News: Williams-Phillips, Arreola-Walker, Michael Hunter, Danny O’Connor
Los Angeles, CA (October 22, 2008) – Promoter Dan Goossen has been in a quandary for some time. Blessed with extremely talented boxers and whom many believe to be champions that will elevate the sport to much greater heights, WBO Welterweight Champion Paul “The Punisher” Williams and history-making heavyweight contender and WBC Continental Americas Champion Cristobal “The Nightmare” Arreola have their world-class challengers. At Last!
Article posted on 23.10.2008
Current IBF Junior Middleweight World Champion Verno Phillips and NABF Heavyweight Champion and WBO #5 contender Travis “Freight Train” Walker have not only agreed to fight Williams and Arreola, respectively, on the blockbuster November 29, 2008 “HBO: Boxing After Dark” telecast, but they have called them out!
A packed house is anticipated for the first-ever professional boxing event to be held at the sparkling new state of the art 11,000-seat Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California when Goossen Tutor Promotions presents “AT LAST,” a scheduled seven-bout slugfest headlined by the Williams-Phillips and Arreola-Walker co-featured bouts.
After Antonio Margarito recently walked away from a $4 million dollar offer to avenge his loss to Williams, the story just grows and grows: Paul Williams is “The Most Feared Man in Boxing today, period!” What was not as clearly known was the “fear factor” reputation Cristobal Arreola had been quietly establishing while ferociously dispatching one opponent after another.
While Williams (35-1, 26 KOs), from Aiken, South Carolina, announced he was going to defend his WBO Welterweight World Championship belt immediately after his recent debut as a middleweight last month blasting out strong-chinned and rugged Andy Kolle, Goossen Tutor matchmaker Tom Brown came up with a lot of “no’s” while searching for that top 10 challenger in the Welterweight division. Step in World Champion, Mr. Phillips.
Phillips (42-10-1, 21 KOs), the Belize-born, Denver, Colorado resident, a resilient throw-back fighter who believes in fighting the best, was willing to put his mandatory IBF rematch with the man he dethroned for the title, Cory Spinks, to the side in order to take on the task few have been willing to do. “I fear no man and my track record shows that,” stated the IBF Jr. Middleweight World Champion Phillips. “I’m at my best when people overlook me and I’ve proven it by being a 3-time World Champion,” as he prepares to fight Williams in a scheduled interim 12-round WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship bout.
“The available world contenders that said ‘No’ to fighting Williams joined the not-so-exclusive Antonio Margarito Club by turning down money, opportunity, fame and bragging rights to be the best,” Goossen declared. “So the one fighter at the championship level that was willing to challenge Paul was Phillips, but at his natural 154-pound weight class. Although we all wanted Paul to defend his 147-pound championship, this fight fits in to what Paul has been saying for some time now: that Paul will take on all challengers between 147 and 168 pounds. Having someone like Paul willing to do what really no man has done before him -- fight in different weight classes simultaneously -- is great for our sport and especially the fans.”
Williams can easily get back down to 147, as he weighed 145 ¾ back in June avenging the only blemish on his record by knocking out Carlos Quintana in the first round to regain his title. On November 29, Williams is walking in as a 2-time Welterweight World Champion and wants to walk out as the WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion.
“It’s as Mr. (George) Peterson has been saying, you can’t make these fighters have courage. I’m just happy Verno was willing to step up, but I’ve got to go out there and punish him for doing it,” exclaimed Williams. “I wanted to defend my title, but getting another one will also be nice and I just got to go out there and continue my road to fighting anyone at any weight.”
“If there was ever going to be a true boxing reality show, our office during the past two months would have been the top-rated show. Fans would have had the opportunity to see the “real” in “reality” when the multitude of fighters that were called to fight Williams on this HBO show never asked ‘how much,’ revealed Goossen. “The responses included, ‘Are you crazy?’ ‘You're not serious are you?’ and ‘Forget it.’ Appropriately so, the promotion will be called ‘At Last’ because -- at last -- we were fortunate, along with the fans, to have a tough Champion in Verno Phillips wanting to show the world his talent and determination and why he’s a 3-time World Champion.
“And, we are honored to be able to promote the inaugural professional boxing event in this magnificent new Citizens Business Bank Arena, a venue that will provide an exciting array of sports and entertainment events to the Inland Empire, along with the entertainment we will bring to the fans in attendance for this premier boxing event,” stated Goossen.
As for Arreola (25-0, 22 KOs), who hails from Riverside, California, he is bidding to become the first Heavyweight World Champion of Mexican descent. Coming off a dominant third-round TKO performance against Israel “King Kong” Garcia, Arreola was planning on fighting the likes of former world heavyweight titleholders Hasim Rahman and Sultan Ibragimov and former title challenger David Tua. Again, very few wanted to get into the ring with this “wrecking machine.” But one World rated heavyweight welcomed the opportunity with his fists ready!!
Walker (28-1-1, 22 KOs) the pride of Tallahassee, Florida, didn’t even wait for an invitation from his promoter. Rather, along with his manager, Steve Munisteri, Walker issued a challenge of his own to Arreola, insisting that he would emerge as the rising heavyweight star if they met in the ring.
