Boxing Updates Nov 14th - 16th

Shot of the Day!
Photo: Chris Cozzone

Three-time world champion Erik Morales and two-time world champion Manny Pacquiao speak to writers during today's final press conference for their upcoming "Grand Finale" rubber match on Saturday at the Thomas & Mack center in Las Vegas

Mashaba to defend IBO belt!
By Ron Jackson
At a press conference in Johannesburg on Thursday, King Korn and World Sports Promotions announced that IBO featherweight champion Thomas Mashaba will be defending his belt for the third time this year when he meets Oscar Leon of Colombia in Kimberley on December 15. This could possibly be Mashaba’s toughest fight of his career as the southpaw Leon, 32, has met some of the best featherweights in the world like Chris John, Derrick Gainer and Humberto Soto. He lost to the highly rated and unbeaten Chris John on a split decision in Indonesia when challenging for the WBA featherweight belt September 2003.

Chagaev-Ruiz heats up!
The temperature is rising for Saturday's "Universum Champions Night" at the Burg Wächter-Castello in Düsseldorf. Universum-Boxer und WBA International champion Ruslan Chagaev faces former world champion John Ruiz in a WBA heavyweight eliminator, with the winner to face seven-foot champion Nikolai Valuev. Here's some of what Chagaev and Ruiz have had to say during fightweek...
Ruslan Chagaev: My goal is to be world champion. For the world championship belt, I'd go through fire. Ruiz is a great fighter and was world champion for three years. He has my respect, but Saturday will be my day and it will be a great fight. I'm going to kick his butt!"
John Ruiz: "The bad decision in the fight against Nikolay Valuev is past. He has what belongs to me. With a clear victory in the fight against Ruslan Chagaev, I can get a world championship fight against Valuev and get my belt back. I am the best heavyweight." (Photo: Marianne Müller)

Morales: I know his weaknesses!
"He has no defense and no technique"
By Victor "Tua's Dad" Perea

Hidden behind a freeway and flashy new high rise condos, Vegas boxing staple Top Rank gym played host Wednesday to fighters from this weekend's Pacquiao vs. Morales III card. However the Mexican half of the main event only rendered the services of a chair during what was supposed to be an open media workout. Unlike his counterpart who dazzled onlookers with his chiseled physique just one day earlier, Erik "El Terrible" Morales decided to keep his goods hidden behind the curtains; prompting those present to favor the doubts of his ability to make the super featherweight limit at Friday's official weigh in. "I'm going to make the 130 pound limit Friday without a problem, right now I'm a couple million dollars over but I'm right on," said a confident Morales – who looked very much as he did previous to the first two encounters, slender but not emaciated, He is contractually obligated to pay Pacquiao $500,000 for every pound he comes in over the limit.

Arnaoutis: Torres ain’t that good!
By Mike Sloan
Unbeaten super welterweight "Mighty" Mike Arnaoutis (17-0-1, 9 KOs) is not only ready to take on the world's best warriors to make a name for himself and put his native Greece onto the boxing map, he someday hopes to be considered an all-time great. Come Saturday night inside the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Arnaoutis will take that next step toward that goal as he is scheduled to lock horns with the powerful and dangerous Ricardo Torres (29-1, 27 KOs), a bull of a fighter who could pose the biggest threat to Arnaoutis' still-unblemished record. Torres gave the popular Miguel Cotto all he could handle when they fought several months ago and even had the Puerto Rican sensation on the verge of being stopped. Still, Arnaoutis is undaunted and scoffs at the notion that he could quite possibly be upended. "I know he hits hard and he's tough, but he's not technical," Arnaoutis said of Torres in a recent interview with Fightnews.com. "But I am tough and I hit hard, too. I am very prepared and I have wanted the title for a long time and I have been on the road for the title a lot longer than him."

Weights from Dover, DE
By Rick Scharmberg
Mike Stewart 146 vs Roberto Valenzuela 146.5
Richard Stewart 174.5 vs Ron Boddie 179.25
Doel Carrasquillo 147.5 vs Tony Caldwell 148.5
Ryan Belasco 139.25 vs John Lipcomb 141
Ozgur Yardimci 220 vs Kevin Hood 221
Juan Vasquez 141 vs Manuel Guzman 141
*45-year-old Kevin Miller weighed in at 160.5, but his opponent did not make weight.

Shot of the Day!
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank

Three-time world champion Erik Morales, Tijuana, Mexico predicts victory for his upcoming rubber match against two-time world champion Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines during a huge media turnout at the Top Rank Gym in Las Vegas. The twelve-round super featherweight bout will complete the trilogy on Top Rank's "The Grand Finale" championship card hosted by Wynn Las Vegas at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Saturday

Anchondo Opponent Named!
DRL Promotions has announced an opponent for former WBO Super Featherweight Champion Mike Anchondo (26-1, 19 KOS). Armando Cordoba (22-28-2, 16 KOs) will be Mike’s first test in the lightweight division. Anchondo and Cordoba are scheduled for an eight round bout on December 14 at the Marriott’s Battle in the Ballroom Show in Irvine, California. "I think that Armando is a good test for me at the lightweight division," stated Anchondo. "I’ve had some time away from boxing, and he’s fought the likes of Jose Cotto and David Santos. This is a great way for me to test the waters in the lightweight division."

Weights from San Jose!
Julio Gonzalez 177 vs Vitali Kopitko 173
Andre Ward 161 vs Derrick Findley 161
Arturo Quintero 139 vs David Hernandez 143
Karim Mayfield 152 vs Salvador Lopez 154
Antonio Johnson 148 vs Sean Holley 150
Mike Peralta 132.5 vs Carlos Musquez 135.5

Santana, Stevens triumph!
By Jason "J-Gon" Gonzalez at ringside
Photo: Ed Mulholland
Junior welterweight Edgar Santana moved to 20-2 with 13 KOs with third round stoppage of Meacher Major (11-3-1, 10 KOs) Wednesday night at the Grand Ballroom at Manhattan Center in New York City. Santana dropped Major in round three and his followup assault prompted a referee's intervention at 2:53.


Super middleweight Curtis Stevens (14-1, 11 KOs) avenged his only career defeat against Marcos Primera (20-15-2, 13 KOs), winning a lopsided eight round decision. Steven hit Primera with everything but the kitchen sink, but after eight rounds, the tough as nails Primera was still asking for more. Scores were 79-73, 79-72, 80-72.


