Al Bernstein will serve as analyst on the Saturday, April 2nd pay per view telecast of the WBO Light Flyweight Championship match between Giovani Segura and former champ Ivan Calderon. Benny Ricardo will be Al’s broadcast partner for the broadcast, which is distributed in the United States by Integrated Sports Media.
Segura and Calderon fought last October and Segura upset the then world champion. The 36 year old Calderon had been a world champ since 2003. Bernstein, who is celebrating his 30th anniversary as a sports broadcaster, said this rematch should be as exciting as their first match, which was one of the top contenders for fight of the year in 2010. “Calderon looked unbeatable for so many years,” Al said, “and so even as he hit his mid 30’s, it was hard to imagine Ivan losing. When Segura did it with a TKO, a rematch was inevitable and it’s a real treat for boxing fans.”
Bernstein said that Calderon, who has only 6 knockouts in his 34 wins must box effectively to avoid losing again to the relentless Segura, who has 22 stoppages in his 26 wins. “These two lefties create a fascinating match-up and adding spice to this is that it’s probably Segura’s last match at 108, and could be one of Calderon’s last major fights,” Al said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Al Bernstein has been selected to host the Boxing Writer’s Association annual awards dinner in Las Vegas on Friday May 6. The annual event honors boxers, trainers, promoters, managers and writers in various categories. It will be a busy weekend for Bernstein, who will be serving as analyst on the May 7th Showtime pay per view telecast of the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley match.
Boxing Channel will air the awards show at www.boxingchannel.com debuting on May 12th. Bernstein, the executive producer of Boxing Channel, said “ This is boxing’s version of the Academy Awards, and we are delighted to present this show to boxing fans around the world.”
Biosse remains humble despite spotlight
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (March 30, 2011) – Even with accolades and interview requests pouring in on a daily basis, Vladine Biosse – dubbed affectionately as “Mr. Providence” in his native Rhode Island – remains as humble as ever as he prepares for the second nationally-televised boxing match of his career Friday night at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn.
“I respect every fighter in the game,” said Biosse (10-0, 7 KOs), who will face Tim Connors (10-2, 7 KOs) of St. Louis in the 10-round super middleweight co-feature of ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” at the Fox Theater, “and this kid is right up there. He has a decent record. Like anyone else, he’s earned it. You can’t just pick up a record like that at the supermarket.
“At the end of the day, he’s just another guy I’ve got to face – another guy standing in the way of me reaching my ultimate goal of winning a world title.”
Biosse is aiming for his 11th victory in the co-feature of Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports’ “Coming Attractions” show Friday, April 1, 2011. “Hammerin’” Hank Lundy (19-0-1, 10 KOs) of Philadelphia will battle Patrick Lopez (20-3, 12 KOs) of Londonderry, N.H., for the vacant NABF lightweight title in the 12-round main event.
While Biosse remains respectful of Connors’ ability – Connors has a high knockout percentage and is also a former kickboxer – he still hasn’t lost the confident, brash exterior that has made him a household name throughout New England.
“I’ve got something in store for Tim Connors,” Biosse said. “Top-secret stuff. I can’t reveal it. You’ll just have to wait and see.”
Biosse has earned the right to talk a bit of trash now and then, even if he often refrains. With only 10 wins under his belt, Biosse is already making his second appearance on ESPN – the first being a unanimous decision win over Joey McCreedy last July – so having to perform in front of 42 million homes has done nothing to affect his psyche. To him, this is just another fight, even if the bright lights and worldwide viewing audience suggest otherwise.
“That really doesn’t matter to me,” Biosse said. “Being on TV is good, and I appreciate it because it allows so many different people that haven’t seen me or who are looking forward to seeing me again see what I’m made of and what I bring to the game of boxing, but at the same time, it doesn’t faze me.
“A lot of guys get psyched out or overly excited. To me, it’s just another step in the road of reaching that No. 1 spot – being at the top of the game, which I work for everyday.”
Biosse’s background as a Division I-AA college football player (defensive back and wide receiver) at the University of Rhode Island helps block any stage fight.
“I played in so many different stadiums through the years and was on a number of [TV] channels,” he said, “so it allows me a little experience and comfort to not get too worked up.”
The pedigree of training he receives on a daily basis helps, too. Biosse works with his head trainer, Orlondo Valles, and Peter Manfredo Sr., the father of former “The Contender” reality TV series star and current IBO middleweight world champion Peter Manfredo Jr., at Manfredo’s Gym in Pawtucket, R.I. There, Biosse spars with some of the best fighters in the world, not just New England, including former U.S. Olympian Demetrius Andrade, amateur standout Maurice Cole and undefeated light welterweight Danny O’Connor.
Working with O’Connor has been particularly helpful since he, too, is a southpaw, as is Connors. Biosse has been described as “awkward” by Valles because of his unpredictability fighting as a southpaw, and Biosse expects to see a similar look from Connors, which is why he’s spent time sparring O’Connor during camp.
“O’Connor is one of the most technical southpaws you can find in this sport,” Biosse said. “I’m fortunate that at my gym I have so many different styles of fighters. You’ve got coaches who are knowledgeable coaching southpaws and there’s just a ton of knowledge behind those walls. I get some good work over there.”
The key now is carrying all the tutelage into Friday’s fight and building off of his last win, a third-round knockout victory over Santiago Samaniego in February. Before then, Biosse hadn’t recorded a knockout since returning from a hand injury, but he had an extra incentive to finish off Samaniego.
