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Vega-Escalara, Yanez Defeats Valadez, Olympic Boxing Review – News

Phoenix, AZ – Following his opening round loss on The Contender to Akinyemi “AK47” Laleye, Erick Vega 8-3-1 (6 KO’s) knew he needed to make changes in his arsenal.

“I was really down after the fight and realized in order to be at my best, I had to keep my cool and be smart in the ring”, said Vega who was extremely disappointed with his performance, which was aired on the Versus Network. “I have my trainers and coaches back with me (in Arizona) and they have helped me greatly since my last fight”, mentioned Vega who would like a return bout with Laleye.

Following his early and unexpected exit, Vega returned to the gym within a week and was excited for a new start. Vega, who is known for his heavy hands as his “Dynamite” billing best explains, went back to the basics of boxing.

“I am using my jab and boxing abilities more than ever”, said Vega who like Contender stablemate Felix Cora lost his day job in order to participate on the show. “I became too confident of my power and I went in there trying to knock everybody’s head off”.


This Wednesday, Vega will get his chance to show the world what type of fighter he really is. In his way is Alfredo Escalara Jr who boasts a record of 16-2-1 (11 KO’s) and is the son of a former world champion. The two will meet over six rounds during the Contender’s live finale. The fight will be staged at the Foxwoods Resort Casino, which is located in Mashantucket, Connecticut. Escalara, who was widely regarded as the most controversial fighter during the series, was on Vega’s radar from day one.

“Just like everybody else on the show, I couldn’t stand his attitude and wanted to fight him”, said Vega. “I got along with everybody and they were all respectful except for him. He is very cocky and thinks he is a top fighter but he is not. I can’t wait to shut Escalara up, hopefully for good this time!”

The Contender Finale will air live at 9 pm ET on the Versus Network. Fans can reach Erick as well as watch his highlight videos at DynamiteHands.Com.

USA BOXING WEEK IN REVIEW

USA BOXING’S WEEKLY RECAP OF THE PAST WEEK’S EVENT AND CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS WILL PROVIDE A GLIMPSE INTO THE AMATEUR BOXING EVENTS, STORIES AND RESULTS FROM COAST-TO-COAST MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2009 AIBA VOTES FOR WOMEN’S BOXING AT THE 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES
The International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA), amateur boxing’s international federation, voted unanimously to send the International Olympic Committee a new proposal on behalf of Olympic inclusion for women’s boxing in 2012. The AIBA Executive Committee officially approved the initiative on the final day of meetings, February 16-18 in Milan, Italy. “This is a crucial decision in the development of women’s boxing,” AIBA President Dr. Ching Kuo Wu said after the meeting. “AIBA fully supports the idea of including women’s boxing in the Olympic Games and now we must work hard and try to put forward a proposal the IOC can not refuse.”

The AIBA Technical and Rules Commission presented a new proposal, which will incorporate women’s boxers into the Olympic program and streamline the men’s weight categories. The IOC is expected to make a decision on whether women’s boxing is included in the 2012 Olympic Games at its Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark, which runs from October 3-5. Boxing is the only summer sport that doesn’t currently have a female counterpart in Olympic competition. The first women’s amateur boxing bout in the United States took place in 1993, and AIBA has governed women’s action since 1994.

THE EAST CENTRAL REGION FINALIZES TEAM FOR THE 2009 USA BOXING NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

USA Boxing’s East Central region, which includes Western Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC, held their qualifying event for the 2009 USA Boxing National Championships, February 13-15, in Charleston, W. Va. Eleven men’s boxers and four female athletes all earned spots in the national championship event, which will take place, June 8-13 in Denver, Colo. The men’s champions are light flyweight Miguel Cartagena (Philadelphia, Pa.); flyweight William Bentley (Philadelphia, Pa.); bantamweight Marcus Gaddis (Landover, Md.) featherweight Kevin Rivers (Landover, Md.); lightweight Elvis Medrano (Washington DC); light welterweight Gary Allen Russell III (Capitol Heights, Md.); welterweight Julian Williams (Philadelphia, Pa.); middleweight Travis Peterkin (Edgewood, Md.); light heavyweight Thomas Williams (Fort Washington, Md.); heavyweight Charles Johnson (Upper Marlboro, Md.) and super heavyweight Joey Dawejko (Philadelphia, Pa.). The four female winners are flyweight Maria Cash (Oxen Hill, Md.); Rasheda Horne (Philadelphia, Pa.); welterweight Brittany Inkrote (Red Lion, Pa.); and middleweight Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.).