Light heavyweight Jaidon Codrington (13-1, 12 KOs) landed his jab at will against Johnny Brooks (5-5-1, 3 KOs) until Brooks' corner threw in the towel at 2:53 or round two.


Female bantamweight Noriko Kariya (6-1-1, 1 KOs) outpointed Elisha Olivas (5-5-1, 3 KOs) over six by scores of 60-54, 60-54, 59-55. Lightweight Prenice Brewer (2-0-1, 2 KOs) needed just 53 seconds to demolish Markel Muhammad (1-1). A left hook did in Muhammad. Sechew Powell's jr middleweight brother Jamelle Hamilton (3-0, 2 KOs) won a split decision over Ken Dunham (1-1). Scores 39-37, 39-37, 37-39.

UFC 65: Stevenson - Mishima
by Brady Crytzer
In one of the most anticipated lightweight match-ups of the year, The Ultimate Fighter 2 winner, Joe “Daddy” Stevenson, prepares for the toughest task of his still-budding UFC career when he battles Japanese sensation Dokonjonosuke Mishima on Saturday, November 18th at UFC 65: Bad Intentions . . .

Weights from Las Vegas!
By Victor Perea
Bobby Pacquiao 133 vs Hector Velasquez 129

Ex-champ Halimi dies!
By Robert Coster
Alphonse Halimi, the French-Jewish-Algerian "Little Terror" (as he was nicknamed) who ruled the bantamweight division from 1957 to 1959, has died in Paris at the age of 74. He won the the title from Italy´s Mario d'Agata and lost it to Mexican Jose Becerra. Halimi also was European Champion and is to be remembered for having fought the first ever pro boxing match in Tel Aviv, Israel, defeating Piero Rollo of Italy in 15 rounds in 1962. Halimi fought three times in the USA: he won a 15 round nod from formidable challenger Raul Macias (36-1 at the time) at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles but then twice lost by kayo to Becerra, his nemesis, at the Sports Arena in LA. Halimi retired in 1963 with a final 42-8-1 (21 KOs) tally.

Shark Attack on Versus!
By Jose Reyes
Archak "Shark Attack" TerMeliksetian (16-4, 13 KOs) will face Jose Luis "Chelin" Cruz (31-2-2, 26 KOs) this Thursday night at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The bout is the co-feature to the lightweight main event of Bobby Pacquiao vs Hector Velazquez. Archak had a good run in the jr middleweight division, facing the likes of top junior middleweight prospects Sechew Powell, Sergio Mora and Giovanni Lorenzo. Now "Shark Attack" is prowling the waters in the welterweight division where he feels he will have a size and strength advantage over anyone. Fightnews got word from Henry Cortez, President of Cortez Sports & Entertainment that Archak has one or two more fights at welterweight and then he will be ready for any of the champions. "Archak is not looking past this tough fight against Cruz," promised Cortez. Cruz was initially penciled in to face Anthony "The Messenger" Thompson (22-1 16 KOs).


Cortez also relayed to Fightnews that Kendall Holt (21-1 12 KOs), whom he signed and has under contract, is ready for anyone at 140 pounds, but specifically pointed out Ricky "The Hit Man" Hatton (41-0, 30 KOs) who is challenging IBF light welterweight champion Juan Urango (17-0-1, 13 KOs) in January at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Holt is coming off a spectacular knockout win against previously undefeated Isaac Hlatshwayo on a bout televised nationally on SHOWTIME.

Camou will risk Mexican title!
By Enrique Yépiz
Current WBA Fedecentro and Mexican super middleweight titleholder Esteban Camou will risk his Mexican belt against Ernesto Zamora (14–8, 11 KOs) on November 24th at the Gimnasio Polifuncional “Ana Gabriela Guevara” in Hermosillo, MX. Camou fought Zamora for the first time last December 2nd in a war, until the bout was stopped due a large cut on Zamora’s left eye. Camou, who stands at 20-2 with 17 KOs, scored a 6th round knockout over Ricardo Arce in his last bout. The rest of the card is going to be announced during the week. The bouts are being promoted by Temible Promotions, owned by the two time WBC lightweight champion Jose Luis Castillo who will be at ringside.

An eliminator for Pacman only!
WBC Statement on Pacquiao-Morales
The WBC has announced that Manny Pacquiao will be the mandatory challenger for WBC super featherweight champion Marco Antonio Barrera, if he gets by Erik Morales on Saturday night in Las Vegas. In a statement, WBC President José Sulaimán said that he had heard through the press that neither promoter Bob Arum, nor challenger Erik Morales had accepted this fight as a final eliminator, which they have the right to do, adding "there was no reason to express unfair and hurting words, that blast a whole life of support and friendship from the WBC for both, for no reason at all, as the ruling was in their benefit, their prestige and an honor."

Harrison out of slammer!
WBO featherweight champion Scott Harrison walked out of the doors of a Spanish jail on Monday night and will fly home to Glasgow on Tuesday. Harrison, who has been held since October 6 on an alleged assault charge, is hoping to salvage his fight against Nicky Cook in London, less than four weeks away. The champion must now pass a BBBC physical. Harrison's camp claims he is in good condition and has been working out behind bars

Shkarupa to fight Henrotin
On Nov. 24th in Warminsko-Mazurskie, Poland
Unbeaten Roman Shkarupa (12-0-1, 5 KOs) from Charkov, Ukraine will fight Michael Henrotin (13-2, 6 KOs) from Belgium on Nov. 24th in Warminsko-Mazurskie, Poland in a 12 round titlefight. It will be a quick return for the Belgian after his close points defeat against Stas Kashtanov for the WBC Youth title last Nov. 4th in Monaco.
Most interesting fight on the undercard of the 5-fight bill will see 2 undefeated boxers face off. Jamel Bakhi (11-0-2, 3KOs) from Belgium will try to get the null away from local Mariusz Cendrowski (15-0, 6 KOs).

Pacquiao-Morales on fire!
There was a huge weekend ticket sale for Pacquiao vs. Morales III 'The Grand Finale' which pushed sales to over 14,000 for the mega fight this Saturday at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. Bob Arum of Top Rank said today the gate receipts for 'The Grand Finale' already exceed that of each of the first two championship fights. "We are expecting a full-blast sellout at the Thomas and Mack on Saturday night," said Arum. The 'Grand Finale' preview show featuring Pacquiao and Morales on Toprank.com smashed all records for 'hits' on the Top Rank website. On Nov. 8, there were 244,577 hits on the Grand Finale preview show - a riveting, compelling show which includes lots of action in the two previous fights plus many interviews. In the last six days, a Top Rank record 756,791 have watched the Grand Finale preview show. "All of this indicates how hot of an event this really is," said Arum. "I am excited, as is everyone at Top Rank.

