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Luis Franco confident he’ll beat Javier Fortuna on August 2nd

Well-known trainer Jorge Rubio says his fighter, Cuban featherweight Luis “La Estrella” Franco (11-1, 7 KOs) knows exactly how to, and his positive he will, beat former interim WBA Champion Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna (22-0, 16 KOs) when the two meet on Friday, August 2 at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma.

Franco and Fortuna will clash in the ESPN Friday Night Fights-televised 10-round main event of a night of world-class boxing, presented by Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing and Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing (in association with Tony Holden Productions and the Buffalo Run Casino).

And in the televised 10-round welterweight co-main event, former world champion Kermit “El Asesino” Cintron (33-5-2, 28 KOs) will take on tough Dominican Jonathan Batista (14-1, 7 KOs).

Tickets are priced at: Reserved: $25.00, Premium: $40.00 and Platinum: $60.00 and are available at or by calling The Buffalo Run Box Office (918) 542-7140. On fight night, doors open at 7 pm.

Rubio, a former trainer of the Cuban national amateur boxing team, who has worked with numerous professional fighters including Guillermo Rigondeaux and Amir Khan, says Fortuna’s ambush style and southpaw stance won’t work against Franco like they have in the past.

“Fortuna doesn’t have as much experience. Luis Franco is a former Cuban Olympian,” he explained. “The amateur experience he’s had, he’s fought all over the world and has all the tools to handle every style. Luis has fought many southpaws and knows what to do with them. He’s sure he’s going to win this fight and so am I.”

Rubio, who has known the fighter since he was 13, says he and Franco have been doing some very focused and intense work at his Xtream Boxing Gym in Hialeah, Florida.

“He’ll be 100% for the fight; I’m putting all my attention on Luis right now because if he wins, it’ll be good for him. He’s training hard, moving well. He has tremendous speed and he wants to win so bad that he’s had a great preparation.

At 31-years old, Franco needs a win if he is to ever reach the potential he had as one of the world’s best amateurs. He suffered his first pro defeat in his last fight, losing a close split decision in an IBF World Championship Eliminator against Argentina’s Mauricio Javier Munoz in Argentina.

“It’s very important for him and me to win this fight,” continued Rubio. “If he wins, he can fight for a championship, but if he loses, he’ll have a problem landing big fights in the future. He must win this fight.”

Tickets are priced at: Reserved: $25.00, Premium: $40.00 and Platinum: $60.00 and are available at or by calling The Buffalo Run Box Office (918) 542-7140. On fight night, doors open at 7 pm.

USA Boxing to Host Prepartory Camp for 2013 AIBA Junior World Championships at the Olympic Training Center

(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – Team USA’s top junior males are gearing up for the 2013 AIBA Junior World Championships, and several of the nation’s top elite and youth boxers as well as USA Boxing International Teaching Coach Pedro Roque are helping prepare them for the globe’s largest junior boxing event. The athletes will take part in a preparatory camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., beginning Sunday, July 21 and concluding on Thursday, August 8.

The 13 athletes representing the United States at the Junior World Championships earned their berths at the inaugural Junior World Team Open earlier this year and 11 of the 13 boxers are returning to the U.S. Olympic Training Center after participating in a previous camp in 2013. Pinweight Jordan White (Waldorf, Md.), light bantamweight Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.), bantamweight Devin Haney (Las Vegas, Nev.), featherweight Michael Nelson (Mansfield, Ohio), lightweight Keoni Adric, Jr. (Haleiwa, Hawaii), light welterweight Brandon Trejo (Napa, Calif.), welterweight Javier Estrada (Palmdale, Calif.), junior middleweight Alexis Rocha (Santa Ana, Calif.), middleweight Eric Murguia (Mission Hills, Calif.), light heavyweight Suray Mahmutovic (Daly City, Calif.), and heavyweight Pano Tiatia (St. George, Utah) all participated in USA Boxing’s mega training camp in the spring. Light flyweight Freudis Rojas, Jr. (Las Vegas, Nev.) and flyweight Joseph Cuellar (Tulare, Calif.) will both be participating in their first camp at the Olympic Training Center.

In addition to the Junior World Team members, several youth and elite male boxers will aid their younger counterparts in their preparation at the upcoming training camp. 2013 USA Boxing Elite National Champions Leroy Davila (New Brunswick, N.J.) and Kenneth Sims, Jr. (Chicago, Ill.) will join youth titlists Antonio Vargas (Kissimmee, Fla.), Alex Rincon (Carrollton, Texas), and Alexis Urbina (Phoenix, Ariz.) for the training camp. Bantamweight Dennis Galarza (Orlando, Fla.) and welterweight Erickson Lubin (Kissimmee, Fla.) will round out the group traveling to the Olympic Training Center next week.

The major training camp is the sixth of the year for USA Boxing, following critical training opportunities for the junior, youth and elite divisions earlier in 2013. With Coach Roque, the most decorated Olympic-style boxing trainer of the last decade, leading all the training activities of the new quadrennial, USA Boxing’s top athletes have received valuable instruction ahead of several international competitions.

The Junior World Team athletes will return to their respective hometowns prior to departing for Ukraine for an acclimation camp and the tournament, which will be contested September 5-15 in Kiev, Ukraine.

MSG Network’s Friday Night Fights – Lennox Lewis Doubleheader Tonight

Tonight at 9:00 p.m. on MSG Network’s “Friday Night Fights,” hosted by John Duddy and Mark Breland: Lennox Lewis vs. Shannon Briggs (3/28/98) and Lennox Lewis vs. Michael Grant (4/29/00).

In the first fight of tonight’s Lennox Lewis doubleheader, challenger Shannon Briggs surprised the heavyweight champion in the first and second rounds in Atlantic City, nearly sending him to the mat with a flurry of punches. But Lewis was able to hold Briggs off and finally took control in the fourth round, knocking Briggs down multiple times. In the fifth, Briggs recovered from his third knockdown, but found himself back on the mat after a swing and miss, and the ref stopped the fight.

Duddy: “Shannon Briggs had a lot of success in the first two rounds and Lennox was in trouble.”

Breland: “He just can’t finish him. He has Lennox on the ropes, but he throws everything to the head…not one body shot. And Shannon kept his left hand down when he was on the ropes.”

Duddy: “When you’ve got a big right hand like Lennox Lewis, you can certainly find a home for it.”

The second match, fought two years later, features undisputed heavyweight champion Lewis against undefeated Michael Grant at Madison Square Garden. Although Lewis warned Grant before the bout about being too aggressive, the challenger came out swinging from the opening bell. Lewis made him pay with a right hand to the top of the head midway through the first round and it never got better. Although he made it to the second, Grant was overmatched and succumbed to a Lewis uppercut with only a few seconds left in the round.

“I said that if he came at me it was just going to make for a short fight,” said Lewis after the bout. “This is the most important fight of his career and for him to come straight at me, I think that was bad coaching on their corner.”

Friday Night Fights is part of MSG Network’s Summer Block Party. For more information go to and join the conversation on Twitter with @MSGNetworks.

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