“They say I’ve got a body like Tarzan, but I’m known more for my heavy hands,” stated Walker. “You can tell ‘The Nightmare’ I’m looking for the knockout once the bell rings and I’m going to get it!”
Willing to fight anyone in the World -- even a big and strong talented heavyweight -- Arreola granted Walker his wish.
Arreola revealed, “I’m on a mission in making history. Walker is big and strong, but so am I. We both have an ‘in your face style,’ so when the bell rings, don’t go out for a beer. I’m warning you now this fight isn’t going the distance. I promise to give all my fans the greatest performance they’ve seen from me yet. And to fight in my neighborhood, it’s going to be exciting. I could virtually walk to the new Ontario arena from my home.”
An exciting undercard will also be included on the November 29 show, featuring undefeated California prospects Rico Ramos (7-0, 5 KOs, Los Angeles), Mike Dallas, Jr. (5-0, 1 KO, Bakersfield) and Michael Franco (13-0, 8 KOs, Riverside); an eight-round lightweight bout between Josesito Lopez (22-3, 13 KOs, Riverside) and Bayan Jargal (8-0-1, 5 KOs, Arlington, VA via Mongolia).
East Los Angeles native and 2008 U.S. Olympian Shawn Estrada will make his pro debut in a scheduled four-round middleweight special attraction bout.
Tickets are priced at: $200, $100, $50 and $25 and may be purchased at Citizens Business Bank Arena box office, Monday-Friday 10:00am-6:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am-4:00 pm or at www.ticketmaster.com.
U.S. Olympic Team Trials Champion Michael Hunter Commits to Remain Amateur
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – The United States Number One ranked Super heavyweight, Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.), has made the decision to remain amateur, he announced on Wednesday. The U.S. Olympic Team Trials super heavyweight champion will look to add more national and international titles to his already impressive resume before moving on to the pro ranks.
“I believe that staying amateur is the best decision for me right now,” Hunter said. “I think that this additional time will give me the opportunity to grow and develop further as an athlete. I have grown a lot over the past three years, but I still have a lot to learn in the sport before moving on to the professional side. I look forward to gaining more experience and representing the United States with pride.”
The retention of Hunter is a very positive piece of USA Boxing’s plan to rebuild the amateur program and move toward greater international success at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and beyond.
“USA Boxing is very pleased that Michael will remain with USA Boxing. I think he was fired up about our new High Performance strategy, our flexible approach to time spent at the Olympic Training Center, and the overall positive direction we’re heading as an organization,” commented USA Boxing CEO, Jim Millman. “It will be exciting to see how far Michael can develop.”
Hunter catapulted to the top of the sport in his three short years as a boxer, winning a bronze medal at the Under 19 World Championships with less than 10 bouts of experience before claiming his first USA Boxing National Championships title in 2007. He went on to win the Olympic Team Trials, but fell one win short of earning an Olympic berth in a highly contested international weight category.
Despite his limited experience in the ring, Hunter grew up around the sport as his father was an accomplished heavyweight, serving as a sparring partner for Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis and Riddick Bowe.
USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing, is the United States’ member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).
O’Connor fighting Nov. 11 in Florida
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (October 22, 2008) – 2008 U.S. Olympic first alternate Danny O’Connor, coming off of an impressive pro debut September 17 in Manchester (NH), in which, he stopped Jose Guerrido at 1:55 of the second round, returns to the ring November 11 on the “Bad Boys of Boxing” card at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida.
O’Connor (1-0, 1 KO) is matched against Bahamian light welterweight Anthony Woods (5-10, 2 KOs) in a four round bout. “I’m very excited to be fighting at the Hard Rock,” O’Connor said. “I had the opportunity to attend a fight there about a year ago and I was impressed by how it was so well run. I’ll be great to fight in front of Leon (Margules, Executive Director) again and all of the others at Seminole Warriors Boxing (his promoter) like Chico for the first time. I’m pumped.”
The 23-year-old O’Connor, fighting out of Framingham (MA), won this year’s US Future Stars National Championship, in which he was named Most Outstanding Boxer, as well as the National Golden Gloves Tournament, both in the 141-pound light welterweight division. Danny’s most notable victory as an amateur was a dominating victory against eventual 2008 Olympic Gold medalist Felix Diaz, of the Dominican Republic, on May 29 in a USA-Dominican Republic dual meet in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
“We’re all excited that this fight is in Florida,” O’Connor’s head trainer and co-manager David Keefe (with Rob Valle) remarked. “It’s going to be a great experience fighting at the Hard Rock, where Danny will hopefully be selling out some day.”
Seminole Warriors Boxing and DiBella Entertainment are co-promoting “Bad Boys of Boxing,” headlined by light heavyweight Glen Johnson and supported by super middleweights James McGirt, Jr. and Edison Miranda in separate bouts.
“I don’t know much about my opponent other than he’s had 15 pro fights,” Danny concluded. “He has a lot of experience. I was pleased with my performance in my pro debut. I fought like a professional, but I was a bit anxious with so many friends and family members there. This fight I want to concentrate on showing my boxing skills. I didn’t really get an opportunity to do that in my first fight because I was looking for a knockout fighting in front of my family and friends. I’m going to concentrate on being a ring technician this fight.”
For more information about Danny O’Connor go online to www.dannyoconnorboxing.com
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