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Ji-Hoon Kim vs. Ray Beltran on Thursday, December 6th in Las Vegas; Blackledge



PHILADELPHIA (December 5, 2012)—This Thursday a gigantic boxing weekend in Las Vegas kicks off with an important Lightweight tussle between two-world ranked fighters with major implications.

Exciting Ji-Hoon Kim (#3 IBF; #7 WBO) and Ray Beltran (#9 WBC) will fight a ten round battle for the NABF Lightweight crown that will be televised live from the Mirage Hotel on ESPN 2.

Kim of Goyang City, South Korea has a record of 24-7 with eighteen knockouts and is generally regarded and one of the most exciting fighters in the world.

Kim knows that at big win over Beltran puts him right back at the front of the line to compete for the Lightweight championship of the world.

In 2010, Kim lost a decision to Miguel Vazquez for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) crown and a win on Thursday night could set up a rematch with the classy Mexican champion.

Ironically just two days later in Las Vegas, Vazquez will be defending his crown against undefeated Mercito Gesta as part of the Manny Pacquiao – Juan Manuel Marquez Pay-Per-View undercard.

“This is a very important fight for Ji-Hoon”, said Kim’s promoter Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions.

“If he takes care of business on Thursday then we have some great options as he is the highest rated contender in the IBF. We would welcome the opportunity to fight World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion Ricky Burns for which we have talked to Frank Warren about that possible fight We would also set our sights on WBC champion Adrien Broner and obviously we would love a rematch with Vazquez. If Gesta wins, I think a fight with him would have be a tremendous action fight plus it be a very big fight that would draw a great amount of attention in Asia”

BLACKLEDGE PREDICTS ‘WICKED’ BOLTON FIGHT!

Lancashire’s British Masters light-heavyweight champion Luke Blackledge insists a late change of opponent won’t faze him when he headlines VIP Promotions’ ‘Total Carnage’ card at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium on Sunday December 9.

Blackledge, undefeated in 12 with four early finishes, was slated to face Sheffield’s Wayne Reed for his Central Area super-middleweight belt but, after Reed pulled out, now steps in with renowned Welsh hard man Nathan King for the vacant International Masters super-middleweight crown.

“It’s not going to make any difference,” said Blackledge, 22.

“It doesn’t make any odds; I’ve been training for a title fight and I’m still boxing for a title.

“Hopefully I can box Wayne Reed in the future but I’ve got Nathan King on Sunday and I’m looking forward to it.

“He’s a game opponent; he comes forward and he’s aggressive, so it’ll be a wicked fight!”

Luke has a point to prove against King.

Last time out in early November, in a lacklustre performance, Blackledge struggled to a draw against unheralded Zimbabwean Farai Musiyiwa.

Feeling like he let down himself, his team, and his fans in that last outing, Luke maintains this time around he has been fully focused on the task ahead, has prepared well, and will shine in Bolton.

“My performance last time was awful. I felt like I’d lost the fight and I got a draw, but I had nothing in the tank and shouldn’t have really fought.

“So I’m looking for a really good performance on Sunday. I’ve done everything right. I’ve trained, I’ve dieted right, and I’ve had really good sparring.

“This is a fight I should look good in. I’m really confident as I am for every fight. I want to make a statement and get a good win on Sunday. I want to really put in a performance.”

Opponent Nathan King appears to be carved from the same granite as all those tough Welsh fighters from yesteryear.

The man from the valleys may have won just 12 of 29, but he has only been stopped three times and has fought some of the UK’s best fighters including James DeGale; Kenny Anderson; Tony Quigley; Tony Dodson and Tony Oakey.

After getting married and toiling hard as a scaffolder, Nathan returns against Blackledge after a two year boxing break and says that, with a new trainer on board and a fresh zest for the fight game, he is confident of picking up lucky win number 13.

“I’ve been training really hard for a fight and this has come along and I’m really looking forward to it.

“I don’t know much about him apart from he drew in his last fight, but at the end of the day it’s just two boys in the ring.