Hasegawa, Eagle keep WBC belts!
By Joe Koizumi
WBC bantam champ Hozumi Hasegawa, 117.75, Japan, kept his belt by a unanimous decision (114-109 twice and 114-110) over top ranked Genaro Garcia, 117.75, over twelve heats on Monday in Tokyo, Japan. Hasegawa floored Garcia in the fourth and eighth sessiions.


Also, WBC 105-pound champ Eagle Kyowa, 105, floored Mexican challenger Lorezo Trejo, 105, barely retained his title as he dropped Trejo in the third, but hit the deck twice in the sixth, and barely earned a hairline unanimous nod (113-112 twice and 114-113) over twelve.

Chagaev-Ruiz set to collide!
Dimitrenko, Graf, Ragosina on undercard...
The "Universum Champions Night" on Saturday night at the Burg-Wächter Castello in Düsseldorf will highlight four high class bouts. Female world champions Alesia Graf and Natascha Ragosina will support headliners Ruslan Chagaev in his WBA eliminator against former world champion John Ruiz and WBO Intercontinental champion Alexander Dimitrenko against Billy Zumbrun. The Chagaev-Ruiz fight was won by Universum Box-Promotion at a purse bid in Miami in September and will be the highlight of the evening. "It is a great chance to fight against Ruiz. He is well experienced with 49 fights but I will win," promises Universum fighter and WBA Intercontinental champion Chagaev (21-0-1, 17 KOs). The postponement of the fight from the originally announced date in October to November won't be a problem for Chagaev and his coach Michael Timm. "We had already worked on the basics!" the motivated heavyweight commented.

Open Scoring Successful!
By Joe Koizumi
The adaptation of open scoring system was confirmed in the WBC convention in Croatia this October. The very first was seen in a WBC world title twinbill on Monday in Tokyo, Japan. It seemed very successful as the crowd welcomed the announcement of the official tallies after the fourth and after the eighth. In the first world title bout between Eagle Kyowa and Lorenzo Trejo, the scorecards after the fourth were all 39-36 in favor of Eagle, the defending WBC 105-pound champ. After the eighth, the scores were announced to be so split as 75-74, 75-74 and 74-75, which showed the game was so close. And, it finally resulted in a hairline unanimous decision of 114-113 and 113-112 twice. The announcements of the intermediate scores evidently gave the crowd a sort of great excitement to have them realize that the fight was very close.

Pro Boxing Returns to Lansing!
Promoter DeLeon continues succesful series.
Michigan promoter Ron DeLeon, in association with Ron Remus Productions, will continue his "Showcasing Tomorrow’s Champions" series on Saturday, December 2, at the Lansing Center in Lansing, Michigan, with a seven-bout night of professional boxing. Headlining will be hometown super middleweight Daniel "Pokey" Hicks 1-0 (1 KO) taking on debuting Pablo Guevara of Grand Rapids. Also scheduled for action are Lansing heavyweight Tommy Washington Jr. 2-1 (2 KOs) vs. TBA; Lansing cruiserweight Willie Glass vs. Battle Creek’s debuting Max Feurot; Sturgis, Michigan welterweight George Sanchez (2-4-1, 2 KOs) vs. Owosso, Michigan’s Eric Hall (6-5, 2 KOs); Detroit’s undefeated super lightweight Vernon Paris (6-0, 3 KOs) vs. TBA; Pontiac’s debuting cruiserweight Johnathon Abrams vs. always tough Detroiter Phillip Jewel ( 2-2, 2 KOs); and Owosso super lightweight Cory Hall (0-3) vs. Grand Rapids’ debuting Ruben Troche of Detroit. Hall vs. Sanchez is a six-round fight, all others are scheduled for four.

Alpaslan back in March!
Newly crowned WBC International welterweight champion Alpaslan Aguzum will be back in the ring in March or April 2007, said his manager Ahmet Oener to Fightnews.com. “On more fight, maybe two and Alpaslan is ready for a world title fight," commented Oener. The 29-year-old Alpaslan (33-2) defeated WBC #4 Joseph Makaringe (30-3) on Friday in Hamburg, Germany, via split decision. It was a spectacular come from behind victory for Alpaslan who lost the early rounds on the scorecards, but secured the victory with a late rally. Alpaslan and Makaringe fought a furious twelfth round. "I think the former European champions Michel Trabant or Frederic Klose would be good opponents for Alpaslan in March," stated Oener. (Photo: Julia Alice Treptow)

Mesquita, Brunson in welter wars!
Lion Heart Boxing Productions has announced a card billed as "The Welterweight Wars" at the Valley Forge Convention Center in Valley Forge, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania on November 30. In the main event, unbeaten NABC welterweight titlist Antonio Mesquita (33-0, 27 KOs) faces TBA. The co-feature is Philadelphia's KO sensation Tyrone Brunson (13-0, 13 KOs), who has 13 first round KOs in 13 fights. Additionally, former welterweight contender Mamadou Thiam (42-6) will see action.

Ruiz: I'm the best heavyweight!
Two-time world heavyweight champion John "The Quietman" Ruiz (41-6-1, 28 KOs) broke training camp Thursday in Las Vegas and is in Germany for Saturday night's (Nov. 18) mandated WBA elimination fight against unbeaten Ruslan "White Tyson" Chagaev (21-0-1, 17 KOs) in Dusseldorf, Germany. The Ruiz-Chagaev winner will be the mandatory challenger for WBA heavyweight champion Nicolay Valuev. "Training camp was great," stated Ruiz last week. "I'm very happy with the way training has gone. We're ready for the fight. There's still a week to go and I'll be training a little over there. Training camp felt different from past camps. It was totally different. I worked on some new things and I really enjoyed it; not just the training but learning, moving on to bigger and better things, in my career and life." Ruiz lost his WBA title belt last December in Germany to Valuev by a controversial 12-round split decision. "Like I've said in the past," John explained, "I really enjoyed everything about Germany -- the people and country -- other than the final outcome. Valuev's been holding my belt. I've trained a lot harder for this fight so I won't have to rely on the judges for a decision. I'm not looking past Chagaev," Ruiz concluded. "He's dangerous and likes to come right at you, but that's my game. I still believe that I'm the best heavyweight in the world. When I return home with a win I'll be willing to fight any of the so called world champions."

