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Muhammad Ali Passes Away

Muhammad Ali Passes Away

 

The former world heavyweight boxing champion, one of the world’s best-known sportsmen, died at a hospital in the US city of Phoenix, Arizona, after being admitted on Thursday.

The funeral will take place in Ali’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, his family said in a statement.

Obituary

He was born Cassius Marcellus Clay in Louisville, Kentucky, on 17 January 1942, the son of a sign painter. He was named after a prominent 19th Century abolitionist.

In 1960 he was selected in the US team for the Rome Olympics. On 5 September 1960, he beat Poland’s Zbigniew Pietrzykowski to become the Olympic light-heavyweight champion.

He began his professional career later the same year with a six-round points win over Tunney Hunsaker, a police chief from West Virginia.

The following year he beat Sony Liston forcing him to quit in the sixth round.

The heavyweight champion of the world became Muhammad Ali.

After eight title defences Ali was stripped of his title for refusing to go to the Vietnam War.

Ali returned to the ring in 1970.

in 1971 he was beaten for the first time in his professional career by Joe Frazier. Ali would win the rematch a few years later.

In October 1974 when he defeated George Foreman in Zaire in the so-called Rumble in the Jungle.

At the age of 32, Ali had become only the second man in history to regain the heavyweight championship of the world.

A year later, Ali met Frazier for a third time in the so-called Thrilla in Manila.

 

He was victorious when Frazier’s corner halted the fight after 14 rounds.

Las Vegas in February 1978, he lost his title to Leon Spinks.

In the he return fight in New Orleans eight months later Ali took a unanimous decision and won the world title for a third time at age 36.

Ali he lost his title for the last time to Larry Holmes in Las Vegas in 1980.

 

Ali had one more fight, against Canadian Trevor Berbick in December 1981, and after losing on points he finally retired from the ring, at the age of 40.

He was eventually diagnosed,with Parkinson’s disease.

Ali Received several prestigious honours over the years : Lit the Olympic Tourch at the 1996 Atlanta Games;  He was voted Sports Personality of the Century, in Britain and by Sports Illustrated in the US; In 2005, Ali received America’s two highest civilian awards – the Presidential Citizens Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom;

Ali’s professional career was impressiveover 21 years, during which he won 56 fights, 37 by knockout, and lost five.

Ali remained for 50 years one of the most recognizable people on the planet.

Ali biographer, Dave Kindred, wrote, We forgive Muhammad Ali his excesses,  because we see in him the child in us, and if he is foolish or cruel, if he is arrogant, if he is outrageously in love with his reflection, we forgive him because we no more can condemn him than condemn a rainbow for dissolving into the dark. Rainbows are born of thunderstorms, and Muhammad Ali is both.”

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Chilemba and Barrera Accept Eliminator Bouts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chilemba and Barrera Both Accept Light Heavyweight Eliminator Bouts

Stablemates Have Eyes on Kovalev and Stevenson

Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba

Photo Credits:

David Spagnolo/Main Events

Totowa, NJ:   Last week Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba (24-2-2, 10 KOs) had the very rare privilege of choosing between two mandatory offers: one from the WBC and the other from the IBF. The 28-year old from Malawi opted to take the offer from the WBC. Shortly thereafter, the IBF extended the mandatory fight offer to Main Events’ stablemate Sullivan Barrera (16-0, 11 KOs), the 33-year old Cuban defector.

Yesterday, Chilemba formally accepted the the WBC elimination bout against Eleider “Storm” Alvarez (18-0, 10 KOs) of Apartado, Colombia and Yvon Michel, Alvarez’s promoter, formally accepted for Alvarez. The winner of this fight will be poised as the WBC’s mandatory challenger in the light heavyweight division and will have their shot at current WBC Light Heavyweight World Champion, Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (26-1, 21 KOs).

Regarding Alvarez, Chilemba said, “I’m very happy that he accepted that challenge. I’m not taking Alvarez lightly, he is a good fighter all round. I know he wants to be a champion himself, unfortunately not this time as this is my time. By the time we meet, I’ll be 100% ready and, even though my mind is fully focused on the present opportunity, it brings me closer to that WBC championship I have been working so hard to get to. Just that is what will drive me into leaving nothing to chance when I face Alvarez. I really appreciate the great work of my team getting me where I am today.”

His manager, Jodi Solomon added, “I want to thank Alvarez and his team for accepting the fight. Isaac has wanted this opportunity for the longest time and I believe with Buddy [McGirt] in his corner, nothing will be left to chance. Thank you also to Main Events for helping to get Isaac this opportunity.”