THE USA VS. IRELAND TEAM COMPLETES PREPARATORY TRAINING CAMP

The 12 boxers competing in the USA vs. Ireland Dual, February 27 and March 1 in Dublin, Ireland, convened at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., on February 18 for the a preparatory training camp. The squad took part in strength and conditioning workouts with USA Boxing High Performance Director Patrick Borkowski (Colorado Springs, Colo.) in addition to gym workouts, sparring, and tape review. The camp marked a return to the OTC for flyweight Rau’shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio), featherweight Raynell Williams (Cleveland, Ohio) and super heavyweight Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.). Warren and Williams spent 10 months in Colorado Springs, Colo., before competing in Beijing while Hunter called the Pikes Peak region home from
September 2007 to May 2008 before failing to qualify internationally for the Olympics. Light flyweight Louie Byrd (Denver, Colo.), welterweight Javontae Starks (Minneapolis, Minn.), and light heavyweight Siju Shabazz (Las Cruces, N.M.) are familiar with the training center as well as both participated in Olympic training camps with the 2008 team prior to the Olympics. In addition, two-time national champion Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) participated in international training camps in at the Olympic Training Center in preparation for women’s international competition. The camp is the first at the U.S. Olympic Training center for bantamweight Ernesto
Garza (Saginaw, Mich.); lightweight Eric Fowler (Montgomery, Texas); light welterweight Charles Watson (Johnson City, Tenn.); middleweight Aleem Whitfield (Geneva, N.Y.); and heavyweight Paul Koon (Philadelphia, Pa.). Event coaches Hal Chernoff (Fruitland, Md.), Ray Velez (Ridgewood, N.Y.) and Kenny Buffington (Marshalltown, Iowa) as well as training camp coaches Mike Stafford (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Sankara Frazier (Minneapolis, Minn.) joined the squad in Colorado Springs, Colo., for the training camp. The squad will depart for Dublin on Tuesday, February 18.

USA vs. IRELAND SQUAD SPEAKS AT COLORADO SPRINGS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

The USA vs. Ireland team took time out of their training schedule to visit Helen Hunt Elementary School in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Friday, February 20. The boxers spent an hour with the youngsters, sharing their own experiences of adversity and success with the approximately 150 students in attendance.

Lightweight Eric Fowler opened the presentation by telling the students that although he has only been boxing for four years, he has already become the top ranked boxer in the country and they should all chase their own dreams.

The young students had many outstanding questions for the boxers throughout the presentation and even learned how to throw a jab from light flyweight champion Louie Byrd (Denver, Colo.)

USA Boxing plans to engage in additional speaking opportunities in the future, creating important outreach for the organization and its athletes in schools and youth facilities across the country.

ALUMNI NEWS

2000 Olympic silver medalist Rocky Juarez (Houston, Texas) will return to action on Saturday, February 28, facing Chris John (Semarang, Indonesia) at the Toyota Center in his hometown of Houston with the WBA featherweight title on the line. 2008 lightweight Olympian Sadam Ali (Brooklyn, N.Y.) will also enjoy the opportunity to compete in his own backyard. Ali will face Ralph Prescott (Seattle, Wash.) in his second professional bout on the Broadway Boxing Show at B.B. Kings Blues Club in New York City on February 25. Fellow 2008 Olympian Luis Yanez (Duncanville, Texas) made his professional debut on Friday, February 20 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Yanez won a majority decision over Julio Valadez (San Antonio, Texas) in their junior bantamweight contest.