Q&A Matt Vanda!
by Tim Hocking
Last June, Matt “The Predator” Vanda (34-2, 21 KOs) put a “stake in the ground” with a career-defining win against Mexican tough guy “Yory Boy” Campas. But, what looked like a spring board to bigger fights (Vanda was ranked #4 by the WBA at the time) turned into a series of disappointments and frustrations. His former promoters, Team Freedom, disbanded and a number of fights that were promised to him never materialized. At the same time, fighting in his home state of Minnesota was put on hold with the lack of a state commission. Vanda remained inactive until May of this year in New York City, when he looked lethargic in a points loss to unheralded Martinus Clay. Vanda will be looking to get back on track November 17 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, when he returns to the ring against Oregon journeyman Quandray Robertson. Here is what “The Pride of The East Side” had to say about his promotional status, his fight with Clay, and the big fights on his horizon.

Mike Anchondo is back!
DRL Promotions has announced the return of former WBO super featherweight champion Mike Anchondo (26-1, 19 KOs). Anchondo is scheduled for an eight round bout and is part of the December 14 Marriott’s Battle in the Ballroom Show in Irvine, California. His opponent is to be announced in the next couple of days. "I’m extremely excited about coming back home and getting back on course. We have a big year ahead of us at DRL Promotions and I’m one of the key components of the year ahead of us. I know I have the ability, strength and dedication to win yet another title. I want to fight the elite in the kightweight division," stated Anchondo. “As for my time off, it was something I needed. I’ve been in the ring for the last 19 years through my amateur and professional carrier without a vacation and I needed sometime for myself!”

Shot of the Day!
Photo: Marianne Müller

Heavyweights Ruslan Chagaev and John Ruiz face off Monday in advance of Saturday's WBA eliminator in Düsseldorf. The winner will become the mandatory challenger to WBA champion Nikolai Valuev.

Castillo vs Ndlovu Dec 1!
Boxing returns to Cicero Stadium on December 1 as Ricardo Castillo (27-2, 17 KOs) faces Takalani Ndlovu (26-3, 17 KOs) in an IBO super bantamweight title fight. Castillo has won seventeen bouts in a row and is currently ranked #6 by the WBC and #7 by the IBF. His brother, former world champion Jose Luis Castillo, will accompany Ricardo to the ring. Ndlovu is riding a five bout winning streak and is ranked in the top 15 by all four major sanctioning bodies, #12 by the WBC, #15 by the WBA, #6 by the IBF and #14 by the WBO. The undercard features highly regarded bantamweight Alejandro Valdez, middleweight Andy Lee, featherweight Wilton Hilario, light heavyweight Mike Nevitt and heavyweight Thomas Hayes. Also featured on the card are undefeated Polish prospects; junior middleweight Andrzej Fonfara and super middleweight Victor Polakov.

Klitschko-Brock Photo Report!!!
By Matt Richardson & Jason "J-Gon" Gonzalez
On Saturday night, Wladimir Klitschko took another step to claiming supremacy in the cluttered heavyweight division when he retained his IBF heavyweight title with a picture-perfect seventh-round knockout over former US Olympian Calvin Brock.

Fighting in the main event of HBO's World Championship Boxing at Madison Square Garden, Klitschko (47-3, 42 KOs) had trouble with the awkward, grabbing style of his smaller opponent early on and appeared to have difficulty landing his powerful right hand. Until the 7th...

Johnson, Navarro Elizondo speak!
By Jose Reyes
It was a bad night for homegrown talent Friday night in San Antonio as local favorites Oscar Diaz and Gabriel Elizondo went down to defeat against Golden Johnson and Jose Navarro respectively. Fightnews spoke to Johnson (40-24-3, 18 KOs) who TKO'd Diaz in eleven and his trainer/manager Jesse James Leija, plus two-time world super flyweight title challenger Navarro (25-2, 11 KOs) and Elizondo (25-2, 10 KOs) who battled to a twelve round split decision.

Molitor ready for all comers!
The sky is the limit according to the handlers of newly crowned IBF jr featherweight champion Steve Molitor. Ricardo Salazar and Allan Tremblay are elated over Molitor's spectacular showing this past Friday in Hartlepool England against the very tough and previously undefeated Michael Hunter. "Molitor was finally able to prove why Israel Vazquez and his promotional team avoided a fight against 'The Canadian Kid' when Steve became his mandatory last December," said Salazar. "We have always appreciated Steve's talents and are confident that the IBF belt is the first of many, as we will now set our sights on showing that he is indeed the best jr. featherweight in the world. The secret is out and Molitor is the new man in the division. We're ready for all comers."

Soliman: Mundine scared!
By Ray Wheatley -- World of Boxing
Former WBA champion Anthony Mundine has been at it again responding to the media when questioned about a potential rematch against WBA #3 super middleweight Sam Soliman. Last week he went on record as saying "What for? Who wants to see him fight me?....He fights like an Orangutan." Speaking from LA where he is preparing to face rugged Mexican (former WBC World Youth Champ) Enrique Ornelas on SHOWTIME, Soliman spoke to Fightnews. "I have a real fight on my hands this weekend and it is my focus at this stage – but to hear of such pathetic responses I couldn't help but pass comment. Firstly when the media ask questions – they usually prefer logical answers. To respond with two further questions 'What for?' and 'Who would want to see it?' shows signs of a man running out of places to hide. Then to follow it up with a ludicrous comment like 'he fights like an orangutan?' I suppose he's got not much better to do as he prepares to face his next sacrificial lamb (Ruben Eduardo Acosta) this week."

Josesito headlines Nov 20!
By Francisco Salazar
Boxing returns to the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA for the final time in 2006 on Monday, November 20th. Headlining the Thompson Boxing Promotions “Path to Glory” card will be Jose “Josesito” Lopez (17-2, 10 KO’s) defending his WBC Continental Americas Lightweight title against hard-hitting Adrian Navarette (14-2-1, 12 KO’s) of Durango, Mexico. Lopez, who resides in nearby Riverside, is coming off of a seventh round stoppage victory over veteran Anthony Martinez in August. Navarette also fought in August, knocking out previously-unbeaten Antonio Rosales. Lopez hopes to be successful in his bout with Navarette and have a breakout year for 2007. “I want to end this year with a bang,” said Lopez, will be fighting for the fifth time this year. “I hope that 2007 will be a good year for me and I could land an important fight at year’s end.” Four more bouts will round out the card.

