HOBOKEN, N.J. (February 25, 2009) –The hype surrounding 22-year-old lightweight prospect Amir Khan may not be the same since his stunning first-round knockout loss to Breidis Prescott last September, but the 2004 Olympic silver medallist has the full confidence of his head trainer, Freddie Roach, as they prepare in Los Angeles for Khan’s showdown with multiple world champion “The Baby Faced Assassin” Marco Antonio Barrera, Saturday, March 14 at The M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, United Kingdom..
Integrated Sports is distributing three 12-round championship bouts featured on the “Khan-Barrera” pay-per-view card, presented by Frank Warren, in North America for live viewing at 4 PM/ET – 1 PM/PT on cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, TVN, DirecTV and Dish Network in the United States, as well as Viewer’s Choice and Bell TV in Canada, for a suggested retail price of only $24.95. Veteran blow-by-blow announcer Ian Darke and color analyst, former WBC lightweight champion Jim Watt, will be calling the action from ringside for Sky Box Office and Integrated Sports PPV.
Khan (19-1, 15 KOs), training at Roach’s famed Wild Card Gym, defends his WBA International lightweight title against seven-time world champion Barrera (65-6, 42 KOs) in the 12-round main event. The two other PPV fights will be former WBO cruiserweight title-holder Enzo Maccarinelli (29-2, 22 KOs) against NABO champ Ola “Kryptonite” Afolabi (13-1-3, 5 KOs) for the WBO cruiserweight championship, while WBO super middleweight champion Nicky “Cookie” Cook (29-1, 16 KOs) defends his title belt against undefeated No. 1 contender Roman “Rocky” Martinez (21-0-1, 12 KOs).
Khan, coming off of a win by second-round TKO of Oisin Fagan for the WBA International title last December, is rated No. 9 by the WBO and No. 13 by the IBF. Roach favourably compares his prospect, Khan, with his ace, pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao.
“Athleticism, speed…..everything,” Roach explained why he believes Amir will emerge victoriously. “Barrera’s best was at 122 and 126; Amir is a big 135-pounder. It’s the perfect time – 22-year-old kid against a 35-year-old veteran. We respect Barrera and there’s a lot we have to lookout from him. Barrera can set-up guys with his experience but we’ve really prepared for that.
“Amir reminds me a lot of Manny Pacquiao. They’re both very athletic and Amir is the only guy who can run with Manny. I remember Manny getting knocked out early in his career (by Rustico Torrecampo in 1996) and everybody writing him off. Amir came in on a bigger stage from the Olympics, but I believe he’ll rebound and become world champion. I brought Amir here (Wild Card) to camp to be with Manny and sparring together built Amir’s confidence. If he can do as well as he did with Manny, he can do as well against anybody. He just made a young man’s mistake against Prescott, going for the knockout, and he got caught. Anybody can get caught and Amir is perfecting his defense. He has come along well since his first fight (vs. Fagan) with me.”
Barrera, who has held world titles in three different weight classes during his 19-year pro career, holds wins against a Who’s Who of contemporary world champions and/or challengers such as Erik Morales (twice), Paulie Ayala, Prince Naseem Hamed, Kevin Kelly, Johnny Tapia, Robbie Peden, Mzonke Fana, and Rocky Juarez (twice).
WBO No. 1 rated Maccarinelli, ranked No. 6 by The Ring, defeated Mohamed Azzaoui, Wayne Braithwite, Bobby Gunn, Marcelo Fabian Dominguez and Mark Hobson (twice) during his WBO title reign (2006-2008). The WBO No. 2 rated London-born Afolabi, now living in California, captured the NABO crown last April, stopping previously unbeaten Eric Fields in the 10th round.
Cook won the WBO super featherweight title in his last fight, taking a 12-round unanimous decision from Alex Arthur (26-1) last September in The M.E.N. Arena. The former European champion is rated No. 6 by The Ring. Puerto Rican star on the rise, NABO super featherweight title-holder Martinez, in addition to being the WBC’s top contender, is also rated No. 4 by the WBA No. 9 by The Ring.
Integrated Sports: North America’s leading distributor of International Pay-Per-View and Closed Circuit sports events is Integrated Sports. Among the many events brought to North American viewers by Integrated Sports include World Championship boxing matches featuring Ricky Hatton, Christian Mijares, Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones, Jr., Nicolai Valuev and Ruslan Chagaev. In addition, Integrated Sports has distributed numerous International soccer matches showcasing teams like Club America of Mexico and the National Team of Argentina. For more information on upcoming Integrated Sports events visit www.integratedsportsnet.com.
Karo Murat vs Cristian Sanavia This Saturday
European super-middleweight champion Karo Murat will be hoping for history to repeat itself when he takes on former world champion Cristian Sanavia in Neubrandenburg on Saturday night. Ten months ago, the 25-year-old clinched a points victory over the experienced Italian to celebrate the biggest success of his career. Murat is now looking to do the same trick again as he prepares for the rematch. “A lot of things have changed in my life since I won the European title,” Murat stated.
“I am very proud to be the champion and I will do everything to defend the belt. I have beaten Sanavia once and I will beat him again.”However, coach Ulli Wegner expects a tough fight. “Sanavia is an excellent boxer,” he lauded. “He is very experienced and will be very determined to win back his title. But Karo has trained exceptionally well. He is in top shape and I am confident of success on Saturday night.”
Needless to say, Sanavia is eager to avenge last April´s defeat. “I had a bad night in the first meeting and did not perform well,” he said. “It will definitely be different this time.”
In the second German-Italian duel of the night, former European champion and world title challenger Sebastian Sylvester faces Gaetano Nespro for the IBF international middleweight title. “I only have the best memories of Neubrandenburg,” the Hurricane said. “I still get goose bumps when I think about my victory over Javier Castillejo (from last April). I hope I can deliver another great night of boxing.”
And his new coach Karsten Rower added: “When we first met I immediately knew that our cooperation would be successful. Sebastian is in great shape and he will perform well on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, Nespro is looking to make a lasting impression. “I am already the Italian champion,” he stated. “Now is the time to make even bigger fights.”
MANAGER OF WORLD CHAMPIONS CAMERON DUNKIN ENGAGED NUPTIALS TO TAKE PLACE IN COSTA RICA THIS FALL
Las Vegas, NV (February 25, 2009) Rumor has it that Cameron Dunkin, longtime manager of numerous boxing world champions, was recently engaged to 26 year old Emily Williams with the two planning to wed this Fall in Costa Rica.
The 52 year old Dunkin is celebrating this past Saturday’s return to the winner’s circle of middleweight world champion Kelly Pavlik in his victory over Marco Antonio Rubio as well as a terrific knockout win by very highly regarded middleweight prospect Matvey Korobov, both of which were viewed on the Top Rank produced Pay Per View “Two World Title Fights—One Night”.
Amongst his vast stable, Dunkin also manages featherweight world champion Steven Luevano and flyweight world champion Nonito Donaire..
Cameron Dunkin has managed numerous world champions over the last two decades and is recognized as one of the best managers in boxing.
In 2008, he was awarded the Boxing Writers Association of America’s prestigious Al Buck award for “Manager of the Year” as he guided three of his fighters to upset world title victories; middleweight Kelly Pavlik, featherweight Steven Luevano and flyweight Nonito Donaire.
Other fighters currently managed by Dunkin include highly regarded prospects James Kirkland, Mikey Garcia, Argenis Mendez, Terrence Crawford, Francisco Contreras and Bastie Samir.