“If he looks at my record he’ll see I’ve boxed all the top boys and most of them I should have beaten.”

‘Total Carnage’ takes place in The Premier Suite at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium on December 9. The entertainment kicks off with the Manchester derby being shown live on big screens at 1.30pm, followed by a six-bout boxing card from 3.30pm.

Headlining will be Accrington’s 12-fight unbeaten prospect Luke Blackledge battling Welshman Nathan King for the International Masters super-middleweight title. Also boxing will be Manchester’s Jimmy Kelly Jnr; Blackburn’s Kurt Grieve; Bolton’s Danny Watson; Darwen cruiserweight Stevie Taylor, and Oldham’s Alex Rutter.

Tickets, priced at £30 (General) and £50 (Ringside), are available from all boxers or at www.vipbe.co.uk

Keep updated on VIP Promotions’ news by visiting www.vipboxing.com or follow on Twitter @vipboxing and on Facebook. Currently, you can also watch free fights at www.vipboxing.tv

u>OLYMPIC MEDALIST AND THREE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS TO BOX IN LONDON

British Lionhearts announce line-ups for fixtures against Kazakhstan and Germany

in the World Series of Boxing

An Olympic silver medalist and three reigning European Champions will box in the British Lionhearts’ next home fixture against the German Eagles at Earl’s Court in London, after the line-ups for the team’s next two encounters were announced today.

Olympic silver medalist, Fred Evans, will compete alongside his fellow European champions Andrew Selby and Joe Ward in the Earl’s Court fixture on Friday 14 December 2012. They will be joined by Liverpool’s Sam Maxwell who will make his World Series of Boxing debut at lightweight and London’s Joe Joyce who will compete at heavyweight.

Tickets prices start at £20 and offers are available. Tickets can be purchased at www.britishlionhearts.com/tickets.

On the Saturday before, Scotland’s London Olympian, Josh Taylor, his countryman, Aston Brown and 2010 European Championship bronze medalist, Gamal Yafai, will make their first appearances in the World Series of Boxing when the Lionhearts take on Astana Arlans Kazakhstan in Kazakhstan.

They will be joined by two international selections. Sweden’s Babacar Kamara will box at light heavyweight and Mohammed Arjaoui from Morocco will take the heavyweight berth.

The British Lionhearts team is unbeaten after its first two contests. It defeated USA Knockouts 4-1 in its debut in the competition at The Hangar in Orange County USA and followed it up with a 4-1 victory over Italia Thunder in the team’s first home fixture at Celtic Manor in Wales.

Rob McCracken, Performance Director of the British Lionhearts said: “We have started very well with a couple of good victories but the team is now facing two very tough fixtures. The boxers have been training well and we have some excellent talents in both teams however we are taking nothing for granted and know this is going to be a couple of very hard contests.”

Boxing at Earl’s Court will be second a appearance in the World Series of Boxing for Fred Evans, Andrew Selby and Joe Ward who were all victorious in the Lionhearts 4-1 win against the reigning champions Italia Thunder at Celtic Manor in Wales.

Fred said: “It was great to get a win in my first outing in World Series Boxing and I am keen to get back in the ring and sample it again. Competing in London over the summer was a great experience and it will be fantastic to go back there so soon after the Olympics.”

Joe Ward said: “I am really looking forward to Earl’s Court after my successful first appearance in the World Series of Boxing. I did not have any difficulties adapting to the new format of five rounds without a vest and headguard and really enjoyed the experience. I am feeling confident and hopefully the team and I can continue our winning run.”

Established in 2010, the World Series of Boxing is a national team boxing competition made-up of 12 teams from across the World. A WSB match between two international franchises consists of bouts in five weight categories: Bantamweight (54kg), Lightweight (61kg), Middleweight (73kg), Light Heavyweight (85kg) and Heavyweight (91kg+).

Competitors box without vests and head guards and the WSB scoring system is based on the ‘ten point must system’. Each bout is decided by the scores of three judges or by a knockout, technical knockout, disqualification or walk over. There are five three-minute rounds in each bout and the team that wins the most number of bouts wins the match.