USA BOXING’S UPCOMING LOCAL EVENT CALENDAR

February 25-28 – Ft. Worth Regional Golden Gloves at Will-Rogers – John Justin Arena
in Fort Worth, Texas*

February 25 – New York Daily News Golden Gloves at Glen Cove High School in Glen
Clove, N.Y. *

February 26 – New York Daily News Golden Gloves at Millennium Theater in Brooklyn,
N.Y. *
February 27 – Pennsylvania Golden Gloves at Strategies in N. Huntington, Pa.*

February 27 – New York Daily News Golden Gloves at Lindenhurst High school in
Lindenhurst, N.Y. *

February 27 – M.A.C. at M.A.C. in Milwaukee, Wis., at 8 p.m.

February 27 – New York Daily News Golden Gloves at Lindenhurst High School in
Lindenhurst, N.Y. *

February 27 – Club Show at Milwaukee Athletic Club in Milwaukee, Wis. *

February 28 – San Antonio Regional Golden Gloves at the Alzofar Shrine Temple in San
Antonio, Texas*

February 28 – Fight the Good Fight at Casper College in Casper, Wyo.

February 28 – Boxing Bash IV at the National Guard Armory in Abilene, Texas

February 28 – Montana State Novice Tournament at UGF- Mem. Center in Great Falls,
Mont.

February 28– Boxing in the Bayou Show @ Red Shield Community Center in Denver,
Colo.

February 28 – Louisville Legends Invitational at Louisville Legends Inc., in Louisville, Ky.

February 28 – Pennsylvania Golden Gloves at Punxsutawney Area High School in
Punxsutawney, Pa.*

February 28 – Third Annual Robert “Bob “McCall at McMorran Place in Port Huron,
Mich.

February 28-March 1 – Fred Enslow Memorial Tournament at the Garden Home
Recreation Center in Portland, Ore.

March 1- Boxing Show at Adrenaline Boxing Club in San Bernadino, Calif.

March 3 – New York Daily News Golden Gloves at Club Amazura, Jamaica, N.Y.*

March 3- New York Daily News Golden Gloves at Brooklyn Masonic Temple in Brooklyn,
N.Y. *

March 3- New York Daily News Golden Gloves at Co-op City Recreation Center in Bronx,
N.Y.*

March 3- New York Daily News Golden Gloves at Yonkers PAL in Yonkers, N.Y. *

March 3-6 – Texas State Golden Gloves Tournament at Will-Rogers – John Justin Arena
in Fort Worth, Texas*

March 5 – New York Daily News Golden Gloves at 369th Regiment Armory in New York, N.Y. *

March 5 – Boxing Show at El Monte Expo Center in El Monte, Calif.

March 6 – New York Daily News Golden Gloves at Erasmus High School, Brooklyn, N.Y.*

March 6-7 – Ozark Local Tournament at St. Louis, Mo. – South Broadway Athletic Club in St. Louis, Mo. **

March 7 – March Thunder #5 at the KCK National Guard Armory March 21 – Kansas City
Golden Gloves Preliminaries at 7 p.m.

March 7 – Boxing Show at Hawaiian Gardens Recreation in Hawaiian Gardens, Calif.

March 7 – Pueblo Bombers Invitation at Risely Middle School in Pueblo, Colo.

March 7 – Pennsylvania Golden Gloves at the Holiday Inn –North Hills in Pittsburgh, Pa.*

March 8 – Boxing Show at Eddie Heredia Boxing Club in Los Angeles, Calif.

* Golden Gloves qualifying event

** USA Boxing National Championships qualifying event

O’Connor fighting on ESPN’s FNF

In only his fourth professional fight, 2008 U.S. Olympic first alternate Danny O’Connor makes his national television debut Friday night in the opening bout on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights against light welterweight Jamar Saunders (2-1-1, 1 KO) at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

The 23-year-old O’Connor (3-0, 1 KO) is coming off of his best performance as a pro, winning a unanimous 4-round decision (40-46, 40-36, 40-34) January 30 against Greg Jimenez.

“I’m very excited to be fighting February 27th on national television,” O’Connor said between workouts. “All of my family and friends at home will be able to watch me fight on ESPN. For so many years some of my fans haven’t been able to watch my fights. This is a great opportunity for me to showcase my talent to so many people who’ve never seen me fight. I’m in my best shape, at the top of my game. I’ve trained hard and I’m coming to fight. I love fighting at the Hard Rock and it’s starting to feel like home.”

