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Jones vs. Sheika on March 21st; Wladimir vs. Haye in 20 ft Ring

Anthony Peterson David Haye Edner Cherry Roy Jones Jr. Wladimir KlitschkoRoy Jones Jr., Eight-Time World Champion, returns to Pensacola to fight for the first time since January, 1999 when he battles Omar Sheika at the Pensacola Civic Center on Saturday, March 21, 2009. The fight card will also feature a bevy of Mixed Martial Arts stars headlined by Seth Petruzelli, who most recently knocked out Internet legend and previously undefeated Kimbo Slice. The event is being promoted by Square Ring Promotions in association with Hirsch Borao Boxing and the Pensacola Civic Center and will be broadcast live on pay-per-view.

Tickets, priced at $128, $103, $78, $53 & $28 go on sale Wednesday, February 11th at 10:00 a.m. and will be available at all Ticketmaster locations, the Pensacola Civic Center Box Office and Ticketmaster.com.

It wasn’t that long ago that Roy Jones Jr. (52-5, 38 KOs) was the consensus “pound-for-pound” champion and just over 20 years since the exuberant, talent-brimming Jones was denied an Olympic Gold Medal by corrupt judges. In a contradictory but unofficial admission the “Silver Medialist” Jones was named the Most Valuable Boxer at the ’88 Seoul Olympics. Jones later used that unfortunate episode as inspiration to become an eight-time world champion in four weight classes, claiming belts at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight.

He blew through the 90s and well into the 21st Century in unstoppable fashion, stunning his opponents with blinding quickness and brutal power, beating the top names in the sport, including Bernard Hopkins, James “Lights Out” Toney, Mike McCallum and Virgil Hill. He made history on March 1, 2003 when he stymied then-heavyweight champion John Ruiz to become the first former middleweight champion to win the heavyweight title in more than 100 years.

Following the Ruiz triumph, Jones was to take on “Iron” Mike Tyson, but when the deal fell through he had to lose twenty-five pounds of solid muscle in six weeks to drop not one, but two weight classes to regain the light heavyweight championship from Florida rival and nemesis Antonio Tarver on November 8, 2003. It was an unprecedented feat in boxing history, going from middleweight champion to heavyweight champion then back down to win the light heavyweight championship once again. However, the sudden weight variations had taken a toll on Jones’ body and he subsequently lost consecutive bouts against Tarver (twice) and Glen Johnson.

Down, but not out, Jones came back to score wins in his next two fights, setting up a highly-anticipated duel with Puerto Rican legend Felix “Tito” Trinidad at Madison Square Garden on January 19, 2008. A renewed Jones looked sharp and focused, flooring Trinidad twice, in capturing a hard fought unanimous win. In his most recent bout, on November 8, 2008 in “Battle of the Superpowers” Jones fought undefeated and the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Joe Calzaghe.

Jones started out strong, knocking Calzaghe down with a left-right combination in the first round and had “Super” Joe practically out on his feet. To his credit, Calzaghe mustered the heart to get through the round, gaining strength in the next few rounds until Jones rocked him in the sixth with a deadly uppercut. The fight, however, took a significant turn in the seventh when Jones was cut for the first time in his career from a Calzaghe right hand.

Jones’ corner was unable to stop the bleeding, and the steady stream of blood running over his eye was wreaking havoc on his vision and his pace had slowed considerably. Calzaghe went on to win a unanimous decision. To Roy, this was just another valley, and he will now begin another trek back to the peak and the first step takes place on March 21 against the always game, exciting brawler Omar Sheika.

Sheika (27-8, 18 KOs) of Paterson, N.J. accomplished something Roy Jones Jr. did not: he beat Glen Johnson, on June 2, 2000 at the famed Blue Horizon in Philadelphia. In the fourth-round, Sheika was getting inside of Johnson’s jab and began to nail him with uppercuts. He then floored Johnson with a powerful right hand. The fight went the distance and Sheika won a majority decision.

The Johnson win catapulted Sheika to a world title fight against reigning super middleweight champion and another Jones common opponent, Joe Calzaghe on August 12, 2000. In the fifth round of that bout a nasty laceration was forming above Omar’s left eye due to an accidental clash of heads earlier in the fight. However, the referee had ruled it had come from a punch and when it was decided that Omar could not continue, the fight ended as a technical knockout loss for Sheika.