'Schulle' retakes IBF IC title!
By Karl Freitag
Super welterweight Marco Schulze (21-3-1, 12 KOs) won the IBF Intercontinental championship for the third time with a third round demolition of Tanzanian Ramadhan Miyeyusho (20-9-1, 5 KOs) on Saturday at the TURM ErlebnisCity Freizeitcenter in Oranienburg, Germany. “Schulle” dropped Miyeyusho in round two and floored him for the count in round three. Time was 1:10. In other action on the SES Boxing card, cruisergewicht Serdar Sahin (9-0, 6 KOs) needed just 95 seconds to destroy Dennis Rosendahl (4-1), dropping him twice in the process. Also, unbeaten welter Oliver Güttel (6-0) outpointed Domingos Nascimento Monteiro (9-8-2) over six.


Meanwhile, at the Sportpark Neukölln Oderstrase in Berlin, Rene Hübner (12-13-2) won the dubious GBC "world" title by outpointing Marco Heinichen (9-14-2) in a bout between sub .500 cruiserweights.

 


Pacquiao three pounds overweight, loses WBC Continental Americas jr lightweight title on the scale. The Pacquiao camps wanted to discuss a monetary settlement to make the fight go, but the Velasquez insisted that Pacquiao lose the weight. Finally an agreement is reached and only Velasquez will be fighting for the C/A title.


Jose Luiz Cruz 152 vs Archak Ter-Meliksetian 151
Dewey Cooper 198 vs Salah Zabian 198

Sanders Headlines in Manistee!
by Andre Courtemanche
Promoter Carlos Llinas in association with Blue Cap Promotions and Little River Casino present The “Little River Rumble/Thumps Giving”, a night of professional boxing at the Little River Casino, Friday, November 24 and featuring five-time world champion Mary Jo Sanders (21-0, 6 KOs) in the super welterweight main event. The co-main event will feature Detroit’s own Ronald “Motor City Cobra” Hearns (9-0, 7 KOs) taking on Jeffrey Osborne in a six-round middleweight battle. Also appearing will be Detroit lightweight Vernon “The Iceman” Paris (6-0, 4 KOs) taking a step up in his first six-round fight against Grand Rapids native Reggie Nash; WIBA Lightweight Champion Kara “KO” Ro (14-0, 7 KOs); undefeated welterweight Eddie Tice (5-0, 4 KOs) of Muskegon; undefeated cruiserweight Alfredo Escalera Jr., (11-0, 9 KOs) son of WBC World Champion Alfredo Escalera Sr. of Puerto Rico; and Sarnia, Ontario cruiserweight Frank White (1-0, 1 KO). Celebrity guests will include reality television stars Cornelius “K9” Bundrige and Steve “2 pounds” Forbes and Thomas “Hitman” Hearns. Ali Woodson, lead singer of the Temptations, will be singing the national anthem.

Maskaev-Klitschko talks!
By Matt Richardson
Representatives of WBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev and IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko are in serious negotiations for a title unification showdown in April. Maskaev has a defense scheduled for December 10 plus a mandatory against the winner of the Sam Peter-James Toney rematch, but would likely ask for an exception and try to unify with Klitschko. The fight could take place in the United States or Russia, wherever the money is.

Superfighter tourney is off!
The big money heavyweight Superfighter tourney slated for December 1 in Australia is off. A proposed new target date for the pay-per-view event is early 2007 in the United States. The event's promoter Stephen Duval attributed the cancellation to "the withdrawal of Calvin Brock and Samuel Peter, and visa/entry issues." Duval also stated, "The investors and management of Superfighter made what we believe to be the appropriate decision to postpone the event regardless of the significant monetary losses we are incurring." All ticket sales will be refunded

New Telemundo headliner!
Promoter Felix "Tuto" Zabala, Jr. has announced a new main event Friday's Telemundo telecast from the 4th & B Hall in San Diego, California. The original headliner between Alejandro "Payasito" Hernandez and Jonathan Perez had to be postponed to the December 8 telecast in Kissimmee, Florida because the work visa for Hernandez was not received on time in order for him to travel to San Diego. "These things happen every day in boxing," said Zabala. "We did everything humanly possible to get it in time, the show will go on with some very good fights for the San Diego area boxing fans." In the new main event, jr. welterweight Juan Carlos "Camello" Rodriguez (53-20-2, 38 KOs) will face William Morelo (23-5, 17 KOs) in a bout scheduled for 12 rounds with the vacant WBC Latin title on the line.

Shot of the Day!
Photo: Ed Mulholland

Promoter Lou DiBella announced today the signing of unbeaten prospect James "Buddy" McGirt Jr. (12-0, 1 NC, 7 KO's) to a promotional contract. McGirt Jr. will make his debut under the DBE banner on the December 14th Broadway Boxing show. (L to R) Announcer Bob Papa, manager Dennis Witherow, announcer Brian Adams, father/trainer James "Buddy" McGirt, James "Buddy" McGirt Jr., promoter Lou DiBella and announcer Steve Farhood.

Open scoring OK'd for
Taylor vs Ouma!
By Karl Freitag
The December 9 WBC middleweight title fight between world champion Jermain Taylor and Kassim Ouma in Little Rock, Arkansas, has been approved for open scoring. The Arkansas Commission has given the OK for the scores of the bout to be announced at the end of the fourth and eighth rounds. Jermain Taylor is said to be thrilled about it.

No open scoring for
Pacquiao-Morales clash!
By Karl Freitag
The WBC unveiled their innovative new open scoring rule at events in Germany on November 10 and in Japan on November 13, where scores were announced at the end of the fourth and eighth rounds during WBC world and regional title fights. During Saturday's WBC International title showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Erik Morales in Las Vegas, however, the scores will not be announced until after the bout. "I believe that the Nevada Commission stated that they would not be allowed to do it without a commission ruling, but they expressed their interest in knowing the results in the places where this rule has been instituted, so that they could look into the possibility of adopting it," WBC President Jose Sulaiman told Fightnews.com today. "We are very happy with the unbelievable acceptance of the new rule in Germany and Japan by the public, boxers, the media and the promoters."

