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Latest Boxing News: Conception, Marquez-Abraham, Bika-Manfredo, Bernstein

PANAMA CITY, PANAMA – 29th October 2008. It was announced today by Optimum Sports Agency that Rafael “El Torito” Concepcion will make his ring return November 26th in Panama. The bout will be promoted by Rogelio Espino of Promociones y Eventos Del Istmo and it will take place at the Centro de Convenciones Atlapa, Panama City, Panama.

This will be Concepcion’s first bout since losing the WBA interim Super Flyweight Title to Mexico’s Jose “Travieso” Arce in a very entertaining back and forth fight on September 15th in Mexico City.

Concepcion concedes that the elements where against him fighting at altitude and in Mexico City on their Independence Day but gives full credit to Arce.

“Arce is a very experienced fighter and it was a good fight. My energy levels I think where affected by the altitude but I won’t make excuses. He won a great fight. I hope I get the opportunity to fight him again” said Concepcion.

Concepcion’s manager Damon de Berry says “Rafael is looking forward to getting back into the ring. This fight is just the first step back to becoming champion again and we will take it one fight at a time.”

Concepcion’s opponent will be the tough Colombian Santos Marimon who is on an 8 fight winning streak.

Abraham suggests Marquez look for new job after Nov. 8 PPV title fight

HOBOKEN, N.J. (October 29, 2008) – In response to Raul “El Diamente” Marquez’ recent claims to shock the boxing world November 8 when he fights unbeaten IBF middleweight champion “King” Arthur Abraham at Jako Arena in Bamberg, Germany, unbeaten International Boxing Federation middleweight champion “King” Arthur Abraham suggests that the challenger start looking for a new job.

Abraham-Marquez is promoted by Wilfried Sauerland, presented by Sauerland Event and its Managing Director, Christian Meyer, in association with Seminole Warriors Boxing. The broadcast is being distributed in the United States and Canada by Integrated Sports for live viewing in English and Spanish at 3 PM/ET – 12 PM/PT on both cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, TVN, DISH Network, Viewer’s Choice Canada, and Bell ExpressVue, for a suggested retail price of only $24.95. iN Demand will show a replay the following day (Sunday, Nov. 9) at 2 PM/ET. Al Bernstein and Nick Charles will call the action.

Abraham believes there is no reason for Marquez to be worried about the IBF middleweight champion´s weight. The two fighters will clash in Bamberg on November 8, five weeks later than originally planned after Abraham was flattened by the flu on the day of the fight.

Earlier this week, Marquez said in a statement: “Maybe he was sick but, if he really was, it was because of what he had to do to make weight. If he really was sick it would have taken him two weeks to get back to where he was. Four weeks isn’t going to help him if he’s having trouble making 160 pounds.”

“I want to thank Marquez for his medical diagnosis,” Abraham sarcastically said. “Maybe he can work as a doctor once I have defeated him. I know for a fact that he will not be the new IBF middleweight champion, so it might be wise to think of an alternative career. I know he has worked as a TV commentator, but if he likes to share his thoughts on weight problems, he should try and land a job with Weight Watchers!”

Abraham vows to be in top shape come Nov. 8. “I was unfortunate to get sick but there is nothing you can do about it,” he added. “It just happens. I have fully recovered and quickly returned to practice. Everything has been going fine and I will be in great form next week.”

Abraham (27-0, 22 KOs), rated No. 2 by The Ring and ESPN, captured the IBF middleweight title nearly three years ago by way of a fifth-round knockout of Kingsley Ikeke (23-1). Seven successful title defenses have followed against Miranda, Shannon Taylor, Kofi Jantuah, Sebastian Demers, Khoren Gevor, Wayne Elcock and Elvin Ayala.

“King Arthur” also stressed that he is not looking past Marquez to Kelley Pavlik, Felix Sturm or anybody else. “From day one it has been my goal to become super-champion and unify the titles,” King Arthur said. “But I am well aware that I will only get the chance if I beat Marquez on November 8. That is why my full focus is on him.”

