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Adamek-Cunningham, Miranda-Cruz, Albert – News

From the office of WBC President Jose Sulaiman. On January 17, 2009, the WBC Legends of Boxing Museum, located at the American Sports University in San Bernardino, California, will host a benefit dinner party in honor of former WBC super featherweight world champion Genaro “Chicanito” Hernandez.

A full evening of entertainment will be provided for your enjoyment, with a silent auction featuring rare autographed gloves, statues, and other prized items from the world of boxing not usually available for purchase.

Also at this ceremony, the WBC will name Israel Vazquez as “Emeritus Champion” in the super bantamweight division, and Genaro will present him with the honorary belt.

WBCares’ Jill Diamond and WBC Legends of Boxing Museum Chairman Dr. Rudy Tellez will spearhead the event that will feature guest speakers WBC President Dr. Jose Sulaiman, WBC super bantamweight champion Vazquez, and WBC Continental Americas and NABF heavyweight champion Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola, among others.

Please purchase your tickets in advance, as we have limited space available. If you want to participate but are unable to attend, please send your generous donations to the address listed below. All donations will be greatly appreciated, and 100 percent of the money will go to the Hernandez family. On behalf of everyone at the museum, we thank you in advance for supporting Genaro and his family during this tough time.

WBCARES: All donations are tax deductible: Tax ID: # 262665978

Donations should be made to:

World Boxing Cares (WBCARES)

36 W. 22nd St.

New York, New York 10010

Please mark the check: “Genaro Hernandez”

For ticket information or to reserve your seat, please contact Rudy Tellez at MouthPieceDoctor@yahoo.com, or by telephone at 323-229-1694.

We look forward to seeing you!

Gus Johnson To Join SHOWTIME Championship Boxing Team

Dynamic play-by-play broadcast veteran Gus Johnson of CBS Sports signed with Showtime Networks Inc. to host and call the action on the premium network’s flagship sports series SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, it was announced today by Ken Hershman, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Showtime Sports & Event Programming.

Johnson replaces Steve Albert, who has served as the play-by-play voice of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING since 1987. Johnson will work alongside color analyst Al Bernstein on the monthly series.

“SHOWTIME has been on fire for several years—televising some of the most important and evenly matched world title fights in boxing, breaking ground by televising mixed martial arts and adding INSIDE THE NFL to the line up,” said Johnson, who has called boxing for CBS Sports and Madison Square Garden Network. “I am thrilled to join the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING team. And as a division of CBS, my work with SHOWTIME will be complementary to that of CBS Sports.”

Johnson will make his SHOWTIME debut on the first SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast of 2009 – live on Feb. 7 (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) – when the hard-hitting and outspoken Super Flyweight World Champion Vic Darchinyan faces dangerous Mexican champion Jorge Arce, in what is expected to be a thrilling, all-action title fight.

“Gus brings incredible energy and a fresh approach to every broadcast,” said Hershman. “He has the ability to match the intensity of the moment and there are few moments in sports more intense than a hard-fought boxing match. Gus and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING are the perfect match.”

Albert, who will remain with SHOWTIME Sports and fill in for Johnson when his CBS Sports schedule conflicts, said: “I never imagined that when I called my first fight on SHOWTIME back in 1987 that I‘d still be announcing boxing today. But after 21 years at SHOWTIME, 25 years all told in the sport, I thought it was finally time to pull back. I am happy to remain a part of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and also excited to be in the process of pursuing other interests.”

Johnson has served CBS Sports as play-by-play announcer for its coverage of the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Championship since 1995, the National Football League since 1998 and CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS in 2008, among others. He will continue as an active member of the CBS Sports broadcast team.

Johnson is a practicing mixed martial artist who studies Shing Yi Kung Fu, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing.

“Having worked with the likes of Gil Clancy, Tony Paige and Steve Farhood, calling the New York City Golden Gloves and the Broadway Boxing series has prepared me for this tremendous opportunity with SHOWTIME,” said Johnson. “And to work alongside Al Bernstein will be a tremendous honor. I have admired Al’s work for so many years dating back to his time at ESPN. He is a boxing historian, a boxing purist and a true fan. Above all, he is a great broadcaster. I think I will learn a lot working with Al.”