Sullivan Barrera

Photo Credits: Mike Gladysz/Main Events

Last week, Barrera formally accepted his offer from the IBF to face Artur Beterbiev (9-0, 9 KOs) for the mandatory position in the IBF. The winner will face WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (28-0-1, 25 KOs).

An eager Barrera said, “I’m excited to finally get my opportunity. I’m looking forward to the fight. I don’t know anything about Beterbiev. Only thing I know is to get to the top I have to beat him. Looking forward to the opportunity.”

Sullivan is trained by world renowned trainer, Abel Sanchez, who is best known for training current IBF and WBA Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. When asked about this opportunity, Sanchez replied, “Warriors understand greatness is only reached when you challenge yourself. Sullivan Barrera is a warrior wanting to be champion and knows that fighting the perceived best is the fastest way to your dreams coming true.”

Main Events CEO, Kathy Duva, who promotes Chilemba, Barrera and Kovalev, said, “We’ve been focused on the light heavyweight division for the past few years. I’m delighted that so many of our efforts are paying off at the same time and that Isaac and Sullivan are finally getting the opportunities that they’ve earned and have been waiting for. Yvon (Michel, who promotes both Beterbiev and Alvarez) and I have a lot to talk about! I’ve reached out for him and expect that we’ll begin negotiations over the weekend.”

www.mainevents.com
Twitter: @main_events
Facebook:  facebook.com/MainEventsBoxing
Twitter: @Isaac_Chilemba

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Jolene Mizzone Named NABF Matchmaker of the Year

Main Events’ Fighters Congratulates Jolene Mizzone

Alexis Mann, Ellen Haley, Sergey Kovalev and
Jolene Mizzone Celebrate Backstage After Kovalev’s Victory Over Bernard Hopkins
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events

San Francisco, CA: At their annual convention this weekend, the NABF will officially name Main Events’ matchmaker Jolene Mizzone their Matchmaker of the Year, along with Brad Goodman of Top Rank. Mizzone has been a staple at Main Events for close to two decades. She began as the company’s receptionist and steadily worked her way up to Vice President of Operations and Matchmaker. Main Events CEO Kathy Duva said, “Jolene is the only woman in the world making championship-level fights. She’s a pioneer. She’s works so hard and has accomplished so much. She truly deserves this recognition and we are so happy to have her at Main Events. Congratulations, Jo!”

NABF President, Duane Ford, had this to say about Mizzone, “Jolene cares for the fighters and never gives up on trying to make a fight. The NABF salutes her for her determination to make World Champions. Thank you Main Events for having Jolene and for working with the North American Boxing Federation.”

Mizzone Takes Care of Business at
Mohegan Sun
Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Each Main Events fighter wanted to extend their heartfelt congratulations to Jolene for winning this prestigious award.

(Listed Alphabetically)

Tomasz “Goral” Adamek, Former IBF Cruiserweight World Champion
“Congratulations to Jolene. She always made good matches for me. She deserves this award.”

Sullivan Barrera
“Congratulations to Jolene, truly one of the best in the business. She knows boxing! Congrats.”

Curtis Stevens and Jolene Mizzone Chat Ringside

Mairis Briedis

“I am very happy for Jolene win this award. Congratulations!”

Cassius Chaney
“Jolene has been a great contributor to the sport of boxing and a huge part of the Main Events’ brand! She’s wonderful to work with and learn from as I begin my journey in professional boxing and with Main Events. This award is well deserved and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of them come her way!”

Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba, NABF Light Heavyweight Champion
“First, I want to congratulate Jolene for the award. I truly believe she deserves it for her hard work, efficiency and dedication.”

Mizzone Celebrates With Sullivan Barrera

Karl “Dynamite” Dargan

“Jolene is an awesome matchmaker. Glad to be a part of a team that gets their fighters the kind of fights they need, which are competitive and makes them bring out the best of us. Congrats to you Jolene, they couldn’t have picked a better matchmaker.”

Thomas “The Souljah” Falowo
“This is great news and I’m very happy for Jolene. It is great to be on the same team and looking forward to working with her in the future.”

Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov, IBF Heavyweight #1 Contender
“Congratulations, Jolene, on this award. You work very hard and no one deserve more.”

 

Jolene Mizzone

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion

“I’m very glad and happy for Jolene! It’s very good that our team is making progress in the boxing world. I wish all of the best at her job in the future.”

Vasily “The Professor” Lepikhin
“This is great news for Jolene and Main Events. Congratulations!”

Arif “Mayhem” Magomedov
“I am so happy for Jolene. Congratulations and best of luck to her!”

Thabiso “The Rock” Mchunu
“What an awesome achievement! I’m very proud to be a part of her success and look forward to continue working under her matchmaking guidance. It’s onward and upward from here. Congratulations, Jolene.”

