Boxing


Ronald Hearns vs. Erislandy Lara on Friday

Biloxi, MS (4/19/12) - Tomorrow night, in a special edition of ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME®, former undisputed 160-pound world champion Jermain Taylor (29-4-1, 18 KO's) meets the undefeated Caleb "Golden" Truax (18-0-1, 10 KO's) in the 10-round main event. In the 10-round co-feature, former middleweight world title challenger Ronald Hearns (26-2, 20KO's) will be dropping down in weight and looking to establish himself as a force in the junior middleweight division when he takes on former Cuban amateur standout Erislandy Lara (15-1-1, 10 KO's). The fight between Hearns and Lara was originally scheduled for February 11 as the co-feature to Victor Ortiz vs. Andre Berto II, but that was rescheduled after a Berto injury caused a postponement of the event. Both bouts will be shown live on SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Miss. The card is promoted by DiBella Entertainment (DBE) in association with Golden Boy Promotions.

For Hearns, the son of all-time great and soon-to-be hall-of-famer Thomas "The Hitman" Hearns, it will be the first time back in the ring since losing to "Super" WBA Middleweight Champion, Felix Sturm in February 2011. Hearns put forth a spirited effort against the longtime reigning champion Sturm, but was eventually stopped in the seventh round. Now after some time off, Hearns is looking to not just return to the ring but to make a statement when he takes on the extremely talented and dangerous Lara.

"This fight can open up the doors for me to fight some of the top guys in both weight classes, 154 or 160," said Hearns. "Lara is a very talented fighter. I am grateful for the opportunity."

Regarding the weight at which he will look to fight, Hearns says he is just looking for the biggest opportunities out there for him, and he is comfortable competing in either division.

"I don't have a problem making weight in either weight class. I was bringing my weight down too early and holding it for weeks at a time. This training camp has been great. The world is going to see how much I have improved."

Hearns, who, like his father, is trained by the legendary Emanuel Steward, has been getting arguably the best southpaw sparring available, as he has been working with stable-mate, and imminent middleweight world title challenger, Andy Lee. Lee, who will be challenging Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for the WBC Middleweight Championship on June 16th, has not only been working with Ronald during training camp, but will also be in his corner on fight night. Lee feels that in all of the years they have worked together that this is the best Ronald has ever looked.

"I've had some hard hitting and spirited workouts with Ronald the past two weeks," said Lee. "I think it's been a benefit to us both. He is looking good for this Friday night for sure. He's determined to win. I've never seen him hit like this before. It should be a great fight."

The special edition of ShoBox: The New Generation is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Golden Boy Promotions. SHOWTIME® will begin live coverage starting at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

Tickets, priced at $150, $100, and $50 plus tax and service charges, are available online at www.beaurivage.com, by phone at (888) 566-7469, or in person at the Beau Rivage Theatre box office. Beau Rivage room reservations can be made by calling (888) 567-6667 or visiting www.beaurivage.com.

Richard Pierson Closes The Night In Style With Devastating KO

Last night at the Robert Treat Hotel, in front of hundreds of hometown fans, super middleweight prospect Richard Pierson put on a show for three and a half rounds before dropping opponent Charles Hayward with a vicious right that ended the fighter’s night.

Pierson (11-2, 8 KO) was originally set to face Joshua Snyder for the New Jersey Super Middleweight Title, but Snyder pulled out only days before the bout. History seemed to be repeating itself, with another fight for Richard Pierson falling through last minute.

When presented the chance to fight the bigger man and former light heavyweight Hayward only days before the scheduled bout, Pierson accepted…nothing was going to prevent him from getting into that ring last night.

After the fight I caught up with Pierson.

“I’m feeling like a winner right now. Tonight was the first time Jersey came out to see me fight, and I feel like I finally got a chance to show everybody what I’m trying to do. It’s not about having my family, friends from the neighborhood block and people who watched me grow up there to support me. It’s about them coming to see me and say, ‘wow, I grew up with this kid, we stood on the same block together, we ran from the same cops together; now look, he’s living a different life.’ To see the crowd go crazy like that off the knockout, that was something special. Most of the people cheering for me would’ve thought I’d be dead at the age of 31. And for them to see me walk out with all those little children—whom I didn’t know—as my entourage, that moved me even more. They could see that you don’t have to be anything other than yourself. This is who I am right now; what you see is what you get.”