But Sheika may mostly be known for his two brawling and brutal bouts against Scott Pemberton. The first meeting took place on July 25, 2003 and was ESPN2’s Fight of the Year. Pemberton won a 12-round split decision after being knocked down by Sheika in round two and surviving a late round rally. Their January 23, 2004 rematch, again for the NABF super middleweight title, was just as action-packed and an early candidate for 2004’s Fight of the Year.

Sheika knocked Pemberton down in round two and in the sixth, drove Pemberton into the ropes with an overhand right leading to a mandatory 8-count. Pemberton survived the round and in a reversal of fortune, knocked Sheika down for the first time in his career in the tenth and the fight was soon stopped. In Sheika’s last bout, on September 29, 2007, he stopped Tiwon Taylor in the fourth round in Atlantic City.

Edner “Cherry Bomb” Cherry Back in Ring Against Anthony Peterson

WBC USNBC lightweight title holder Edner “Cherry Bomb” Cherry (24-6, 12 KO’s) will be stepping back into the ring at MAdison Square Garden, on February 21st against lightweight contender Anthony Peterson (28-0, 19KO’s). Edner will be stepping back into the ring for the first time since losing a world title bid against WBC light welterweight title holder Timothy Bradley last September.

Edner has dropped back down to lightweight and has made some changes in his training with longtime trainer Pete Fernandez. Edner states “I’m ready to go, ready to put on a show and ready to place the first loss on Peterson’s record. I’ll be bringing this win back home!”

The Cherry vs Peterson fight will take place on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto vs. Mike Jennings fight. Edner Cherry will address this fight as a guest of “Talking Boxing with Billy C” show on February 20th at 7:15am EST. This show will be broadcast nationwide on www.talkingboxing.com

Wladimir Klitschko To Face David Haye In 20 feet Ring

By Kevin Dinkins: International Boxing Federation heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko will be facing challenger David Haye on June 20th, possibly at the O2 Arena in London. Wladimir’s trainer Emanuel Steward reportedly has arranged for the fight to take place in a big 20 feet ring, which will be spacious enough to give the tall 6’6″ fighter room to escape from the heavy pressure of British knockout artist Haye.

Steward is said to have added the 20 foot ring size to the contract in the recent negotiations for the fight. Wladimir, 32, is one of the more mobile heavyweights in the division despite his huge size, and likes to move around a lot and use his legs and jabs to keep his bigger punching opponents from cornering him.

This was the case against the tough Nigerian Samuel Peter, who chased Wladimir all around the ring in their 2005 fight, and was unable to corner him enough times to knock him out. However, he did succeed in knocking him down three times in the fight. With this in mind, it may not matter how big the ring is, because Haye has enough power to end the bout with one big punch if he can catch up to Wladimir early.

Haye’s best, and maybe only chance to win, is if he can get to Wladimir fairly early in the bout before Wladimir unloads something big on him. Wladimir is traditionally a slow starter in his fights, and doesn’t relax until later around the 5th round. If Haye can put a lot of pressure on him in those early rounds, he has a good chance of stopping him. Wladimir’s accuracy has gone down in recent years, and he’s not nearly as accurate with his punches as he was earlier in his career.

This, too, may play into the hands of Haye, because he can probably inflict a lot of punishment on Wladimir quickly at the start of the fight and not worry about getting hit. Haye needs to get close as possible, and cut off real estate fast on Wladimir in order to land a big shot. In Wladimir’s 2nd round knockout loss at the hands of Corrie Sanders in 2003, Sanders moved fast across the ring to get in close range to land his big shots.

Haye will need to be able to move quickly so as to avoid getting hit with something big on the way in. If he stays on the outside, Wladimir will likely make mincemeat of Haye’s face and take him out within short order. This is perhaps the best way that Haye can minimize having to fight a good mover like Wladimir in a big ring.

All Haye’s movements have to be quick without hesitation because if Wladimir can time him, he’s probably a goner. This may be easier than some people think, because Wladimir has been fortunate to have faced a lot of bigger, slower fighters in recent years and the speed of Haye will be something that he’s not entirely ready for. However, Haye is going to have to stay focused about getting in quickly, and not be slow in getting close to him because that will enable Wladimir to catch him with one of his big left hooks or right hands.


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