Dmitry “The Mechanic” Mikhaylenko
“It is great working with Jolene. She deserves this award. Congratulations to her.”

Nadjib “IronDjib” Mohammedi
“My sincere congratulations goes to Jolene! The NABF Matchmaker of the Year! I’m proud to be a part it. I’m in Main Events Family for a year now and everything is getting better and bigger!”

Curtis “Showtime” Stevens
“Jolene is the best in the world! Hard work pays off. Congratulations to my Jo Jo.”

Lionel “Lonnie B” Thompson
“Congratulations Jolene you did a great job! I’m pretty sure you are going to have more success in the boxing world in the future.”

Also the following managers wished to congratulate Jolene:

Egis Klimas, Manager/Advisor for Sergey Kovalev, Czar Glazkov, Vasily Lepikhin, Dmitry Mikhaylenko, Arif Magomedov, and Sullivan Barrera
“Jolene one of the best matchmakers in the boxing, being a female in this business, she must be tough person. Congratulations to her as she deserved it big time and I am always very happy to work with Jolene.”

Jodi Solomon, Manger for Isaac Chilemba
“Congratulations to Jolene. You absolutely deserve recognition for all your hard

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Mchunu vs. Makabu WBC World Title Eliminator – ICC Centre May 16 – Durban, South Africa

Durban, South Africa: Main Events, in conjunction with Ludonga Promotions, will be hosting the WBC World Title Eliminator in Thabiso “The Rock “Mchunu’s native Durban, South Africa, at the ICC Centre, against a very worthy opponent in who many say is Africa’s finest cruiserweight “Junior” Makabu on May 16.

The two have been on a collision course ever since Mchunu won the Super 8 in devastating fashion destroying anyone in his way. That performance earned him a shot at the No. 1 ranked American Eddie Chambers whom he beat convincingly in his American TV debut. He has gone on to be the first African cruiserweight to win the NABF Title and has his eyes firmly set on the WBC World Title later in the year in Russia. This fight has been the talk of many a debate with both camps believing both Mchunu and Makabu could walk through current WBC Champion Grigory Drozd.

Makabu hails from the Congo with a tough upbringing and an even tougher left hook but is sure to have his hands full with Mchunu who many describe as “Floyd Mayweather in a 200 pound frame.”

On the undercard, commonwealth medalist and amateur star welterweight Thulani Benge makes his debut under Sean Smith with many suggesting he could be the next SA superstar! At 6 foot tall and the body of a middleweight, Marvin Hagler comes to mind. Mchunu’s younger brother will also be on the bill titled “There can only be ONE” as well as former South African champion Fikile  Nyalunga- so in essence, a night of the big hitters in one of Africa’s most beautiful cities- However, there can only be one… Read the rest of this entry »

Arizona Boxing News & Notes with Don Smith

 

Soldier/Photographer Shares Wild Card Experience

Boxing Fans, 19 year old Specialist 4th Class Ronaleen Omega is an Army Reservist who is going to Afghanistan in August of this year after 3 months of readiness training. She follows in the footsteps of her Fatherwho served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a measure to maintain family harmony, Ronaleen has a brother, Roneel who is 13.

Ms. Omega was born at Fort Bragg Base Hospital in North Carolina. Her father is a career military man (Army) and both of Ronaleen’s parents (Shirleen & Ronald) were born in the Philippines.  She has avidly followed and admired the boxing career of Manny Pacquiao since his second fight with Juan Marquez and she plans to watch the May 2 Mayweather/ Pacquiao PPV fight in Phoenix at her parents’ home  which is considered a going away party for Ronaleen; she leaves Arizona on May 17.

Upon hearing about Pacquiao’s scheduled Media Workout at Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, Ronaleen contacted me and volunteered to, at her own expense, shoot pictures of the event and ask questions if television crews would allow her the opportunity to do so. In the world of sports media, television is the big rooster.

I told the polite but excited young woman, I would try to acquire a press credential and if granted, she would represent Arizona Boxing News & Notes. She bugged me occasionally about my promise, but it wasn’t a nagging type of request; and I accepted the “humble” reminders with grace. For those readers who know me, with grace may be an exaggeration.

Two days before D day, she called with a little bit of concern in her voice. I told her my contact with Top Rank was slow in approving our mission. She understood and said: “if I can’t go, I can’t go.” Her response motivated me to formally send a media credential request one more time; bingo, we were in with one catch; Top Rank granted “room for one” and my contact sent a second email message: “doors open at 12:30 pm” on Wednesday, April 15.