Pacquiao ready for battle!
by Victor Perea, photos by Natasha Chornesky
On Tuesday in Las Vegas, inside the exclusive IBA gym, Filipino bomber Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao allowed the media a sneak peak into his final preparations for Saturday night’s third encounter with Tijuana’s toughest, Eric “El Terrible” Morales .

'Snowman' vs. "Maine-iac!"
UFC 65 preview by Brady Crytzer
In the co-feature of UFC 65, the heavy hitters return to California as UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia faces the submission grappling champion Jeff “The Snowman” Monson in a match-up that defines .

Diablo - Cunningham heating up!
Officials for the bout still not selected.
The IBF has still not made a final decision as on which officials will work the Krzysztof "Diablo" Wlodarczyck versus Steve Cunningham vacant cruiserweight titlefight to take place on November 25th next in Warsaw, Poland. It is an historical event for Poland and the local commission insists on enforcing their rule to have at least one local official working the bout. The rule should be not strange to the IBF as it is very similar in most, if not all, American States. An agreement between the Polish Federation and the IBF is expected to be reached soon.

Nady to ref Maskaev-Okhello!
Povetkin to face Mayfield

By Alexey Sukachev

Jay Nady will be the third man in the ring during the December 10 WBC heavyweight showdown in Moscow between Russian Oleg Maskaev (33-5, 26 KOs) and Ugandan Peter Okhello (18-4, 16 KOs). Nady, who is widely known among Russian boxing fans, was also the referee during Oleg's sensational KO over Hasim Rahman in the very last round to capture his WBC belt. Judging the fight will be Evgueni Gorstkov (Russia), Ken Morita (Japan) and Bob Logist (Belgium). WBC president Jose Sulaiman will be present in Moscow, supervising the title clash. The promoter of the show, Vladimir Hrunov, confirmed that Michael Buffer will be announcing the collision inside the squared ring.


There are also some changes in undercard. Unbeaten Olympic super heavyweight gold medallist Alexander Povetkin (9-0, 7 KOs) will now face former IBF cruiserweight titlist Imamu Mayfield (25-7-2, 18 KOs) in ten-rounder. Ross Puritty, who was previously scheduled to face Povetkin, 27, is out due to a severe cut suffered during a sparring session. Mayfield, 34, is coming of the surprisingly hot performance against Poland's Krzysztof Wlodarczyk on March, 25. Ironically, Mayfield was the third man to upset Peter Okhello during his pro career, earning UD 6 over him four years ago.


Competing in the off-TV fights will be several Russian fighters, rising light heavyweight Dzhimi Kapanov (1-0, 1 KO) who is scheduled to take Valery Volozhenin (5-0-1, 2 KOs), current Russian middleweight champion Dmitry Pirog (6-0, 5 KOs) vs. TBA and unbeaten cruiserweight Mikhail Nasyrov (16-0, 11 KOs) also against the opponent to be named.

Palyani returns Friday!
By Rick Scharmberg
Hall of Fame promoter Russell Peltz will present a typically excellent 8-bout card this Friday, November 17, at the New Alhambra in South Philadelphia. The feature attraction will be WBO #10-ranked Ramazan "Razzamatazz" Palyani (14-0-1, 8 KOs), of Philadelphia and the Republic of Georgia, taking on hard-hitting Ghanian Ray "Graphic Pride" Narh (19-1, 16 KOs), of Pittsburgh, PA in a 12-round bout for the Pennsylvania State lightweight title. Palyani, 33, has an extensive amateur background, and has a draw with current WBC interim lightweight champ David Diaz on his record.

Aranoutis finally gets title shot!
By Mike Sloan
In just a few days inside the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, the boxing world will have its eyes fixated on the feverishly ballyhooed third showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Erik Morales. But beneath that probable fight of the year candidate on the undercard lurks one of boxing’s finest fighters that not many people are aware of. Sure, the hardcore fans know all about Greek gladiator Mike Arnaoutis but to the average casual observer the undefeated junior welterweight couldn’t be more obscure. According to Mike Michael, the manager of Arnaoutis, that’s all about to change when “Mighty” Mike faces Ricardo Torres for the vacant WBO title.

Pacquiao-Morales odds!
The Wynn Las Vegas Race & Sports Book morning line:
* Morales +200 / Pacquiao -240
* Will Go 12 Full Rounds -160
* Won't Go 12 Full Rounds +140
* Morales by Decision 5/2
* Morales by KO 4/1
* Pacquiao by Decision 7/5
* Pacquiao by KO 2/1
* Draw 12/1

Myekeni set for Pongsaklek!
By Ron Jackson
South Africa’s Mhikiza Myekeni faces the stiffest test of his career when he challenges Pongsaklek Wongjongkam of Thailand for his WBC flyweight belt on Friday night in Korat, Thailand. Wongjongkam 62-2 (31) a twelve-year pro won the WBC flyweight belt in March 2001 when he stopped Malcolm Tunacao in one round and has now made fifteen successful defenses. The only two loses on Wongjongkam’s record were early in his career and he now has an unbeaten run of 53 fights since July 1996. The champion, 29, is a southpaw who likes to dominate the centre of ring and trade punches with his opponent, whereas Myekeni 21-2 (8) a former South African and IBO junior flyweight champion is an upright stylist who likes to move in and out as he uses his educated left hand. The 28-year-old Myekeni has the odds stacked against him as the Thailanders always make it difficult for foreign boxers with the type of accommodation and training facilities provided. The South African’s only hope is to stay on the outside and outbox his vastly experienced opponent, but will this be enough in Thailand?

First defence for Chauke!
By Ron Jackson
Oscar Chauke 19-4-2 (6) makes the first defence of his South African junior featherweight title that he won in East London in August this year when he stopped Mzikayise Mchasi in the tenth round, at the Johannesburg Park Station on Saturday night. Very little is known about Hlahane from the Free State who has reported record of 2-1-3 (2) and one must question how Hlahane ranked at number eight in the latest Boxing SA ratings qualifies for a title shot ahead of the other seven fighters ranked above him. Chauke took the fight against Mchasi for the vacant title at short notice and was not 100% prepared for the fight. However, he has had plenty of time to prepare for this fight and should not have too much trouble getting past Hlahane.

Guzman defends Dec 18!
Undefeated WBO jr lightweight champion Joan Guzman (26-0, 17 KOs) will defend his title in Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic, on December 18. Guzman will headline a card featuring rising Dominican and other Latin ring prospects. JG Promotions and Jay Boxing, in association with Guzman's regular co-promoters Sycuan Ringside Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions, will promote the event. Guzman's challenger will be announced shortly.