O’Connor, fighting out of Framingham (MA), won last year’s US Future Stars National Championship, in which he was named Most Outstanding Boxer, as well as the 2008 National Golden Gloves Tournament. Danny, who is promoted by Seminole Warriors Boxing, defeated 2008 Olympic Gold medalist Felix Diaz, of the Dominican Republic, as an amateur last May in a USA-Dominican Republic dual meet.

“We’re all very excited and can’t wait,” O’Connor’s co-manager and head trainer David Keefe remarked. “Showcasing Danny on national television has been in our plans since Day 1 and now it’s happening in only his fourth pro fight.”

O’Connor’s Hometown Fight Party

Many of O’Connor’s family members, friends and hometown fans will be watching his fight at Pepperoncini’s, 486 Concord Street in Framingham. The public is invited, starting at 7 PM/ET, and all of Pepperoncini’s televisions will be showing Danny’s fight live on ESPN2.

For more information about Danny O’Connor go online to www.dannyoconnorboxing.com.

DEGUARDIA’S YOUNG STAR SERRANO LOOKS TO SHINE BRIGHTER THAN EVER ON ESPN2’S FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS

On March 6th at the beautiful Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in Uncasville, CT, Star Boxing’s young phenom Ray “Tito” Serrano (8-0, 5KO) takes a big step up in his career when he takes on once beaten “Smokin” Jay Krupp (12-1, 5KO) in an eight round welterweight contest. The card, which will be broadcast live on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights”, will be headlined by Star Boxing’s welterweights Delvin Rodriguez (23-2-2, 14KO) taking on Shamone “The Truth” Alvarez (20-1, 11KO). At stake will be Rodriguez USBA welterweight championship and also the number two ranking in the IBF world ratings.

The fight against Krupp will not only be the toughest to date for the 19-year-old Serrano, but it will also be his first scheduled eight rounder, and also the first time he will fight as a live co-feature. Serrano, who hails from Philadelphia, PA and was named as one of the “Sweet 16, Philly Boxing Prospects on the Rise”, looks to follow in the footsteps of good friend “The New” Ray Robinson who scored the biggest win of his career on February 13th on ESPN2 stopping previously undefeated Darnell Jiles (8-1-1, 3KO). Like Serrano, Robinson is also promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, also hails from Philadelphia, PA, was also pitted in his first scheduled eight rounder, and his first live co-feature.

RAYMOND “TITO” SERRANO

“Everything’s going great right now,” stated Serrano. “I couldn’t have asked for a better training camp for this fight. I can honestly say that I’m pretty much ready to go right now.”

Regarding fighting on ESPN Serrano couldn’t be happier. “It feels great knowing I am going to have an opportunity to showcase my skills on national T.V., and for that I want to thank my promoter Joe DeGuardia and Star Boxing. This is a big step up in my career, fighting as the live co-feature. I am prepared to go the full eight rounds, but I am looking to end this fight in spectacular fashion, and if the opportunity for a knockout comes you better believe I am going to jump all over it.”

“SMOKIN” JAY KRUPP

Jay Krupp

The 25-year-old Krupp, who hails from New Orleans, LA, but now lives and trains out of Catskill, NY under the tutelage of Kevin Rooney, is currently riding an eight fight win streak and feels that he has the skills to pull of the upset against the young Serrano.

“Training has been good. I have been sparring with guys who are really aggressive just like Serrano, so I know I will be ready for him come fight night,” said Krupp. “I know he has good speed, and he is a good young fighter. I expect this to be a great fight. Knowing the fight is going to be the co-feature on ESPN2 is extra motivation for me. I have been training and waiting my whole life for an opportunity like this, and now it’s here, and there is no way I am going to let it pass me by.”

The card is promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing in association with Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort. A complete list of the undercard will be announced shortly. Tickets are priced at $75.00, $45.00 and $30.00 and are on sale now through Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster customers may log on to ticketmaster.com or purchase tickets by calling 1 (800)745-3000 or by calling any Ticketmaster Charge by Phone number; or visit any Ticketmaster outlet. Tickets may also be purchased at the Mohegan Sun Box Office subject to availability or by calling Star Boxing at (718) 823-2000.


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