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Victor Vasquez vs. Esteban Rodriguez on January 26th; Kayode; Barthelemy-Usmanee

CHESTER, PA (December 27, 2012)–On Saturday night January 26th, boxing returns to Harrahs Philadelphia as Joey Eye Boxing and David Feldman present a big show to kick off the new year.

In the main event, fan favorite Victor Vasquez will take on Esteban Rodriguez in a Lightweight bout scheduled for six rounds.

Vasquez of Philadelphia has a record of 15-7-1 with seven knockouts and is always in action packed fights.

Vasquez has quality wins over Thomas McCuiston (1-0), Tyric Robinson (9-4-1) and Angel Rios (9-5). The “Blood and Guts” Warrior of Philadelphia has been in many memorable scraps which includes his bout which he dropped a close unanimous decision to Naim Nelson (7-0) on September 14th in a bout that contested for the Pennsylvania State championship at Harrahs in Philadelphia.

Rodriguez of Lebanon, PA has a record of 6-4-1 with one knockout likes to mix it up and has a fan friendly style. He has a good win over undefeated Luis Quezada in his native Puerto Rico. Rodriguez is looking to get back in the win column after dropping two consecutive fights which includes being stopped in his last bout by undefeated Angel Luis Ocasio (6-0-2) on December 8th in Philadelphia.

There will be three separate six round co-features featuring returning Heavyweight Chuck Cavallo (16-1, 6 KO’s); Jr. Middleweight DeCarlo Perez (8-2-1, 3 KO’s) and Jr. Middleweight Julio DeJesus (6-3-3, 3 KO’s)

Cavallo of Trenton, NJ will be making his return to the ring after a five-plus year hiatus.

Still just twenty-eight years old, Cavallo was a touted Light Heavyweight prospect as he racked up impressive wins over Dhafir Smith and an ESPN 2 televised decision over Marlon Hayes. Cavallo was stopped in his last bout by Shannon Miller on September 27, 2007.

Perez of Atlantic City will be looking for his third consecutive win with the latest being his best win to date when he stopped crosstown rival Shamone Alvarez (21-5) in three rounds on September 29th

Dejesus of Chester, PA is unbeaten in his last three as he has a win over Gabriel Diaz that was sandwiched in between two draws with Korey Sloane with the latest coming on December 22nd.

Cavallo, Perez and Dejesus will have their opponents announced shortly.

Seeing action in four round fights will be Light Heavyweight Amir Shabazz (2-0) of Philadelphia fighting a rematch with Abdellah Smith (2-4, 2 KO’s) of Queens, NY

Althea Saunders (3-0-1) of Atlantic City will take on an opponent to be announced in a female Welterweight bout.

Tyrone Crawley Jr. (2-0) of Philadelphia squares off with Benjamin Burgos (1-1) of Mount Pocono, PA in a Welterweight bout.

Undefeated Heavyweight John Mecurio (5-0, 4 KO’s) of Philadelphia takes on rugged Lonnie Kornegay (1-7-2) of Baltimore, MD.

Heavyweight Mark Rideout (2-0) of Philadelphia boxes debuting Aaron Braxton of Baltimore, MD.

Jr. Middleweight Gilbert Alex Perez (2-1, 2 KO’s) of Camden, NJ will take on an opponent to be named.

Rounding out the card will be the pro debut of Lightweight Sam Teah of Philadelphia taking on an opponent to be named.

Tickets are now on sale for $100 (VIP); $65 (Ringside) and $45 (General Admission) and can be purchased at the Harrahs Philadelphia Gift Shop; By calling Joey Eye (267-304-9399); David

Feldman (610-291-0806); 800-480-8020 or on

Lateef Kayode to campaign at Heavyweight

December 27, 2012 – Undefeated cruiserweight contender, Lateef Kayode (18-0, 14 KOs), who fights under the Gary Shaw Productions promotional banner, will now be campaigning at the Heavyweight division.

“Kayode is a heavy handed puncher who can easily bring his power up to the heavyweight division,” said Gary Shaw. “Right now my matchmaker John Beninati is looking at potential opponents and we are confident Lateef will be successful moving up in weight.”

“We made a lot of headway campaigning as a cruiserweight,” said Kayode’s manager Steve Feder. “Considering the fact that we appeared more times on Shobox then any other cruiser in a decade, in a division far more suited for the European market, ultimately our options since the Tarver debacle have diminished.”