The 37-year-old Marquez (41-3-1, 29 KOs), rated No. 2 (No. 1 unrated) by the IBF as well as No. 8 by The Ring and No. 9 by ESPN, earned his title shot against Abraham by defeating previously unbeaten No. 1 contender Giovanni Lorenzo (26-0) in their June 21st IBF title eliminator. Marquez, fighting out of Houston, was a 1992 U.S. Olympian who was the IBF junior middleweight title-holder in 1997.

The 10-round co-feature on the PPV show from Germany finds former NABO champion and “The Next Great Champ” reality television winner, Otis “Triple OG” Griffin (19-3-2, 7 KOs), of Sacramento, fighting Yugoslavian-born Enad Licina (14-1, 8 KOs), now living in Germany, for the vacant IBF Intercontinental cruiserweight belt.

For more information about the Abraham-Marguez PPV go to or

Bika wants unification fight or Hopkins after Manfredo

PROVIDENCE (October 29, 2008) – The Contender, Season Three winner Sakio “The Scorpion” Bika plans to cash in after an impressive win November 13 against two-time world title challenger “The Pride of Providence” Peter Manfredo, Jr., runner-up in Season One of The Contender, for the vacant IBO super middleweight title in the 12-round main event headlining “Tough & Tested” at the newly renovated Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island.

“Tough & Tested,” promoted by the Tournament of Contenders in association with Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment and Sports, Inc. (CES), will air nationally live on Versus television. The co-promoters have called for a ‘Pink Out’ (everybody wearing something colored pink) to show support for the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation. A portion of the proceeds from ticket and T-shirt sales will benefit the Gloria Gemma Foundation for research into early breast cancer detection.

IBF Pan Pacific super middleweight title-holder Bika (26-3-2. 16 KOs), a 2000 Cameroon Olympian now fighting out of Australia, won The Contender III with a dramatic eighth round stoppage of Bridgeport, Connecticut native Jaidon Codrington in the finale a year ago in Boston. Bika, rated No. 4 by the IBF and No. 8 by The Ring magazine, hasn’t been stopped in 31 pro fights. In his two past world title fight shots, Sakio forced (at that time) IBF and WBO champion Joe Calgazhe the full distance, hurting the Welchman badly in the 12th round, and Bika’s WBC title-fight against defending champ Markus Beyer ended in a fourth round technical draw after Beyer suffered a cut under his right eye from an accidental head butt.

“It will be good fighting back in the states again,” Bika said. “I feel very happy to have another world title shot. This year has not been great for me in the boxing ring. My wife had a baby in June and hence I wanted to enjoy my time with my new son, Jordan. Hopefully, next year will be a lot busier for me after I win this title.

“New England brings back fond memories of one of my greatest boxing successes. I hope to continue that success against Manfredo in New England, in November, which is the same month I won The Contender last year.”

Manfredo (31-5, 16 KOs), the reigning NABF Interim champion, is the WBC No. 13 rated super middleweight. Fighting in front of his hometown fans, “The Pride of Providence” sports a perfect 16-0 (10 KOs) record in Rhode Island, including 3-0 (3 KOs) in the same Providence building as his Nov. 13th showdown against Bika. Manfredo’s five pro career losses have all come at the hands of world champions.

“Almost every time I fight, it is in the other guy’s hometown,” Bika added. “I am used to that and it doesn’t intimidate me in anyway. Maybe one day I will get to fight in my own backyard, Australia or Cameroon.

“I think Manfredo is a good boxer and a good mover. Our boxing styles will make for a great fight. Manfredo doesn’t remind me of anybody I have previously fought. Every opponent is different and I will find out what he’s like in the ring. The winner of this fight will be in great position to negotiate with one of the other world title belt holders for a unification bout (WBA Mikkel Kessler, IBF Lucian Bute, WBO Denis Inkin). My next fight…..I would like to fight the legend, Bernard Hopkins.”

