Boxing sensation Keandre Gibson Signs with Top Rank; Williams vs. Norton this Friday; Donaire Celebrates Filipino American History Month
Perhaps the next boxing sensation to emerge from St. Louis, light welterweight Keandre Gibson has signed on with manager Repo Ric and world renowned promotional company Top Rank. Gibson, fresh off an impressive nationally televised victory in August, will make his Top Rank debut on October 29th at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma against an opponent to be announced.
Article posted on 17.10.2011
Gibson (4-0-1, 2 KOs) is thrilled to have the promotional powerhouse behind him as he pursues his lifelong dream of becoming a world champion. “They are the best promotional company in the world right now, so I feel they will give me a lot of help,” says Gibson. “I’m really excited. I feel safe fighting, knowing that I’ve got Top Rank behind me and in the next couple of years, they will help me become a world champion.”
Gibson grew up in a boxing gym, as his father, a former amateur fighter, began training him at the age of seven and put him in his first amateur fight a year later. Among the highlights of his stellar amateur career were a gold medal at the 2005 National Junior Golden Gloves and a bronze at the 2006 Junior Olympic National Championships. Gibson also holds amateur wins over contender Jessie Vargas and prospect Hylon Williams Jr.
“I look at those guys as real good fighters, but I look at myself and I already beat those guys,” says Gibson, looking at the careers of his former amateur opponents. “So I feel like I am past their level really, but I just haven’t had the opportunity to showcase my talents like those guys have had the chance to showcase their talent.”
With Top Rank behind him, Gibson will surely have the opportunity to showcase his talents before the world. As Gibson’s manager is quick to point out, the signing further disproves a label some have given the respected promotional company. “A lot of people think that Top Rank don’t like African-American fighters and that’s bull,” says Repo Ric adamantly. “They are just looking for fighters that will get in there and shine and this kid can shine. He’s very flamboyant and he’s going to do his thing and he’s going to throw a lot of punches. I guarantee he’s landing 75-80 punches a round. He’s going to show Top Rank what he’s got.”
Gibson takes great pride in carrying on the storied fighting tradition of St. Louis, Missouri. “It means a lot to me because the streets of St. Louis are really hard,” explains Gibson. “For me to come out and be successful, growing up on the streets of St. Louis, it means a lot to me. For me to stay motivated and keep boxing, those are big things for me.”
In fact, Gibson credits his environment growing up for helping create his passion for the sport of boxing. “I grew up in a gym that was in the projects,” says Gibson. “There were a lot of kids, and being in the gym with them, made me like it more. It was competitive thing. I always was competitive when I was younger. It was a one-man sport, and I grew to love it.”
Having already taken on two undefeated opponents and fighting in an eight-rounder, in Mexico no less, in just his third pro bout, Gibson has shown a willingness to challenge himself. However, the point of having a solid team is making sure your career is charted out properly.
“He can already fight the best out there,” says Repo. “We are not going to take the best yet, but he can do it. He spars with Devon Alexander and Deandre Latimore. He’s been with them since they grew up together and still today he spars with those guys. I look for him to be up there on that level, because he is on that level already, but he just has five fights. He’s not going to jump up there and try to catch up with them. We are doing do our thing, one step at a time.”
Gibson, with his new team behind him, takes his next step on October 29th.
Tickets for the event, promoted by Top Rank, are available online at WinStarWorldCasino.com.
Williams-Norton British Title Fight - "Leon Will Win" Says Former Champ Bruce Scott
One of the UK’s most popular Cruiserweight Champions of the recent past, Bruce ‘Lionheart’ Scott, becomes the latest big name to pledge support for Steatham’s Leon ‘Solid’ Williams, ahead of his British Cruiserweight title battle against reigning Champ Rob Norton at the York Hall, in Bethnal Green, this coming Friday.
During his stellar career Bruce dominated the domestic scene, having secured, and defended, both the British and Commonwealth Cruiserweight belts on many occasions, before moving onto he International scene, where he secured the WBU International title by beating France’s Rene Janvier by a unanimous points decision.
Bruce then moved onto the World scene and challenged for the World crown no less than three times. The first, against Johnny Nelson for the WBO version, then two months later against Juan Carlos Gomez for the WBC version.
His final challenge, against Enzo Maccarinelli for the vacant WBU version in 2003, ended controversially after referee Mickey Vann saved Maccarinelli from a certain first round knockout loss with an extraordinarily long count, which allowed the Welshman to come back to stop ‘Lionheart’ late in the fourth to secure the title.
After popping into the TRAD TKO Gym in Canning Town on Saturday, Bruce was quick to show his support as well as predict the verdict.
“I think Leon will win,” the big man said before explaining why, “Rob Norton is a big awkward southpaw, so Leon has to try and get in there and knock him out because he’s a bit chinny sometimes
Leon’s gets in close and he’s a big puncher so this fight will suit him, I think Leon will win.
Good luck Leon, do your best.”
Leon ‘Solid’ Williams versus Rob Norton for the British Cruiserweight Championship headlines the Francis and George Warren’s Queensberry Promotions event at York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, and broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky Platform Ch. 456), on Friday the 21st October 2011.
Heading up the support card for this battle of the big boys will pitch Cromer, Norfolk’s Ryan Walsh against Melsham, Wiltshire’s Liam Richards for the vacant English Super Bantamweight title.
The stacked undercard also features the UK debut of unbeaten Irishman Dean ‘Irish Lightning’ Byrne, Penge’s unbeaten Welterweight Bradley Skeet, Croydon Light Welter Danny Davis and the debut of Peckham Welterweight John Garton, all against yet to be named opponents.
Tickets, priced £40 (standard seated) and £60 (ringside) for Williams vs. Norton are available now, either direct from Leon Williams - tickets are also be available at the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA and on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com
TODAY AT 4PM! Donaire Celebrates Filipino American History Month, Jersey City Public Library
NEW YORK, (October 17, 2011) – The Pride of the Philippines, World Bantamweight Champion and Top-Five pound for pound fighter NONITO “The Filipino Flash” DONAIRE (26-1, 18 KO’s) will be honored by the Filipino School of New York and New Jersey as part of Filipino American History Month TODAY! October 17, at 4 p.m. ET, at the Jersey City Public Library in Jersey City (1841 Kennedy Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ, 07305). The event is free and open to the public.
Donaire will be making his New York debut and defending his title against undefeated two-division world champion OMAR “El Huracán” NARVAEZ (35-0-2, 23 KOs), Saturday, October 22, in the Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Mecca of Boxing. Donaire enters this fight riding a nine-year, 25-bout winning streak.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Madison Square Garden, the Donaire-Narvaez world title tilt will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark, beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast.)
Remaining tickets to Donaire vs. Narvaez, priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25, including applicable service charges, can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office, online at www.thegarden.com, and all Ticketmaster outlets.
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