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Deontay Wilder to showcase his talent against Liakhovich on Showtime on August 9th

In the midst of a sizzling summer season of boxing, Golden Boy Promotions will turn up the heat at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California on Friday, August 9 with a ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader featuring one of the hottest heavyweights in the game, unbeaten knockout artist Deontay Wilder live on SHOWTIME® (10:00 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).

In a 10-round main event, Alabama’s Wilder puts his perfect 28-0 record on the line against former Heavyweight World Champion Sergei Liakhovich. In the co-featured bouts, unbeaten lightweights Francisco Vargas of Mexico and Cincinnati’s Brandon Bennett meet in a 10-round match-up and Houston’s undefeated Jermall Charlo risks his unblemished record against Miami veteran Antwone Smith in a 10-round junior middleweight bout.

The event is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona. The ShoBox: The New Generation telecast airs live on SHOWTIME at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). Doors open at 5:00 p.m. PT with the first bell sounding at 5:30 p.m. PT.

Tickets, priced at $25, $35 and $45, are available at the Fantasy Springs Box Office, by calling (800) 827-2946 or online at

In addition to the exciting night of fistic action taking place in the ring, Three-Division World Champion Sugar Shane Mosley will be on hand as a special VIP guest to meet and greet fans. Mosley, who is the current WBC International Welterweight Champion, will meet ticket holders, sign autographs and take pictures from 6:30 p.m. PT to 7:30 p.m. PT inside the Fantasy Springs Special Events Center.

The only member of the 2008 United States Olympic boxing team to win a medal at the Beijing Games, Bronze Medalist Deontay Wilder (28-0, 28 KO’s) has soared up the heavyweight ladder since turning pro, not letting any of his opponents hear the final bell. His devastating power punching attack has made him a must-see for fight fans. After his 70 second destruction of British star Audley Harrison in April, he’s more than ready for a step up against former World Champion Liakhovich.

A native of Belarus now making his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, Sergei Liakhovich (25-5, 16 KO’s) has been one of the most respected heavyweights in the world for years, with his win over Lamon Brewster in 2006 earning him the WBO Heavyweight World Championship. Since losing the belt to Shannon Briggs later that year, the 37-year-old has done battle with Nikolay Valuev, Evans Quinn, Robert Helenius and Bryant Jennings. On August 9, he’ll step between the ropes in an attempt to stop Wilder’s meteoric rise.

2008 Mexican Olympian Francisco Vargas (16-0-1, 13 KO’s) may have gotten off to a late start as a pro, but he’s made up for lost time in impressive fashion, particularly with a 2012 campaign that saw him go 6-0 with five knockouts. 2013 has gotten off to a fast start as well, with the 28-year-old Mexico City native having already stopped Ira Terry and Cristian Arrazola in January and May respectively.

A decorated amateur with several medals in prestigious competitions such as the National Silver Gloves and National Junior Olympics, Brandon “Untouchable” Bennett (15-0, 7 KO’s) is the latest standout from Cincinnati to make his mark in the pro game, and at 25-years-old, the talented southpaw is ready to make his move on the top guns at 130 pounds beginning with Vargas.

Long considered one of the top prospects at 154 pounds, Houston’s Jermall Charlo (14-0, 10 KO’s) has picked up the pace considerably in 2013, clearly living up to all that potential. 4-0 with four knockouts thus far this year, the 23-year-old has ripped through everyone placed in front of him and he expects to do the same against Smith on August 9.

Coming off of two big wins over unbeaten Ronald Cruz and former World Champion Jose Luis Castillo, Miami’s Antwone “The Truth” Smith (23-4-1, 12 KO’s) is starting to hit his stride as a legitimate junior middleweight threat. A pro since 2006, the 26-year-old has been in the ring with former World Champion Kermit Cintron, Henry Crawford and Richard Gutierrez, clearly making him Charlo’s toughest test yet.

Mark Villanueva’s work paying off

It all began months ago. One man, one dream, one plan and a fulfillment.

Nobody gave guarantee to boxing fan, trainer, and writer Mark Villanueva. While many tipped their hat to his selfless desires, not one could do the work for him.

Mark gave up all he didn’t need. He channeled all of his life focus into his dream – and it is paying off. He donates nearly each day of his life to working with children whose families suffer through poverty. Not only does he train these kids but he mentors them. Not just in the ring but in life. His goal is to give them guidance. He helps them live their individual lives the very best they can. This is enough reward in itself for Mr. Villanueva.

Through all, things are looking up. The gym is gaining much support from his beloved fans and friends from Iloilo City and across the world. All the people who made this possible with financial support are thanked and those who have with words of encouragement are as much so. Villanueva just wanted an opportunity to prove his devotion – and he’s put all he has into surpassing the demands put up with these opportunities. He has equaled and surpassed expectations.

The gym is fully repaired and renovated with fresh equipment and training gear. It just served host to multiple visitors to guests from the United Kingdom and United States, who were alleviated to see the gym and meet Mark Villanueva with their own eyes.

An elated Villanueva stated “Really good vibes are going on in the gym. People in the community are giving back, making the gym a platform for positivism.”. Locals fortunate enough to do so have donated money, food and much support to the gym. Seeing as many of Villanueva’s “students” do not get to have the 3+ meals a day that many find to be of the ordinary, Villanueva hopes to be able to supply food and vitamin supplements as well. Supporters in the community make this easier to do.

There is much more work to be done. Maintaining the gym is a chore in itself. Paying for the gym’s expenses is another. In the end, Mark Villanueva cuts more than enough corners in his own life. He’s hoping it will be enough. It should be enough. He owes it to himself to keep this dream alive – and for a very, very long time.

Follow up on Mark’s cause by following him on Twitter at @markfvillanueva and liking his page on Facebook at “The Mark
Villanueva Boxing Academy”. News and information is posted regularly through these sources and through news releases. To help finance the academy, we‘ll be selling clothing through our brand new online and in-gym store. The store will open in the coming weeks!

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