“He [ticked] me off at the weigh-in!” Biosse said. “I had never fought that way before. I know it’s competition, but that fight was different. At the weigh-in, he didn’t make weight. On top of that, we’re trying to work it out and he started talking junk. I’m not a big trash-talker. I go in there and get it done. I said, ‘That’s enough talking.’ He called me out, and I didn’t appreciate it, so I took that fight personally.”
Chances are Connors won’t say anything inflammatory to rattle Biosse’s cage between now and Friday, but don’t expect anything less than another relentless effort from “Mr. Providence.” Every fight is a chance to move up the ladder, and another chance to keep learning in preparation for the next challenge.
“We’ve been working on some different crafts and different moves during this camp,” Biosse said. “I think I’ve found something different to get the job done. I’m still learning. I’m learning how to take shots and create shots. With every fight, there’s something new I learn, and it only gets better from here.”
The undercard of “Coming Attractions” features a special, super middleweight showdown between Elvin Ayala (21-5-9, 9 KOs) of New Haven, Conn., and Joe Gardner (7-1-1, 1 KO) of Woonsocket, R.I., in a six-round bout.
Undefeated middleweight Thomas Falowo (2-0, 2 KOs) of Pawtucket and super middleweight Greg McCoy (2-2-1, 1 KO), lightweight Christian Lao (0-0), welterweight Dominic DeSanto (5-0, 5 KOs) and middleweight Rick Dawson (2-0, 1 KO) of New Haven are fighting in separate, four-round bouts.
Tickets for “Coming Attractions”, priced at $40, $65 and $105, can be purchased by calling the Foxwoods box office at 800.200.2882, or online at www.foxwoods.com. For more information, visit www.cesboxing.com or www.foxwoods.com. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7.
Bobby Rooney – and Beetlejuice – Ready for Battle on April 2 at Bally’s Atlantic City!
ATLANTIC CITY (March 30, 2011) – When Bayonne, NJ’s favorite son Bobby Rooney Jr. returns to the ring for the first time in nearly two years against Walter Foster in a light-heavyweight bout this Saturday, April 2 at Bally’s Atlantic City, the loudest voice among his sizable cheering section will come from the smallest person.
Lester Green, better known to audiences as Beetlejuice, has been Rooney’s biggest supporter since he turned professional in 2003.
“Beetle is an adviser to some degree, as well as a motivator,” said the 11-3-1 (6 KO) Rooney, who also works as Beetle’s manager. “When someones calling you a dirtbag while you’re doing your running, it has to get you pumped.”
“He’s my brother and I help him whenever I can,” said Beetlejuice, who has risen to cult stardom through his appearances on the Howard Stern Show. “I want to be there with all the success. I’m 100% right behind him.”
Rooney’s bout with the 32-year-old Foster, 4-3-1 (4 KO), of Berkeley, Missouri is scheduled for six rounds and will be part of the Pound for Pound Promotions event headlined by undefeated NABF super middleweight champ Farah Ennis (17-0, 11 KO) of Philadelphia facing Alexander Johnson (10-0, 4 KO) of Oxon Hill, MD.
Rooney and Beetlejuice have been close friends ever since Rooney’s late brother Sean discovered Beetlejuice in a Jersey City bar and brought him to the attention of Howard Stern.
Together, Rooney and Beetle travel the country making appearances, which recently included Miami to film a movie called Girls Gone Dead, which starred Ron Jeremy and Jerry “The King” Lawler.
Rooney feels that his closest ally gives him an edge on fight night.
“I think it intimidates my opponents when they see him walking me to the ring,” said Rooney. “I know I’d be intimidated if I had someone fighting me with Beetlejuice walking him to the ring.
“He steals the spotlight from me, but it takes some of the pressure off of me, too.”
Aside from his own career, Rooney continues the tradition set by his father as he now runs the Bayonne Police Athletic League Gym where he originally started boxing. After Rooney Sr. retired from the gym in 2006, Rooney Jr. took over and the gym won back-to-back New Jersey Golden Gloves team championships in 2009 and 2010.
Rooney hopes to win a third consecutive team championship this year, having entered five boxers in this year’s tournament with all five making it to the finals, which are set for the middle of April.
“People always ask me if this is my final fight, but if I come out and say that then I might as well retire today,” said Rooney. “I still feel great because I’m not a drinker, never been into cigarettes or drugs. I don’t feel my age at all.”
The heavyweights will also be in the spotlight, as Damian Wills (29-2-1, 22 KO) of Los Angeles, CA faces Arron Lyons (12-9-1, 9 KO) of Las Cruces, NM and Amir Mansour (12-0, 9 KO) of Wilmington, DE faces “Hurricane” Hector Ferreyro (21-9-2, 12 KO) of Laredo, TX. Both matches are scheduled for eight rounds.
Former three time Daily News Golden Gloves champ and National Golden Gloves champ Steven Martinez (8-0, 7 KO) will also be in action in a four-round junior middleweight matchup against an opponent to be named later.
The rest of the card will be comprised of top young talent including bantamweight Victor “The Viper” Valenzuela (8-1,1 KO) of Passaic, NJ; lightweight Chris Green (4-2, 1 KO) of Asbury Park, NJ; junior-middleweight Thomas Lamanna (1-0, 1 KO); and light-heavyweight “The Bull” Anthony Caputo-Smith (9-0, 7 KO) of Kennett Square, PA.
Tickets, priced at $75 and $50, can be purchased at the Bally’s Atlantic City Box office, by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, calling Pound for Pound Promotions at 201-223-0155 or online at ticketmaster.com.