“We welcome Gus to the SHOWTIME family,” said David Dinkins Jr., executive producer, SHOWTIME Sports. “When I first worked with him at the 1998 Olympics Games, I was immediately impressed with his talent and unabashed enthusiasm. He brings those same skills to every event he broadcasts. Gus is a longtime fan of combat sports which adds to his presentation of boxing and MMA.”

GUS JOHNSON

Johnson’s credits at CBS Sports also include play-by-play for college football, track and field, the Hambletonian, and bobsled and luge at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games. He serves as host of AT THE HALF®, CBS Sports’ college basketball halftime studio show, and SPORTSDESK, CBS Sports’ wraparound studio show.

Johnson also is the radio voice of the NBA’s New York Knicks and has provided play-by-play for the Madison Square Garden Network’s coverage of the WNBA’s New York Liberty. He has provided commentary for MSGN’s coverage of the New York City Golden Gloves Tournament.

Johnson also calls college basketball games on the Big 10 Network and has called play-by-play for the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves, Big East Basketball on the Big East Network, college basketball on ESPN and the Canadian Football League on ESPN2. Prior to joining MSGN, he hosted “Black College Sports Today” on ESPN and was the weekend anchor for WTTG-TV Washington, D.C. (1991-92).

Johnson has a degree in political science from Howard University where he played four years of Division I baseball as a catcher and outfielder. He lives in New York and has one son.

Accolades Galore For Cunningham-Adamek In The 2008 Year End Boxing Awards

The results of the various on-line 2008 Year End Boxing Awards have now been announced, whilst most, as expected, had conclusively chosen Manny Pacquiao as “Fighter Of The Year”, the choice for “Fight of the Year,” which seemed to be a forgone conclusion for Vasquez-Marquez III to many earlier in the year, became a little harder for the judges thanks to the exceptional performances put in by Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham and Tomasz ‘Goral’ Adamek when they locked horns in Newark, New Jersey on December 11th 2008.

Within hours of the epic battle for the IBF cruiserweight crown taking place at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, Cunningham-Adamek was being praised by boxing pundits and the fans alike. Nearly every report and review claimed it to be a late candidate for “Fight Of The Year” and called for a rematch.

Cunningham-Adamek received it’s first major accolades by being named as “Fight Of The Month” by badlefthook.com and also by Brent Brookhouse at the MMA on-line magazine, bloodyelbow.com. Just a day or so later followed the news that boxingscene.com had awarded it “Cruiserweight Fight Of The Year” status.

Then as the Christmas Holidays loomed large the various year end reviews and awards started to appear. Any notion of a clean sweep by Vasquez vs Marquez III for “Fight Of The Year” honours was quickly dispelled when The Herald News published it’s 2008 Boxing Awards announcing that Cunningham vs Adamek was their “Fight Of The Year” with Vasquez vs Marquez III runner-up.

Shortly after Chris Richards of boxinggeek.blogspot.com followed suit by awarding “Fight Of The Year” honours to Cunningham vs Adamek and stating his reasons for doing so. “This was not the most hyped fight of the year,
the most watched fight of the year, the biggest money fight of the year, or even the fight whose resolution made me happiest. I admit, I thought Cunningham won by two points. Yet this was an amazing fight, for a
legitimate world championship, broadcast on free cable. Both men fought to win from beginning to end, with Cunningham skilled and busy and Adamek patient and powerful. I’d honestly rather see these guys fight a second time than any other pair I saw fight this year. Even more than Vazquez-Marquez IV!”

