News: Keith Holmes; Hastings Bwalya; Herrera vs. Hinojosa

It has already been announced that former WBO world champion DeMarcus Corley will fight for the UBO World Light Welterweight title on May 29 in Washington D.C., and now Titanium Promotions reveals that one more local former world champion will attempt to lift a UBO belt on their big show promoted at the D.C. Armory..

Former two-time WBC champion of the world Keith Holmes, 41-5, 25 KOs, is back at his best weight after a stint at super middle and light heavyweight, and will be taking on an opponent to be confirmed for the vacant UBO International middleweight title.

Holmes won his first professional title in 1994 when he beat Andrew Council for the USBA light middleweight crown. Less than eighteen months later he won his first world championship, stopping reigning WBC middleweight champion Quincy Taylor in nine rounds at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

He made two convincing defences of that title, scoring inside-the-distance victories over Richie Woodhall and Paul Vaden, before travelling to France in May 1998 to take on Hacine Cherifi. Holmes knocked Cherifi down in the ninth round, but lost a close decision in the end. After two decisive victories in non-title fights, Holmes would get his revenge less than a year later when he stopped Cherifi in seven rounds at the MCI Center in hometown Washington D.C., to regain the world championship.

Five months later Holmes defended the WBC title in a rematch with Andrew Council, and as in their first meeting he won a clear unanimous decision. In his second defence of his second reign, Holmes stopped England’s Robert McCracken, before squaring off with IBF World Champion Bernard Hopkins at “The Mecca of Boxing”, Madison Square Garden in New York.

The legendary Hopkins beat Holmes on points, and the dethroned champion took a few years off from the ring before returning as a light middleweight in 2003. After a few significant victories over Jason Papillion and Kuvanych Toygonbayev, he lost a razor-thin decision to Roman Karmazin in a 2005 world-title-eliminator, side-tracking his goal of becoming a three-time world champion.

One fight in 2006 and one fight in 2007 was all it amounted to for Holmes, and in 2008 he didn’t fight at all. He returned in June 2009 with a decision over Willis Locket at the Washington Convention Center, and on May 29 he will be looking to make it two in a row in his hometown, and capture the UBO International title in the process.

Titanium Promotions will announce opponents for Holmes and DeMarcus Corley within the next few weeks.

The Empire Signs Undefeated Welterweight “Sting” Bwalya

“They’ve been talking about how good the kid was, but I never dreamed he was this good. His talent is something you have to see to believe.”

Greg Cohen (Founder and CEO) and Barry Honig (Chairman) of The Empire Sports and Entertainment have worked with an extensive list of boxing world champions. So when they say they’re “off the charts” excited about signing a young prospect, it’s not to be taken lightly.

24-year-old Hastings Bwalya, the undefeated welterweight they are referring to – the one currently generating heavyweight buzz all over West Coast boxing gyms – is a former Zambian Olympian who normally goes by the singular name of Sting.

“Barry and I were at Floyd Mayweather’s gym in Vegas to watch Floyd train for his upcoming fight with Shane Mosley,” recounts Cohen. “Floyd sparred with Sting and we watched Sting compete evenly with Mayweather in terms of speed, power and defense. He was exceptional at everything. If I didn’t see it with my own two eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it!”

Cohen says he was already familiar with Sting’s reputation, he is trained by Ibn Cason, brother of The Empire’s former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman, but had no idea just how special a prospect he was being offered until he witnessed it first-hand.

“I knew that Sting got (WBO Light Welterweight Champion) Timothy Bradley ready for his defense against Lamont Peterson and did really well, so I was aware of his growing reputation, but then I got to watch him against Floyd Mayweather and it was amazing. And this was not an out-of-shape Floyd Mayweather. We’re talking about Floyd in peak pre-fight physical condition. In fact, if anyone had a right to be tired that day, it was Sting. He’s a four-round fighter who had just driven three hours from San Diego to Vegas to spar. I saw him get out of the car, walk in to the gym to spar Floyd and he was in no way out of his league. This kid is in such tremendous shape, he runs 10 miles a day.”

Honig and Cohen knew what had to be done.

“We signed him. This kid is like Yuriorkis Gamboa. He doesn’t need 30 fights before he fights for the title. 15 to 20 and he’s ready. We’re going to keep this kid on one of the most aggressive schedules ever. The only thing stopping him now is inexperience.”

Bwalya is currently 2-0, 2 KOs in the professional ranks. As an amateur, he fought for his native land Zambia in the 2008 Summer Olympics and also won the 2007 All-Africa Games as a junior welterweight.

Thompson Boxing returns to the Doubletree on April 23rd

ORANGE, CA) April 5 – For ten years, Thompson Boxing Promotions has delivered the best fights and fighters to boxing fans throughout the Southern California area, developing world champions such as Timothy Bradley and Yonnhy Perez in the process.

On Friday, April 23rd, this tradition of excellence continues, as junior welterweight standouts Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera and Efren “Huracan” Hinojosa collide in the eight round main event of “Path to Glory” at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California.

Also in action will be top prospects Efrain Esquivas, Patrick Lopez, Abraham Lopez and Eric Garcia.

Tickets for “PATH TO GLORY”, priced at $75, $45, and $30, are available now and may be purchased by calling 714-935-0900.

Back in action for the first time since his controversial split decision defeat to former world champion Mike Anchondo last December, rising junior welterweight star Mauricio Herrera (13-1, 6 KOs) is vowing to take matters into his own hands from here on out. And after finishing four of his last six victories by knockout, it’s clear that the Riverside native has what it takes to bring his own judges to each fight.

With 30 wins and 15 years in the fight game, you will find few fighters more experienced at the world-class level than Efren Hinojosa (30-7-1, 17 KOs). And after being in with the likes of Ivan Robinson, Lamar Murphy, Robert Guerrero, and John Molina, Hinojosa has paid his dues, and is ready to show Mauricio Herrera just what it likes to square off with one of the sport’s true veterans.

2006 National Golden Gloves champion Efrain Esquivas (7-0, 5 KOs) has made a seamless transition to the pro ranks, winning all seven of his pro bouts. Currently riding a four fight knockout streak, the Carson native will look to build on his January win over Randy Arrellin at the Doubletree when he takes on an opponent to be announced in a six round super bantamweight matchup.

Venezuelan southpaw Patrick “El Elegante” Lopez (18-2, 11 KOs) returns to the ring on April 23rd, hoping to extend a three-fight winning streak that has seen him defeat Tyler Ziolkowski, Sergio Rivera, and John Brown in successive bouts. Now closing in on a world ranking in 2010, Lopez is ready for whoever dares to stand across the ring from him later this month.

10-0 with 8 knockouts as a pro, 22-year old featherweight prospect Abraham Lopez has turned plenty of heads in just two years as a pro. Making his fourth appearance at the Doubletree Hotel on April 23rd, Lopez will face an opponent to be determined in a six round bout.

Opening up the card will be a four round junior middleweight bout pitting Rancho Cucamonga’s Eric Garcia (4-1-1, 1 KO) against an opponent to be named shortly.

“Path to Glory” is presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions in association with Fox Sports en Español and brought to the boxing audience by Lucas Oil, is what drives you!

Bouts subject to change. Doors open at 6:30pm, and the first bell rings at 7:45pm. The Doubletree Hotel is located at 222 North Vineyard Avenue in Ontario. The hotel phone number is 909-937-0900.

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