LOS ANGELES, April 29 – The boxing ring at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. will be rocking on Friday, May 6, as some of the fight game’s hardest hitters, including Librado Andrade, Aaron Pryor Jr., Enrique Ornelas, Deontay Wilder and Randy Caballero, return to action on a stacked card that kicks off May with a bang.
In the 10-round light heavyweight main event of the TeleFutura’s “Sólo Boxeo Tecate” broadcast, La Habra’s three-time world title challenger Librado Andrade (29-3, 22 KO’s) returns to the Southern California-area to battle talented Aaron Pryor Jr. (15-3, 11 KO’s) of Cincinnati. Pryor’s father, the legendary Aaron Pryor Sr., will be in attendance cheering on his son.
Andrade’s brother and ultra-exciting contender Enrique Ornelas (30-7, 20 KO’s) will also get a hometown welcome when he squares off with Mexicali’s Hector Hernandez (10-3-2, 4 KO’s) in an eight round light heavyweight bout.
A six round featherweight bout will see Coachella rising star Randy Caballero (9-0, 5 KO’s) taking on Miami’s Francis Ruiz (9-4, 4 KO’s). Plus, top heavyweight prospect and 2008 U.S. Olympic Bronze Medalist Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (15-0, 15 KO’s) of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, plans on keeping his amazing knockout streak intact when he faces New York’s Regino Pena (6-6, 1 KO) in a six round battle.
In undercard action, a host of Coachella Valley-area natives will be looking to please their hometown fight fans, with Indio’s own Alfredo Madrigal (1-0) taking on debuting Palm Springs native Mario Villareal in a four round junior featherweight bout and Palm Springs’ Hugo Ramos (3-8-2, 1 KO) squaring off against San Bernardino’s Juan Sandoval (2-6-1, 2 KO’s) in a four round featherweight fight.
Andrade vs. Pryor Jr. is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with DiBella Entertainment and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate and DeWalt Tools. Doors open at 6:00pm PT on fight night and the first bell rings at 7:00pm PT. The TeleFutura broadcast begins at 11:30pm ET / PT (10:30pm CT).
Tickets, priced at $25, $35 and $45 are on sale now and available for purchase at the Fantasy Springs Box Office, by calling (800) 827-2946 or online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com.
Former World Champion “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas will be in attendance at the fights and will host a pre-fight poolside party at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino sponsored by Cerveza Tecate which is open to the public from 4:00pm to 6:00pm.
Fans at home can also be part of the action by participating in Cinturón Tecate and voting for the fighter in the main event who displayed the most character in the ring by sending a text message to 55333. Voting will be open through the end of the weekend.
Vazquez’s stock continues to rise
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (April 29, 2011) – Scott Pemberton knows a thing or two about growing up as a highly-touted boxing prospect in the Whaling City of New Bedford, Mass.
Over the course of 12 years, “The Sandman” won 29 fights – 24 by knockout – and was a two-time North American Boxing Federation (NABF) and former North American Boxing Organization (NABO) and International Boxing Union (IBU) champion while challenging for a world title in the super middleweight division.
Now he’s ready to pass the torch to Johnathan Vazquez, a hard-hitting 24-year-old light welterweight prospect with three first-round knockouts on his resume who is currently carrying New Bedford’s title hopes on his broad shoulders.
“Johnathan is the most talented fighter to come out of this area in the last 10 years,” Pemberton said. “He’s tall, rangy – fundamentally, he’s a good fighter. He’s got power and speed. What else can you say? If he keeps his head on straight, the sky’s the limit.”
The only problem – albeit, a high-class problem – is Vazquez’s lack of experience due to the fact he’s knocked out each of his first three professional opponents in the opening round, but he’ll step back into the ring Friday, May 6th, 2011 on the undercard of Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports’ “Champion Breed” show at the Foxwood Resort Casino’s Fox Theater in Mashantucket, Conn., looking to keep his perfect record intact.