It wasn’t just the American press that had noticed just how good the Cunningham vs Adamek battle was. Tim Smith from frankwarren.tv wrote on the British promoters website. “FIGHT OF THE YEAR: You think I’m going to say Pacquiao-De La Hoya, but you need both guys throwing punches to constitute a fight. My pick is Tomasz Adamek-Steve Cunningham for the IBF cruiserweight title that very few people saw. I saw it live at the
Prudential Center in Newark, a place typically reserved for pro hockey. It was a sparse crowd of just over 5,000 and they were treated to a rousing display of courage and guts. Adamek had Cunningham on the canvas three times in the fight, and twice he had him down and hurt. But Cunningham kept bouncing back up and firing at Adamek, who has a granite chin. It was a back and forth fight that saw Adamek squeeze out a 12-round split decision. How either man stayed upright for 12 rounds is beyond me.”

It wasn’t just Cunningham vs Adamek that took the odd accolade away from the awesome Vasquez vs Marquez III as sportinglife.com gave their “Fight Of The Year” award to Margarito vs Cotto, with Vasquez-Marquez III as runner-up and Cunningham-Adamek in third place, as did Brian Wilbur of ringsidereport.com

Cunningham vs Adamek was placed as runner-up to Vasquez vs Marquez III by Joon Lee, 15rounds.com, Chris Iorfida from Canadian broadcaster CBCSports.ca, Luke Kohler at lukekohler.com and, whose
Cliff Rold wrote “Fans tuned in December 11th to see what they assumed would be an interesting fight. Few expected one of the best fights in the history of the Cruiserweight division.”

Eastsideboxing.com called it the third best fight of the 2008 and the lowest position given to this magnificent fight in the year end reviews was that by Scott Christ, badlefthook.com, who placed Cunningham-Adamek
4th in his Top 20 fights of 2008

The fight received honourable mentions in the year end reviews from Peter Czymbor of 8countnews.com, Paul Upham – secondsout.com, Ryan Kaye – 411mania.com and George Willis of the New York Post who also added “the slugfest between Tomasz Adamek and Steve Cunningham in Newark demands a rematch”. Boxingtalk.com gave both the fight and round 4 honorable mentions in their year end awards.

ESPN’s Dan Rafael, who also gave the fight an honourable mention, wrote in his year end review “The cruiserweight title bout featuring Tomasz Adamek and Steve Cunningham rates among the division’s best-ever fights.

On paper, the cruiserweight world championship fight figured to be an excellent one given the boxers’ contrasting styles. But who could have expected a late-year epic, the greatest fight in the brief history of
Versus-televised boxing and a title bout that ranked not far behind the first Evander Holyfield-Dwight Muhammad Qawi battle as the division’s most exciting fight?”

In January 2009 the accolades still kept coming as declared Cunningham vs Adamek “Fight Of The Month” to add to the “Cruiserweight Fight Of The Year” they had awarded it in December.

It looks like Cunningham vs Adamek is also a front runner alongside Vasquez vs Marquez III for the prestigious “Fight Of The Year Award” from the Boxing Writers Association of America as on the 4th January 2009, one
of boxing’s most respected scribes, George Kimball, wrote in the Boston Herald “Pacquiao-De La Hoya turned out to be such a mismatch that it won’t get much support for Fight of the Year. Rather, the balloting will come
down the March war between Israel Vasquez and Rafael Marquez and the Dec. 11 Tomasz Adamek-Steve Cunningham fight in Newark, N.J. The latter battle saw Cunningham lose on a narrow split decision despite going down three times. Our choice would be the latter, but the fact that it was waged in relative obscurity (on Versus) and before a relatively small segment of the electorate may hurt its chances.”

It’s particularly refreshing that a fight in the ‘underrated’ cruiserweight division has received so much attention and accolades as this class has suffered from lack of interest from the media for so long. Then again, there are rarely fights of this calibre in any weight class. It was special, it was without doubt one of the most exciting fights and not just of this year, but for a long while.

Should you feel that Adamek vs Cunningham II should take place in 2009 visit the campaign website www.wewantarematch.com and sign the on-line petition.