In the 10-round co-feature, Grady “Bad Boy” Brewer (23-11, 13 KOs), winner of Season Two of The Contender, takes on The Contender, Season Two fan favorite, IBF No. 13 rated Cornelius “K9” Bundrage (28-3, 16 KOs), in an IBO light middleweight title eliminator. Codrington (18-2, 14 KOs), runner-up in Season Three of The Contender, also is fighting on the card in a super middleweight Special Attraction against an opponent to be determined.

Some of New England’s most talented and popular fighters are scheduled to fight on the undercard including WBC World Youth and USNBC featherweight champion Matt “Sharp Shooter” Remillard (15-0, 8 KOs), super flyweight Isander “Peachy” Beauchamp (5-0, 2 KOs), Providence light welterweight Jesus Caro (2-0, 2 KOs), and Pawtucket light welterweight Diego Periera (1-0, 1 KO). All fights and fighters are subject to change.

Tickets, priced at $18.00, $23.00, $58.00, $79.00, $107.00 and $222.00, are on sale at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Box Office (401.331.6700) or through CES Boxing at 401.724.2253/2254 or Tickets will also be on sale through, at all local Ticketmaster outlets by calling Ticketmaster direct at 401.331.2211 or 617.931.2000, as well as Manfredo’s Gym in Pawtucket (401.723.1359), 401

Gym in Cranston (401.261.9800), Balletto’s Gym in Providence (401.641.9994), Elite Mixed (Martial Arts (401.728.1356), and Ultimate Fitness in Bristol (401.253.3539). Each paid ticket holder will receive a complimentary Dave & Buster’s $10.00 Power Card ($12 value) upon entry.

For more information call 401.724.2253/2254 or go online to, or Doors open at 5:30 PM/ET, first bout 6:30 PM/ET.


Al Bernstein, Showtime boxing analyst and the voice of boxing for over 25 years will make a special guest appearance Thursday, November 20 at the American Metal and Iron Fight Night in San Jose, California.

Completing his season as an official spokesman for the fight series, Al will address the ringsiders group before the fight and address the fans from inside the ring before the main event. He will also be available for a meet and greet with fans inside the arena. On November 19, Al will appear at the weigh-in and do interviews with the media about the card. Al has written boxing columns and done podcasts that have appeared on the Fight Night website.

“I really enjoy going around the country making appearances at fight cards and helping promote the sport in general. The American Metal and Iron Fight Night is one of my favorite stops. This year is even more enjoyable because as their spokesperson, I have been able to be involved with all of their matches. I enjoyed writing and podcasting about the fights and boxing as part of my duties as spokesman for this series”, he said.

The main event of this card features Bobby Pacquiao against Sandro Marcos in a 10 round lightweight match. Tickets can be purchased at the HP Pavilion box office or at Ticketmaster throughout the bay area in California.


When Al Bernstein hosted a post fight gathering for Bally’s casino patrons at the Blue Martini Lounge after the Bernard Hopkins-Kelly Pavlik match in Atlantic City, boxing experts were amazed at the performance of Hopkins. Al was joined on stage by legendary fight trainer Angelo Dundee, boxing historian and writer Burt Sugar and great heavyweight champion Joe Frazier, and all agreed that Hopkins win over Pavlik was an astonishing performance. Dundee had predicted a Hopkins win, so he said, “I knew the old guy could do it, but who knew it would be so dominating?” Bernstein dubbed it, “the best over 40 year old performance in boxing history.”

Al will again serve as analyst on the Showtime Network telecast of the Cristian Mijares-Vic Darchinyan super flyweight championship fight on Saturday, Nov. 1. The telecast begins at 9 pm eastern and pacific times. Al will also lead the coverage of the weigh-in and fight for the Al Bernstein Boxing Channel (ABBC) at . The ABBC will provide complete coverage of the post fight press conference, including interviews with top boxing personalities analyzing the match.

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