Vazquez’s fight on May 6th will be his first since Nov. 12, 2010, a layoff that has continued to grow following the cancellation of an April 16th bout scheduled for the undercard of Andre Berto’s title fight against Victor Ortiz at Foxwoods. Though he hasn’t been in the ring, Vazquez has remained in the gym with his trainer, Libby Meideros, and is arguably in the best shape of his life with next month’s bout looming on the horizon. Medeiros has been training Vazquez since his debut in June and has noticed a major improvement in his work ethic.
“All he needed was someone to stay on him. That’s why he’s a better pro than an amateur,” Medeiros said of Vazquez, who won four Southern New England Golden Gloves titles as an amateur. “Back then, he only trained one or two days a week. Now he goes through all the strength work with ropes and chains and he’s getting himself much stronger.
“On days he doesn’t box, he runs, and that’s something he never did before, either. He’s right on track as long as we continue to keep him busy.”
Staying active hasn’t been a problem for Vazquez, who spars at least six rounds per training session and has continued to work with limited days off despite the cancellation of his scheduled bout in April, so the possibility of fighting beyond the opening round for the first time in his career is a challenge he welcomes, not something he shies away from.
“I could go six [rounds] if I had to,” Vazquez said. “Sometimes I’ll spar an additional seventh round if I’m tired, just so I can push myself. I spar people bigger than me and hurt people bigger than me. I also get hit by people bigger than me, but I keep going. That makes me feel good knowing I can hurt a person bigger than me.”
While Vazquez has all the tools to succeed at the next level, Medeiros still needs evidence of his young protégé’s progress before he can make any predictions. A challenging fight on May 6th that lasts beyond the opening round would go a long way toward validating Medeiros’ confidence in Vazquez’s potential.
“Personally, I don’t like one-round knockouts because we don’t know how far along he is,” Medeiros said. “We only know what he has in the gym, so we need more rounds in the ring. One round doesn’t tell me much other than that he’s in good shape for one round. I need to see what will happen when he meets a real tough opponent or when his back is against the wall.
“If he stays on this pace and we can get him enough bouts, he’ll go a long way in this division. All we need to do is keep him in the gym and keep him busy.”
The conditioning is the key, which, by all accounts, is not a problem for Vazquez.
“You can be a great fighter, but if you don’t have the right conditioning you’ll lose it. I don’t believe I was a better fighter than Omar Sheika,” said Pemberton in reference to the former world-title challenger, whom he fought twice in epic bouts at Foxwoods in 2003 and 2004, “but I was in better shape than he was.”
Vazquez has high hopes in this sport and could one day be the next great fighter to emerge from New Bedford, joining household names such as Pemberton, Jason “Schoolboy” Pires and Paul Poirier, who rose to fame in 1993 when he returned to boxing following a 15-year layoff and fought three-time world champion Larry Holmes.
For now, his short-term goal is to get back in the ring following a frustrating stretch of inactivity, and – more importantly – get past the opening round.
“Hopefully, I’ll win a world title someday,” Vazquez said. “If I stick with it and keep training hard, I’ll make it.”
Super middleweight Vladine Biosse (11-0, 6 KOs) will star in the main event against former Russian kickboxing champion Denis Grachev (9-0, 5 KOs) of San Diego; and New Haven, Conn., super middleweight Elvin Ayala (22-5, 10 KOs) will face George Armenta (13-6, 11 KOs) of Silver Spring, Md., in the co-feature.
The undercard of “Champion Breed” stars New Haven lightweight Christian Lao (1-0, 1 KO) facing Barrington Douse of Springfield, Mass., in Douse’s professional debut; and unbeaten middleweight Thomas Falowo (2-0, 2 KOs) of Pawtucket, R.I., taking on Cincinnati’s Zach Thomas (1-3).
Former NFL defensive lineman Jevon Langford (6-0, 6 KOs), who played six seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, will make his long-awaited return to the heavyweight division in a four-round bout against veteran Tobias Rice (2-3, 2 KOs) of Macon, Ga.
New Haven middleweight Rick Dawson (3-0, 1 KO) will take on Odias Dumezil (3-5, 1 KO) of Winter Haven, Fla., who now trains at 401 Boxing in East Providence, R.I., and Providence cruiserweight Maurice Cole will make his debut against newcomer Shawn Brooks of Tomson, Ga., in separate four-round bouts.
Tickets for “Champion Breed”, 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 6:30 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7:30.
