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Rudy Markussen vs. Luke Blackledge on 3/16

Rudy Markussen (38-3, 25 KOs) will take on Luke Blackledge (12-0-1, 4 KOs) on March 16 as the Nordic Fight Night returns to Frederikshavn´s Arena Nord. Blackledge came to fame in Denmark last June when he stopped Mads Larsen in what was only his tenth fight. Meanwhile, the Hardhitter celebrated a successful comeback on the Kessler-Magee undercard, knocking out Daniel Regi in the first round. “Markussen versus Blackledge is an exciting fight that makes a lot of sense for both of them,” promoter Nisse Sauerland said. “Rudy has no time to waste, he needs to hold off an extremely talented prospect like Blackledge if he wants to fight for a title again. Blackledge, on the other hand, would have a huge name if he stopped another Danish boxing great, which I don´t think he will, though. We´re thrilled to return to Frederikshavn with an action-packed card. The atmosphere at Arena Nord has been sensational during our last two visits.”

Markussen, who has knocked out five of his last six opponents, wants to make Blackledge pay for beating Larsen. “I saw the fight, Blackledge is a good kid,” Markussen said. “But that´s what he is, just a talented kid who will be in trouble once he tastes my power. I am convinced I will knock him out.”

Said Blackledge: “It was an honour to fight Mads Larsen and I am thrilled to return to Denmark. The example of Brian Magee shows where victories over Larsen and Markussen can get you – to the very top! I intend to take the same route and after knocking out Larsen, Markussen is the next in line. I look forward to going to Frederikshavn.”

Per Malmberg, CEO of Arena Nord, is delighted to bring the Nordic Fight Night back to town. “We had two great boxing events at Arena Nord in 2012,” he said. “There is a lot of love for boxing in Frederikshavn and I´m sure the atmosphere as well as the fight action will again be brilliant on March 16.”

The Nordic Fight Night will once again feature the very best of Nordic boxing, with further fights announced shortly. Tickets are on sale at

Twenty Boxers Move One Step Closer to a Berth on the Junior World Championships Team

(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – Forty young boxers took the ring for the longest session of the Junior World Team Open on Thursday night. The 20 victors advanced on to championship night at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nev., and they will vie for berths on the 2013 AIBA Junior Men’s World Championships squad in this evening’s final round action.

As usual, the semifinal round featured great action with only one bout ending in a stoppage. The evening started with one of the closest bouts of the session with Szel Martinez (Ontario, Ore.) pulling out a 21-20 victory over Shon Mondragon (Commerce City, Colo.) in the first pinweight semifinal. Martinez will face Jordan White (Waldorf, Md.) in the tournament final.

The first of two Nevada natives to move to on to championship night did so in the light flyweight semifinal. Freudis Rojas (Las Vegas, Nev.) earned a 17-9 decision over Izaiah Bautista (Fresno, Calif.) in the first light flyweight contest of the evening. The victory set up a championship bout with Daniel Gonzalez (Moreno Valley, Calif.).

Two California boxers will face off in the flyweight finale as Joseph Cuellar (Tulare, Calif.) and Evan Sanchez (Fresno, Calif.) both claimed victories in their semifinal bouts on Thursday. Cuellar won a 17-12 decision over Neketa Ababiy (Brooklyn, N.Y.) in the first flyweight match of the night and Sanchez followed with a 23-16 victory over Timothy Longoria (Palacios, Texas).

Light bantamweight Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.) made a cross-country journey to compete in the Junior World Team Open and he made his trip worthwhile by advancing to the event final. He pulled out a 10-8 win over Ryan Garcia (Adelanto, Calif.) in the semifinal round to move on to a championship bout match-up with Noah Contreras (Fort Mohave, Ariz.

The second Nevada native to move on to the finals competes in the bantamweight division. Sin City native Devin Haney (Las Vegas, Nev.) advanced with a two-point win as well, taking a 14-12 decision over Adolfo Alanis (Edinburg, Texas). He will face off with Isidro Ochoa (Fresno, Calif.) in Friday’s bantamweight championship bout.

In the featherweight final, Michael Nelson (Mansfield, Ohio) and Garrett Rincon will battle for the World Championships berth on Friday. Nelson and Rincon defeated Xavier Martinez (Sacramento, Calif.) and Mario Martinez (Sparks, Nev.) respectively to advance to tonight’s championship round.

Two Hawaii natives showed the strength of their islands in the next two weight divisions, winning semifinal bouts. In the lightweight division, Keoni Adric, Jr. (Haleiwe, Hawaii) won a 23-13 victory to move on to a championship night showdown with Jose Guevara (Phoenix, Ariz.).

In the light welterweight class, Hunter-Gabriel Manaba (Kaunakakas, Hawaii) took a 12-9 decision over Ruben Torres (Whittier, Calif.). He will face Brandon Trejo (Napa, Calif.) in the light welterweight finale.

Christopher Gonzalez (Tucson, Ariz.) won the lone stoppage of the night in the welterweight semifinal contest. He stopped John Harris III (Deer Park, N.Y.) at the 1:42 mark of the second round to move on to the final round. Gonzalez will battle Javier Estrada (Palmdale, Calif.) in tonight’s welterweight title bout.