The win was Pierson’s second consecutive KO victory following a near 19-month layoff, though the super middleweight looks to be back in full motion in all aspects of his fight game—mentally and physically ready.

In his fight against Anibal Acevedo in February, Pierson didn’t have a chance to get ring time in as he stopped his opponent with a vicious right to the body at the end of the first round.

Last night he went out and executed as he was supposed to, fighting his fight and waiting for his opportunity; and when he saw his opening, he ended the night with one shot.

Richard Pierson demonstrated last night where perseverance, hard work and determination, and a sheer refusal to accept anything less than greatness can get you. At the age of 31, Pierson has a lot left in the tank and has the talent to continue to make a huge impact within the super middleweight division.

“Boxing truly is a mental sport. A lot of fighters will tell you that they had the best camp ever. For this fight I can honestly say it wasn’t the best camp. My head trainer and I barely were able to get together because of our conflicting schedules, but my manager Lou Esa took me to sparring, and he gave me advice as he saw fit. My last week of camp we had a strong week, and got in good sparring with Omar Sheika, but the following day my body felt like it was breaking down. Over the weekend I went to the hospital and found out I was coming down with bronchitis and a sinus infection, but I knew if I told Lou, he would tell me not to fight. I don’t pull out of fights, and there was nothing that was going to prevent me from getting into that ring. So I took antibiotics, and then I found out that Joshua Snyder pulled from the fight. When that happened, I figured it was a sign that the fight was going to fall apart anyway. Names started coming in for opponents, and I didn’t deny any names, all the way down to Gary Jones who is 22-2. But we got Hayward, and I prepared for the fight. Tonight I went out there and did what we trained to do. At one point I was having so much fun in there, I forgot about the sickness, my head trainer not being there through camp, and all the support I had at the fight; I forgot all about that.”

From when he first turned pro in 2005, Pierson has dealt with his large share of fights falling through and controversy, yet the rising star continues to plunge forward working toward the super middleweight championship of the world.

“My whole career I was thrown in there, fighting on 2-3 days’ notice. I looked at it every time as I was being setup to lose. And these fights I took on short notice, I went out and won, but also got robbed. But I quickly learned that if I was being setup to lose, I won’t lose regardless; I knew I had won the fights.”

Richard Pierson could’ve found excuses not to get into the ring last night—from the illness, to the issues with his head trainer, to having his opponent changed only days before the fight. But he didn’t utter a complaint; he focused on the task he had in front of him, and stepped between the ropes and went to work, emerging victoriously.

Outside of the ring Pierson is an active member of the community, unrelenting in his efforts to inspire others to make a change for the better. He believes in leading by example, and has become an iconic figure to the youth and adolescents. As he made his way to the ring last night, he was surrounded by his entourage of fans—local boys and girls, including Tavone Martin Hood—who had the opportunity to sit ringside and watch their idol and mentor go to work.

The future for the heavy handed super middleweight is bright, as he continues to evolve as a fighter and a person inside and out of the ring. Big things lie ahead for Pierson, with HBO and Showtime already making bids to have him on one of their fight cards in the near future.

Stay up-to-date with everything Team Pierson by visiting https://www.facebook.com/TeamPiersonFanPage.

Semi-finals and Finals of the AIBA European Olympic Qualifying Event Trabzon 2012 to be broadcast LIVE online

Lausanne, Switzerland, 19 April 2012 - The top European boxers are now fighting for the past five days in Trabzon, Turkey, all focused on the 26 quota places for the London 2012 Olympic Games available through this tournament. Some have already been awarded, but a few are still up for grabs...

Who will get the last 14 tickets? Follow the epic end of the AIBA European Olympic Qualifying Event Trabzon 2012 LIVE on www.AIBAboxingtv.com.

Semi-Finals, Friday 20 April 2012

- Afternoon session at 14:00, local time
- Evening session at 18:00, local time

Click HERE for the full schedule

Finals, Saturday 21 April 2012

Finals session at 14:00, local time

Get in-depth coverage, features, daily reports and LIVE Results on www.aiba.org.

Article posted on 19.04.2012



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