A NIGHT OF THE UNBEATEN STARS…SHARIF BOGERE, SETH MITCHELL & GARY RUSSELL JR. FEATURED ON MAY 13 SHOBOX EVENT FROM PRIMM, NEVADA
LOS ANGELES, April 29 – The May 13th edition of the hit SHOWTIME series, ShoBox: The New Generation will feature some of boxing’s top unbeaten stars as they risk their “0’s” on a stacked card led by 19-0 Sharif “The Lion” Bogere, 21-0-1 Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell and 15-0 Gary Russell Jr. The action-packed “Night of Unbeaten Stars” featuring these three of ESPN.com’s top prospects to watch for 2011 will take place from Buffalo Bill’s Star of the Desert Arena in Primm, Nevada.
In the main event, Las Vegas prospect Bogere takes on Hollywood’s “Sugar” Raymundo Beltran in a 10-round battle for the vacant NABO lightweight title. The stacked ShoBox broadcast will also feature Mitchell in a ten round heavyweight battle against Evans “The Sandman” Quinn and Russell Jr. in an eight round featherweight fight against Dat Nguyen.
This cardis presented by Golden Boy Promotions and is sponsored by Corona and DeWalt Tools. Doors open at 5:30pm PT, the first bell rings at 6:30pm PT and the ShoBox broadcast begins at 11:05pm ET / PT.
Tickets, priced at $50 (Floor) and $20 (General Admission), go on sale tomorrow, Saturday, April 30 at 12:00pm PT and will be available for purchase at the Star of the Desert Arena Box Office or online at www.primmvalleyresorts.com. Tickets will also be available through Ticketmaster by calling (800) 745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
Uganda-born Sharif Bogere (19-0, 12 KO’s) has been on a fast track to a world title shot at lightweight, and a win over Beltran will move him even closer to his goal. A five-time African champion who now lives and trains in Las Vegas, the 22-year-old is coming off of one of the biggest wins of his career in March, when he knocked out veteran Shamir Reyes in the first round. It was his 10th knockout in two rounds or less and he’s hungry for more early success.
An 11-year professional from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, Raymundo Beltran Jr. (24-4, 16 KO’s) bounced back from a shaky early career start to win 19 of his last 21 bouts. The current USBA Lightweight Champion, the 29-year-old turned away David Torres and Carlos Vinan with seventh round technical knockout victories in his last two fights, and when he enters the ring on May 13, he’s prepared to give the performance of a lifetime against the undefeated Bogere.
A former star linebacker at Michigan State University, Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell (21-0-1, 15 KO’s) dropped the pads and helmet and put on boxing gloves, captivating fight fans since his professional debut in 2008. The owner of wins over Johnnie White, Derek Bryant and Taurus Sykes, the hard-hitting 28-year-old has injected life into a division in desperate need of new blood.
Nicaragua native Evans Quinn (20-5-1, 18 KO’s) possesses concussive punching power with both hands, as evidenced by his 90% knockout rate. A seven-year professional, Quinn has battled with the likes of Kali Meehan and former Heavyweight World Champion Sergei Liakhovich, and after scoring back-to-back first round knockouts over Marvin Aguilar and Juan Luis Gonzalez, his confidence is higher than ever entering his May bout with Mitchell.
Featherweight Gary Russell Jr. (15-0, 9 KO’s) went 7-0 in 2010 and he’s already got two wins in the bank in 2011, with a decision wins over highly-respected Feider Viloria in January and veteran Adolfo “Terror” Landeros on April 15. Eager to stay busy, the former U.S. Olympian will be back in action in May against the dangerous Nguyen as he continues to navigate the treacherous waters of the 126-pound weight class en route to a world title shot.
On May 13, former amateur star Dat Nguyen (17-1, 6 KO’s) returns to the ring for the first time since October of 2009 after putting promotional issues behind him and he’s looking forward to picking up where he left off in his quest for a world championship. Winner of six in a row, the 28-year-old native of Ho-Chi Min City, Vietnam is ready to take the next step in his career, and a win over Russell will catapult him into the conversation about the best featherweight prospects in the world.
A full undercard will be announced at a later date.