. “It’s true”, says Öner. “Our director of boxing operations in the USA, Luis DeCubas, has met Rigondeaux in Miami. Obviously, we are excited that this extraordinarily gifted athlete joins our team of Cuban world class boxers like Yuriorkis Gamboa, Erislandy Lara and Odlanier Solis. They will train together at our gym in Miami. We will announce everything else and answer questions on a press conference in Miami next week..”
O’Connor fighting on ESPN’s FNF Friday night in Hollywood, Florida
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (February 23, 2009) – In only his fourth professional fight, 2008 U.S. Olympic first alternate Danny O’Connor makes his national television debut Friday night in the opening bout on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights against light welterweight Jamar Saunders (2-1-1, 1 KO) at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
The 23-year-old O’Connor (3-0, 1 KO) is coming off of his best performance as a pro, winning a unanimous 4-round decision (40-46, 40-36, 40-34) January 30 against Greg Jimenez.
“I’m very excited to be fighting February 27th on national television,” O’Connor said between workouts. “All of my family and friends at home will be able to watch me fight on ESPN. For so many years some of my fans haven’t been able to watch my fights. This is a great opportunity for me to showcase my talent to so many people who’ve never seen me fight. I’m in my best shape, at the top of my game. I’ve trained hard and I’m coming to fight. I love fighting at the Hard Rock and it’s starting to feel like home.”
O’Connor, fighting out of Framingham (MA), won last year’s US Future Stars National Championship, in which he was named Most Outstanding Boxer, as well as the 2008 National Golden Gloves Tournament. Danny, who is promoted by Seminole Warriors Boxing, defeated 2008 Olympic Gold medalist Felix Diaz, of the Dominican Republic, as an amateur last May in a USA-Dominican Republic dual meet.
“We’re all very excited and can’t wait,” O’Connor’s co-manager and head trainer David Keefe remarked. “Showcasing Danny on national television has been in our plans since Day 1 and now it’s happening in only his fourth pro fight.”
O’Connor’s Hometown Fight Party
Many of O’Connor’s family members, friends and hometown fans will be watching his fight at Pepperoncini’s, 486 Concord Street in Framingham. The public is invited, starting at 7 PM/ET, and all of Pepperoncini’s televisions will be showing Danny’s fight live on ESPN2.
The New Erick “Dynamite” Vega Ready To Explode On Alfredo Escalara Jr!
Phoenix, AZ – Following his opening round loss on The Contender to Akinyemi “AK47” Laleye, Erick Vega 8-3-1 (6 KO’s) knew he needed to make changes in his arsenal.
“I was really down after the fight and realized in order to be at my best, I had to keep my cool and be smart in the ring”, said Vega who was extremely disappointed with his performance, which was aired on the Versus Network. “I have my trainers and coaches back with me (in Arizona) and they have helped me greatly since my last fight”, mentioned Vega who would like a return bout with Laleye.
Following his early and unexpected exit, Vega returned to the gym within a week and was excited for a new start. Vega, who is known for his heavy hands as his “Dynamite” billing best explains, went back to the basics of boxing.
“I am using my jab and boxing abilities more than ever”, said Vega who like Contender stablemate Felix Cora lost his day job in order to participate on the show. “I became too confident of my power and I went in there trying to knock everybody’s head off”.
This Wednesday, Vega will get his chance to show the world what type of fighter he really is. In his way is Alfredo Escalara Jr who boasts a record of 16-2-1 (11 KO’s) and is the son of a former world champion. The two will meet over six rounds during the Contender’s live finale. The fight will be staged at the Foxwoods Resort Casino, which is located in Mashantucket, Connecticut. Escalara, who was widely regarded as the most controversial fighter during the series, was on Vega’s radar from day one.
“Just like everybody else on the show, I couldn’t stand his attitude and wanted to fight him”, said Vega. “I got along with everybody and they were all respectful except for him. He is very cocky and thinks he is a top fighter but he is not. I can’t wait to shut Escalara up, hopefully for good this time!”
The Contender Finale will air live at 9 pm ET on the Versus Network. Fans can reach Erick as well as watch his highlight videos at DynamiteHands.Com.