Mundine KOs Acosta!
By Ray Wheatley -- World of Boxing
WBA #1 super middleweight Anthony Mundine (27-3) scored a fourth round knockout over Ruben Acosta (12-2-4) of Argentina at the Newcastle Entertainment Center, Newcastle, NSW, Australia tonight. Acosta came to fight and attacked Mundine from the opening bell but the Australian had too many skills for the importation and controlled the action. At 1:41 of round four, Mundine was crowned the winner by referee Garry Dean after he dropped Acosta with a power left hand rip under the rib cage. Mundine stated after that he will be fighting for the vacant WBA super middleweight title now Mikkell Kessler has become a super champion holding both WBC and WBA 168 pound titles. Mundine will meet WBA #2 Jeff Lacy or WBA #3 Sam Soliman

Broadway Boxing Weights!
Edgar Santana 139.5 vs. Meacher Major 138.5
Curtis Stevens 165 vs. Marcos Primera 162.25
Jaidon Codrington 171.25 vs. Johnny Brooks 168.75
Noriko Kariya 118 vs. Elisha Olivas 118
Prenice Brewer 133.5 vs. Markel Muhammad 130
Jamelle Hamilton 150.25 vs. Ken Dunham 154

UFC 65 preview!
by Brady Crytzer
As it’s most productive year to date winds to a close The UFC returns to California, this time to Sacramento, to present UFC 65: Bad Intentions on Saturday November 18th. The headlining bout of the evening features Matt Hughes battling a healthy Georges St. Pierre for the UFC welterweight championship. Also on the card, world heavyweight titlist Tim “The Maine-iac” Sylvia defends his crown against world submission wrestling champion Jeff “The Snowman” Monson. The battle for the 170-pound title, originally scheduled for September, is one of the most highly anticipated matches of the year

Zam Zam faces Miranda!
By Thomas Jensen
Unbeaten WBA I/C jr. middle champ Reda Zam Zam, WBA #7, WBO#9 headlines the next boxing event in Denmark, when he defends his title November 24th at the Falconer Center in Copenhagen. Zam Zam, who is currently 21-0 with 9 KOs, faces hard hitting Brazilian Mike Miranda, WBA #15 who is 26-1 (24 KOs). The African Warrior, Evans Ashira (25-2, 13 KOs) returns to the ring in Denmark on the same show, when he faces Belgian veteran southpaw Mike Algoet, 26-23-1 (11 KOs). Ashira, who unsuccesfully challenged Joe Calzaghe for the WBO super middleweight title last year, is back in the middleweight division and will possibly go further down and compete as a jr. middle in the future, where he started out in 1998. The show is promoted by Team Palle and will carry 7 bouts.

Velazquez takes on Pacquiao
Final presser by Victor Perea
Fighters and media gathered inside the Hard Rock Hotel today for the final press conference before Thursday night’s match up on VERSUS between Hector “El Artillero” Velazquez (45-11-2 32 KOs) and Bobby “The Sniper” Pacquiao (27-11-3 12 KOs), younger brother of two-time world champion and boxing phenomenon Manny Pacquiao

Santana back in action!
Rematch: Stevens vs Primera
Spanish Harlem welterweight Edgar "El Chamaco" Santana (19-2, 12 KOs) takes center stage against Meacher Major (11-2-1, 10 KOs) Wednesday night when DiBella Entertainment's Broadway Boxing returns to the Grand Ballroom at Manhattan Center in New York City. The highly anticipated co-feature will pit Brownsville's Curtis "Showtime" Stevens (13-1, 11 KOs) in a rematch against Marcos Primera (20-15-2, 13 KOs) in an eight round super middleweight bout. Primera handed Dash-DiBella Promotion's Stevens' his only career setback in a controversial eighth round stoppage on July 20th. Also, super middleweight Jaidon Codrington (12-1, 10 KOs) faces Johnny Brooks (5-4-1, 3 KOs).

Soliman-Ornelas battle Friday!
Unbeaten heavies meet on undercard...
"Rivalries" – one friendly; one bitter – will be the prevailing theme this coming Friday night when Goossen Tutor Promotions presents a world class boxing event at the Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, California. In the main event of Showtime's "ShoBox: The New Generation" broadcast – Australian Sam "King" Soliman and Mexican Enrique Ornelas -- will be pitted against each other in a scheduled ten-round middleweight bout. Adding spice to this rivalry of prominence will be the presence of former world bantamweight champion Wayne McCullough, who is the trainer for Ornelas. In the scheduled eight-round co-feature, undefeated heavyweights Travis "Freight Train" Walker and Jason "Big Six" Estrada will renew their bitter rivalry from their amateur days leading up to the 2004 Olympic Games. Also featured on the card will be the undefeated super middleweight Dirrell Brothers – Andre and Anthony – as well as talented heavyweight Malcolm "The Showstopper" Tann and undefeated middleweight Francisco Santana.

Tsurkan headlines Bronx card!
Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing has announced that Andrey Tsurkan will headline an eight-fight card on December 8 at the the Paradise Theater in the Bronx, New York City. Tsurkan (24-2, 15 KOs) will be fighting in a 12-round defense of his NABF light middleweight championship against an opponent to be named.

Lowry Set For Bonsante!
by Jesse Kelley
Troy Lowry (27-6, 16 KOs) and Anthony Bonsante (27-8, 16 KOs) may have opposite fighting styles in the ring, but outside of boxing, the two 36-year-old blue-collar Minnesota boxers share many of the same qualities. Like Bonsante, Lowry holds a full-time job to support himself and his family on top of boxing. As of last week Lowry was working 10-hour days, seven days a week as a union plasterer before heading to the gym each night to prepare for his 10-round clash with Bonsante. Although this may be "TNT" Lowry's biggest, he is no stranger to big fights in Minnesota. In March of 2005, Lowry lost a close decision to Saint Paul's Matt Vanda. Many observers felt Lowry did enough to get that win. Following his bout with Vanda, Lowry moved up to the middleweight division to challenge Chris Holt for the Minnesota State title. A clash of heads midway through the fifth round resulted in a nasty cut under the eye of Lowry that ended the fight. Holt was ahead on two of the three judges’ scorecards at the time and given the technical decision. Lowry picked up the biggest win of his career in his next match against Panama's Santiago Samaniego in Minneapolis on June 24, 2005. The Saint Paul fighter had won every round on all three judges scorecards through six rounds, but the bout was stopped after a clash of heads caused a gash under Lowry's eye. Lowry will get his second crack at the now vacant Minnesota State Middleweight title when he and Bonsante square off this Friday night at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Return of Mike Stewart!
by Rick Scharmberg
The career of Michael "No Joke" Stewart has come full circle. After experiencing the high and lows of the sport in his ten-year professional career, Stewart, 28, returns home to Delaware this Thursday night, where he will take on Mexico's Roberto Valenzuela at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. "It feels really good to be fighting at home, and I'm looking forward to selling it out. I haven't fought since February, and I'm ready to rumble," said Stewart.