“The IBO completely ignored our ranking when granting Green a title shot, not allowing Kayode to challenge. At this point, the heavyweight division which we fought our first nine fights in. seems to be calling. Lateef is in the gym and feels very strong at his new weight. We expect to preview back at heavyweight in February.

Usmanee: In My Heart I Want War

IBF #14-rated super featherweight contender Arash Usmanee (20-0, 10 KOs) is finishing up training at the Club de Boxe de l’Est gym in Montreal, in preparation to face IBF #6 Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy (17-0, 11 KOs) on Friday, January 4, 2013, at Stage 305 in the Magic City Casino in Miami, Florida.

Presented by Warriors Boxing and Bad Dog Productions in association with the Magic City Casino, Usmanee vs. Barthelemy will serve as 12-round elimination bout for the IBF’s #2 position and the main event of a show entitled “Friday Night Fights at Magic City Casino” that will also be the year’s debut broadcast of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights (10 PM Eastern on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, online through, and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app).

In the co-featured televised bout, Puerto Rican slugger Jonathan “Mantequilla” Gonzalez (15-0-1, 13 KOs) will take on Philadelphia’s Derek “Pooh” Ennis (23-3-1, 13 KOs).

My training is always tip top,” said the Aghani-Canadian. “I’m ready to go. I gotta cut some weight, but it’s in the process. I’m taking my time with it. For me, having to cut weight is ordinary. It seems like no matter what weight I fight at, it’s tough to make. I take it serious because that’s a part of boxing and that’s a battle every boxer should be able to overcome. And it makes the victory taste better when you have to work hard for the win.”

30-year-old Usmanee is a five-time national amateur champion in his adopted home of Canada. Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, he moved to the Canadian Province of Alberta when he was only three years old, after his father was killed in a bombing.

“I moved to Montreal from Alberta. I had five fights there before I moved and things weren’t looking so good. Pro boxing in Alberta is very difficult to do well at. You pretty much have to be a club fighter and I’m not a club fighter. When I got here, my manager, Douggy Berneche, and my trainer, Danielle Trepanier, and I hooked up and the rest is history.”

Usmanee says he had a very wild style before meeting Trepanier, but has really refined his game with his guidance.

“My basics of boxing were lacking, let’s put it that way. For many years, I was left to do what I was good at in the ring, which was to be wild and fight. I did well with it, but not at this level. You have to utilize all your assets and I wasn’t doing that. So Dan said let’s go back to basics and that’s what we did. He took me right back to school and started from the beginning and taught me how to box. I learned a lot of the basics of boxing in the past few years. I basically became a boxer. I had the tennis ball under my chin; my legs were tied up. I looked stupid, but that’s what we had to do.”

Usmanee admits he can still be a little wilder than he should at times. “My style is in your face. I like to go to war, sometimes even when I shouldn’t. But I’ve learned to utilize my boxing skills in the past couple years a lot better. My heart is a warrior. In my heart I want war. That’s never going to go away. But my punches don’t get wild anymore. I get wild in my heart now, but stick to what I’ve learned: technical aggression.”

So what does he think of his opponent Barthelemy?

“Barthelemy is just like me. I do everything pretty good, nothing spectacular or amazing. I feel I’m rounded off pretty smooth. I don’t do anything that’s really, really bad or that stands out. He’s not a bad boxer, not a bad fighter, everything he has is good, but it’s not blowing my mind. It’s not amazing or out of the ordinary. He’s nothing I haven’t faced before in the ring. He’s good, tall; he’s naturally southpaw, so he’s got a good left side. Good boxer, good puncher. Everything is average. Nothing is spectacular. You know? That’s the same with me.”

Despite what he calls their equality in physical gifts, Usmanee has a definite vision for the important fight’s outcome. “We’re planning on stopping him late. I always want to knock out everybody, but that’s what I want to do and that’s what I’m planning on doing. I’m sure he’s got the same plan. That’s why it’ll be a great fight.”

Usmanee has already won the NABA and WBC Continental Americas Championships as a professional, but says he’s suffered from anonymity so far in his career. This fight may be his ticket to wider recognition.

“I don’t think the world really knows much about me yet. We’re hoping to change that with this fight. I don’t think many Canadians even know who I am yet, but I have been getting a lot of letters from around the world about this fight. I think if I win it, the world will start to know about me.”


The undercard, which will be announced shortly, will feature several young local and international rising stars.

Tickets are on sale now on the Magic City Casino website as well as in person at the Magic City Players Club. They are priced at $100, $75, $50 and $35. Doors open at 7:30 pm and the first bell is at 8:00.

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