Alexis Rocha (Santa Ana, Calif.) won a convincing 23-5 decision in his semifinal bout with Jake Baca (Pueblo, Colo.) in the junior middleweight division. Rocha’s victory earned him a final round showdown with Edgar Berlanga (Brooklyn, N.Y.) tonight.

The final semifinal bouts of the night were contested in the light heavyweight division. Both victors moved on to the finals with impressive wins and Suray Mahmutovic (Daly City, Calif.) and Matthew Hernandez (San Antonio, Texas) will test their skills against one another in a final round match-up this evening.

The Junior World Team Open finals will begin at 6 p.m. tonight at the Grand Sierra Resort, and the full bout sheet for tonight’s action can be found below. A live stream of Junior World Team Open tournament action is available on USA Boxing’s website,

Thursday, January 10 – Semifinal Results
101 lbs: Szel Martinez, Ontario, Ore., dec. Shon Mondragon, Commerce City, Colo., 21-20
101 lbs: Jordan White, Waldorf, Md., dec. Slade Corvin, Chattanooga, Tenn., 21-13
106 lbs: Freudis Rojas, Las Vegas, Nev., dec. Izaiah Bautista, Fresno, Calif., 17-9
106 lbs: Daniel Gonzalez, Moreno Valley, Calif., dec. Adrian Servin, Phoenix, Ariz., 20-11
110 lbs: Joseph Cuellar, Tulare, Calif., dec. Neketa Ababiy, Brooklyn, N.Y., 17-12
110 lbs: Evan Sanchez, Fresno, Calif., dec. Timothy Longoria, Palacios, Texas, 23-16
114 lbs: Shakur Stevenson, Newark, N.J., dec. Ryan Garcia, Adelanto, Calif., 10-8
114 lbs: Noah Contreras, Fort Mohave, Ariz., dec. Jacob Ponce, Phoenix, Ariz., 22-12
119 lbs: Devin Haney, Las Vegas, Nev., dec. Adolfo Alanis, Edinburg, Texas, 14-12
119 lbs: Isidro Ochoa, Fresno, Calif., dec. Brandon Vega, Cleveland, Ohio, 7-7, 25-22
125 lbs: Michael Nelson, Mansfield, Ohio, dec. Xavier Martinez, Sacramento, Calif., 13-9
125 lbs: Garrett Rincon, Irvine, Calif., dec. Mario Martinez, Sparks, Nev., 21-10
132 lbs: Keoni Adric, Jr., Haleiwe, Hawaii, dec. Joseph Rivera, Houston, Texas, 23-13
132 lbs: Jose Guevara, Phoenix, Ariz., dec. Jonathan Jarabek, Brighton, Colo., 28-17
138 lbs: Hunter-Gabriel Manaba, Kaunakakas, Hawaii, dec. Ruben Torres, Whittier, Calif., 12-9
145 lbs: Christopher Gonzalez, Tucson, Ariz., stopped John Harris III, Deer Park, N.Y., RSC-2 (1:42)
154 lbs: Edgar Berlanga, Brooklyn, N.Y., dec. Jose Burgos, Jr., Johnson City, Tenn., 13-7
154 lbs: Alexis Rocha, Santa Ana, Calif., dec. Jake Baca, Pueblo, Colo., 23-5
176 lbs: Suray Mahmutovic, Daly City, Calif., dec. Mario Herandez, Sparks, Nev., 25-8
176 lbs: Matthew Hernandez, San Antonio, Texas, dec. Alejandro Larrondo, Prescott, Ariz., 24-8

Friday’s Championship Night Bout Sheet
101 lbs: Szel Martinez, Ontario, Ore., vs. Jordan White, Waldorf, Md.

106 lbs: Freudis Rojas, Las Vegas, Nev., vs. Daniel Gonzalez, Moreno Valley, Calif.

110 lbs: Jospeh Cuellar, Tulare, Calif., vs. Evan Sanchez, Fresno, Calif.

114 lbs: Shakur Stevenson, Newark, N.J., vs. Noah Contreras, Fort Mohave, Ariz.

119 lbs: Devin Haney, Las Vegas, Nev., vs. Isidro Ochoa, Fresno, Calif.

125 lbs: Michael Nelson, Mansfield, Ohio vs. Garrett Rincon, Irvine, Calif.

132 lbs: Keoni Adric, Jr., Haleiwe, Hawaii vs. Jose Guevara, Phoenix, Ariz.

138 lbs: Brandon Trejo, Napa, Calif., vs. Hunter-Gabriel Manaba, Kaunakakas, Hawaii

145 lbs: Javier Estrada, Palmdale, Calif., vs. Christopher Gonzalez, Tucson, Ariz.

154 lbs: Edgar Berlanga, Brooklyn, N.Y., vs. Alexis Rocha, Santa Ana, Calif.

165 lbs: Eric Murguia, California, vs. Akeem Mayle, Zanesville, Ohio

176 lbs: Suray Mahmutovic, Daly City, Calif., vs. Matthew Hernandez, San Antonio, Texas

176+ lbs: Ricky Pina, Dorchester, Mass., vs. Pano Tiatia, St. George, Utah

USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing, is the United States’ member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

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