Abell returns Dec, 1!
By Rick Scharmberg
Unbeaten heavyweight prospect Joey "Minnesota Ice" Abell (9-0, 9 KOs), of Minneapolis, MN will return to the Blue Horizon in Philadelphia, PA on Friday, Dec. 1 against an opponent to be determined. This bout will mark Abell's seventh straight appearance at the legendary venue on North Broad Street. Featured on the undercard will be a rematch of an exciting 2004 bout between Steve Upsher Chambers (13-1-1, 4 KOs), of Philadelphia and Lenny DeVictoria (8-6, 2 KOs), also of Philadelphia. Chambers won the first bout with a six round split decision. The rematch is scheduled for eight rounds and will take place in the junior welterweight division.

Buzz: Finale, Taylor, Foreman
By Karl Freitag
Manny Pacquiao is running as a -210 favorite at the Wynn Las Vegas Sportsbook to defeat Erik Morales, who is +180. The over/under number for the bout is 12-rounds at -155. Media coverage of the fight has been intense with over 360 press credential requests received.


Middleweight champion Jermain Taylor says he's moving up to super middleweight in 2007. Taylor plans to vacate his world titles after his December 9 defense against Kassim Ouma in Little Rock, Arkansas.


The TV Land network is planning a series called "Family Foreman," an unscripted shows that follows the family life of former heavyweight champion-turned minister/pitchman George Foreman.

Spada-Bastient clash tonight!
Salvatore Cherchi's OPI 2000 will promote a boxing show tonight at Palasport Villa Romiti in Forlì, Italy. In the main event, unbeaten Italian middleweight champion Domenico Spada (20-0, 10 KOs) will square off in a 10 round fight against tough Frenchman Francois Bastient (29-4, 14 KOs). Next for Spada, in the case of win, will be the European Union title and the vacant WBC International middleweight title against Mahir Oral. In the co-main event of the evening, female amateur superstar Simona Galassi (1- 0, 1 KO) will fight in her second pro fight against experienced Bulgarian Svetla Taskova (4-16-1, 1 KOs) on a distance of eight two-minutes. On the undercard, super welterweight Tobia Loriga (19-0, 5 KOs) will fight Christophe Karagoz (13-11-3, 4 KOs) of France, light heavyweight Antonio Brancalion against Roman Vanicky, Russian's big puncher super featherweight Leva Kirakosyan against Bela Sandor and super bantamweight Massimo Morra against Roman Rafael. The show will air live at 9.30 PM in 54 countries across Europe through EUROSPORT.


Domenico Spada 160 vs. Francois Bastient 160.5
Simona Galassi 113.5 vs. Svetla Taskova 108
Tobia Loriga 160 vs. Christophe Karagoz 159.25
Antonio Brancalion 175 vs. Roman Vanicky 175.5
Leva Kirakosyan 135.5 vs. Bela Sandor 134.25
Massimo Morra 126.75 vs. Roman Rafael 127.5

Oscar-Floyd is on for May 5!
By Karl Freitag
Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather have reached an agreement to fight on May 5. The fight was finalized today. The bout will be promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. "We are not going to comment what the deal is," Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer told Fightnews.com. "It's a fair deal and if the pay-per-view hits the numbers which we anticipate it will, it will be new record payday for both guys.....It's going to be big. It's clearly the biggest fight in boxing and I think it's the kind of fight which will transcend and which will clearly capture the interest of the American public and the American sports fans, because it is Mayweather pound-for-pound number one fighter in the sport against Oscar, the most popular and biggest name in the sport. Actually I was looking today at Oscar's trophy case in our office and I was standing in front of one of the belts which was a ring belt that had 'Oscar De La Hoya, pound for pound' on it, and it was 1997. So here we are ten years later and the question is, can he do it again?"


"Oscar realizes this is a dangerous fight," continued Schaefer. "He realizes that he's going in as the underdog, but this is what exactly motivates him, this is what gets him going, this is what he is about and what his entire career is all about. Always going for the biggest challenges. I think that's what his active career was and that's what he'll be remembered for. The guy who always took on the biggest and the best."

'Snowman' ready for UFC title!
by Victor Perea
When Jeff “The Snowman” Monson steps into the Octagon Saturday night, inside the Arco Arena in Sacramento Calif., the man across from him will have everything Monson wants. Something hard to believe since the 35-year old mental health professional and family counselor from Olympia, Wash. holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in psychology and two-Abu Dhabi World titles

Contender Balletto returns!
Popular knockout artist Gary "Tiger" Balletto returns to action, after his recent stint with The Contender II, as the headliner on the December 1 CES show at the Rhode Island Convention Center in downtown Providence. Balletto (30-3-2, 25 KOs) hasn't fought outside of The Contender II since Halloween night in 2003. His opponent in the 10-round main event will be Matthew Strode (20-1, 9 KOs) fighting out of Greensboro, North Carolina. The event, billed as "Jingle Bell Pop" will be held in honor of Rhode Island's 91-year old Ralph "The Ripper" Zanelli (92-48-7, 31 KOs), who beat Hall of Fame Boxer Fritzie Zivic twice during his career. In the eight-round co-feature, world rated cruiserweight Matt "Too Smooth" Godfrey (13-0, 7 KOs) takes on Lloyd "Jabba" Bryan (22-14, 10 KOs) in a non-title fight. Fighting on the undercard against opponents to be determined are 2004 U.S. Olympian Jason "Big Six" Estrada (7-0, 1 KO), female featherweight Missy "The Fury" Fiorentino (14-1, 6 KOs), Richard "Bobo" Starnino (7-1-1, 1 KO) and Eddie Soto (6-0, 4 KOs).

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