TWO UNDEFEATED SOUTHPAW FEATHERWEIGHT PROSPECTS KICK START 2009 SEASON OF SHOBOX

For two, unproven, but talented prospects, the New Year brings a dangerous challenge that will test their ring smarts, skills, mental toughness and unbeaten records.

Leonilo Miranda (24-0, 23 KOs), a featherweight from Mexico, will aim for another knockout victory when he faces fellow unbeaten Orlando Cruz (15-0-1, 6 KOs) of Puerto Rico, in a 10-round featherweight bout on Friday, Jan. 16, 2009, live on ShoBox: The New Generation (SHOWTIME 11 p.m. E/PT, delayed on the West Coast).

Both prospects are southpaws and both are making their American television debut. “ShoBox is in large part about giving young talented, unknown and untested fighters opportunities to take center stage,” said Gordon Hall, Executive Producer of the acclaimed SHOWTIME Sports series, ShoBox. “Miranda and Cruz will be fighting, to live up to lofty expectations and to keep their undefeated records intact. They are unproven and untested until they fight on ShoBox.”

Miranda, who supports his boxing career by working as a full-time fisherman in Mexico, finds himself outside the friendly confines of his home state of Sonora for the first time.

“There’s going to be some pressure on Miranda to perform well because this is his first fight in the U.S. and it’s on SHOWTIME so this is a big deal for him,” said Julio Marines of Marines Promotions, the company that co-promotes Miranda along with Gary Shaw Productions. “We feel he has the right tools and attitude to become a special prizefighter.”

Miranda, a tall lefty with an upright boxing style, is coming off an impressive eighth-round knockout victory over the iron-chinned Cruz Carbajal in July 2008. His precise jab, solid footwork and two-fisted power was on display on that summer night.

“His record is deceiving because his high knockout rate would suggest he is mostly a brawler, but he can box beautifully too,” Marines said. “He uses his jab well and he is a sound technician. He didn’t have much of an amateur career so we’re still developing his boxing skills. Once he puts everything together, he’s going to raise some eyebrows.”

Marines was first turned on to Miranda two years ago when one of his talent scouts tipped him off about a certain, young Mexican fisherman who happened to have power in both mitts.

Miranda, who is fighting for the first time outside of Mexico, is thought of as an unproven prospect. Ranked No. 7 by the WBC at the featherweight division, Miranda will get his shot to show off his impressive power on January 16.

“We are impressed with his sparring,” Marines said of 26 year old Miranda. “He moves real well on his toes. He has good footwork which we didn’t expect. He has an amazing story. Leonilo comes from a family of fishermen. The kid has never been away from home and his mom was brought along so she can cook his meals. I didn’t want him to get homesick.”

Cruz, a 2000 Olympian with over 180 amateur fights, is also a southpaw, and much like Miranda, he is an untested prospect. “I have a lot of experience from my past that I rely on,” said Cruz.

While not a power puncher, Cruz has the ability to outbox his competition. He is coming off a 12-round unanimous decision win over Carlos Guevara in March 2008. Cruz’s manager, Victor Montanez, is confident that he will come out on top. “Orlando looks better than he has ever looked in his life. He is completely mentally and physically prepared,” said Montanez. “We believe that Orlando will put on a beautiful show on January 16.”

Cruz, a proud Puerto Rican, grew up idolizing his 2000 Olympic teammates and fellow countrymen, boxing stalwarts, Miguel Cotto and Ivan Calderon. His manager, Juan De Leon, believes that he will one day follow in their footsteps and see the same success that they have achieved. “With his ability and potential, he will make it to the top. Not only does he deserve to be there for his skills but he has the heart of a champion as well.”

In the co-feature, Marvin Quintero (14-1, 11 KOs) of Mexico will face his toughest test to date against ShoBox alum Nick Casal (18-3-1, 14 KOs) of Chicago, in an eight-round lightweight bout.

The event is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions and will originate from the Million Dollar Elm Casino in Tulsa, Okla.

Nick Charles will call the action from ringside with Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst. The executive producer of ShoBox is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

For more information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go to the new SHOWTIME Sports website at http://sports.sho.com.




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