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Boxing News: Arreola-Witherspoon, Timothy Bradley, Torres-Holt II

With an 11 fight knockout streak dating back to 2005, Chris Arreola has truly been a “Nightmare” for opponents. But the best young heavyweight on the planet is not satisfied; he wants a world heavyweight title shot and is willing to go through anyone in the world to get one. On Saturday, June 21st, the pride of Riverside, California will make his intentions known to all HBO viewers when he makes his Boxing After Dark debut against fellow unbeaten Chazz Witherspoon (23-0, 15 KOs)..

This stellar match-up of heavyweight rising stars, which is presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with Goossen Tutor Promotions, will air live on HBO from the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee.

“I give Chazz Witherspoon a lot of credit for stepping up and taking this fight when a lot of fighters wouldn’t,” said Arreola, 23-0 with 21 KOs. “This is gonna be a great fight between two of the top young heavyweights in the game and I’m planning on making a major statement to the heavyweight title holders that I’m not going anywhere and that you’ll eventually have to deal with me.”

“Two young, undefeated heavyweights, with 36 knockouts in their combined 46 victories, means only one thing: Fireworks on June 21,” said Dan Goossen. “Just what the heavyweight division needs. The future of the division will be determined with the winner of this fight and we believe there is no heavyweight in the world today that can beat Cristobal.”

A 2001 National Golden Gloves Champion, Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola has captivated the fight world in recent years with his exciting style, charisma, and knockout power. Being the first major heavyweight contender of Mexican descent in decades doesn’t hurt either. His recent knockout streak includes victories over highly regarded prospects Damian Wills, Malcolm Tann, and Thomas Hayes. Arreola is on the verge of big things in the heavyweight division. He is currently ranked in the top 10 in the world by three major sanctioning bodies, and in his last bout on February 9th, he needed just 82 seconds to destroy Cliff Couser who had recently knocked out former world contender Monte Barrett.

Timothy Bradley Update

It was a momentous day for Timothy Bradley (22-0, 11 KOs) – as he completed his hometown victory press tour, he received more good news. Bradley, who seized his first opportunity at a world title shot on May 10 at the Trent FM Arena in Nottingham, England against highly regarded Junior Witter, was informed by his co-promoter Ken Thompson of Thompson Boxing Promotions that The California Boxing Hall of Fame had chosen to nominate the pugilist as fighter of the year..

Don Frazer, founder and President of The California Boxing Hall of Fame stated, “we are very impressed by Timothy Bradley. The time and dedication that he put into his training really was on display when he fought against Junior “the Hitter” Witter. He is a confident young man that has many more promising years in the sport of boxing.”

The California Boxing Hall of Fame annual induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 21 at 11:00 a.m. at The Sportsmen’s Lodge, located at 12833 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, California (corner of Ventura and Coldwater Canyon). Luncheon tickets are $50 and can be purchased by calling 818-761-4887.

Induction ceremonies will include WBC super bantamweight champion Israel “Magnifico” Vazquez and WBC Female super middleweight and WIBAWomen’s International Boxing Association super middleweight champion Laila “She Bee Stingin’” Ali. Post-humous category honorees include boxing legends Joe Louis and Eddie Futch.

Added Bradley, “it’s an honor to be recognized by The Californian Boxing Hall of Fame and I am proud to be nominated as fighter of the year. A lot has been said about my fighting in California and it gives me much pleasure to accept this nomination from a home-state organization.”

Finishing up the last leg of his press tour, Bradley makes his way to Bristol, Connecticut tonight to appear as special guest host on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights tomorrow evening.

Ricardo Torres – Kendall Holt July 5

Ten months after a wildly controversial ending to their first fight, Ricardo Torres will defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight title against No. 1 contender Kendall Holt in a rematch on a special edition of ShoBox: The New Generation on Saturday, July 5, 2008, live on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).

Top Rank will promote the 12-round 140-pound world championship bout from the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.

Torres (32-1, 28 KOs), who will defend his WBO crown for a third time, rallied to score a hotly debated 11th-round TKO over Holt (23-2, 12 KOs) on Sept. 1, 2007, in the champion’s hometown of Barranquilla, Colombia.

Holt, of Paterson, N.J., knocked down Torres with a left-right combination in the sixth session and was ahead on two of the three scorecards entering what became the final round.

But the defending champion dropped Holt with a right hand near his corner in the 11th. As the challenger attempted to use his legs and hold on, he continuously slipped on a wet surface caused by fans who hurled beer cans, sodas and water into the ring.

Despite the fact that the fighters had to dodge ice cubes and various liquids, referee Genaro Rodriguez declined to stop the fight and dry the ring’s surface. Instead, he halted the contest with Holt still on his feet late in the 11th round.

Rodriguez acknowledged near ringside moments later that a slippery canvas might have warranted a break in the action.

“It could have been slippery enough,” said Rodriguez, who is based out of Chicago, “but the action of the fight was more important at that time.”

Entering the 11th, Holt was ahead 98-91 and 95-94 on the judges’ scorecards who hailed from Puerto Rico and Miami, respectively. However, the judge from Barranquilla had it 95-94 for Torres.

Understandably, both fighters saw the ending differently.

“I was slipping all over the place,” said Holt of the 11th round. “If I lose, I lose. But don’t cheat me. I’m a man, and he (Torres) is a man. If he beats me, fine. He beats me. But not like that. I got cheated, point blank.”

The champion agreed with the time of the stoppage.

“I thought Holt was seriously hurt and the referee did the right job,” Torres said. “If it would have continued, Holt could have been seriously injured.”

In a recent interview, Torres, who captured the vacant WBO title with a split decision over Mike Arnaoutis in November 2006, said that he will be more prepared for the rematch.

“I hope Holt won’t run away this time,” Torres said. “I expect him to fight, not to run as he did in Barranquilla. I will defeat him in Las Vegas, so there won’t be any doubt that I am the better fighter.”

Holt, who scored a majority decision over former world title challenger and longtime contender Ben Tackie in his last fight on Feb. 7, 2008, obviously is anxious to get a second shot at Torres.

“I have been burning inside, waiting for this chance,” Holt said.

Blow-by-blow announcer Nick Charles will call the action from ringside with expert analyst and boxing historian Steve Farhood at his side. The executive producer of “ShoBox” is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing.

For information on “ShoBox: The New Generation” and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts, including complete fighter bios, records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at http://www.sho.com/boxing.


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