Ronaleen was relieved when she heard the news, but she wanted to make one modification to the edict. Her suggestion was to take a second photographer (Juan David Velasquez), a high school classmate whom she considered a more experienced shutterbug. I agreed knowing that she (a typical teenager and photographer) would do what she wanted to do, anyway.  Why shouldn’t she have the final word, the trip covered 379.5 miles (one way) and if she traveled at an average speed of 66 mph, the trip would take 5 hours and 44 minutes without a break; keep in mind, Ronaleen isn’t shy on the accelerator and her fuel bill exceeded $60.00 each way.

The Trip fromPhoenix began around midnight on the 14th,   Ronaleen drove her Jeep and Juan David kept her awake as they spent the majority of their travel time talking about strategy and how they would get Juan David in; since he wasn’t on the prestigious and envied Media Workout list.

The adventurous duo arrived in Hollywood at 5:30 am. Tired, they decided to check into a Hollywood Inn Express ($100.00) at 10 am that was located  20 minutes away from the famous Wild Card Gym, boxing home of Hall of Fame Trainer Freddie Roach.

At 11 am, Ronaleen and Juan David left their temporary lodging and headed for the gym, arriving at 11:20. At 11:25 they left a gated entrance and lined up where other members of the press were gathered. At 11:50, a person(s) started passing out “Manny” T shirts, Ronaleen and Juan David received one each; Ronaleen would later buy another souvenir T shirt.

At 12:10 PM, the media lines were separated into genre categories: Television, Radio, Print Media and social member representatives. I was told that media guests came from around the world including, the Philippines, Great Britain, USA, Sweden, Canada, China, Germany and Mexico. The Philippines sent Television Networks TMC and GMA to cover the event while the United States had countless members of the media present.   Ronaleen and Juan David were placedwith the social media group even though Arizona Boxing News & Notes is written by an established journalist and recognized as a column, not a blog.

According to Ronaleen’s emailed report, the crowd became restless and even more so when Manny P arrived in hi sleek Black Mercedes. He was driving with his window down unveiling himself to the waiting fans and members of the media that were still waiting outside. Ronaleen emailed me to tell me that she got the perfect paparazzi shot, one that TMZ would use in a heartbeat. After Manny’s arrival, tensions started to mount and despite her emailed invitation, Ronaleen was still outside, wondering why she wasn’t allowed to do her job, after all, Manny was allowed to conduct his business; why not Ronaleen? A direct call from one of Manny’s personal security team to let all members of the press in- fell on deaf ears; the detention continued.

She began to panic and I wasn’t home or near my cell to answer her urgent 911 like calls. Finally, her calls reached me and I called the gym twice and emailed two key event movers and shakers. They must have taken note because Ronaleen was allowed in with other retained members of the innocent and credentialed  press corps  and Juan David was also admitted. At last my team could start working.

At 3:17 pm Juan David and Ronaleen were working and taking pictures of Manny and Trainer Freddie Roach.  At 4 pm, the fighter affectionately known as “Pac Man” stood front and center of Ronaleen and Juan David and the click, click sound from their cameras was music to their ears. Once inside, Ronaleen was flattered with a suggestion that she enter a Miss Filipino contest. She smiled, said thank you and then continued on her mission of covering the event. She mildly complained about everyoneaskingthe same questions and tried mightily to ask secondary personnel questions, but they clammed up out of fear of losing their jobs, or so it seemed.

At 4:45 pm, Arizona Boxing News & Notes left the gym and found a Mexican Restaurant to fulfill their well-deserved need for nourishment. After a walk on a nearby beach and a respite from their challenging experience, the two friends left Santa Monica at 9 pm and headed home to Phoenix. There is more drama.

Ronaleen gets sleepy when she drives at night, so she departed the highway to gas dup and stretch a bit. While she took the brief detour, a dodge pick-up rollover accident happened on the highway and stalled traffic for at least an hour and Ronaleen feel asleep during the wait and were awakened by multiple blasts from the bodacious sounding horn of a semi -truck parked directly behind the two tired photo journalists. They arrived in Phoenix after 7 am and soon went into a crash mode after emailing their work around the world. I would like to thank Ronaleen and everyone who had a part in securing their cre3dentialsw and allowing them to complete their mission.

Parting Shots: I want to mention that Ariel Arismendez, young Arizona Olympic boxing hopeful, received her Associate Degree at age 16 which is quite an accomplishment. Don’t forget her benefit golf tournament is on the horizon; call 1-800-928-4785 for more details….2015 Cinco de Mayo boxing on May 2-3 will be held near the Sheraton Downtown Phoenix under a 40’ x 40’ canopy. The Sheraton is located at 340 N. 3rd Street in Phoenix, Arizona. Admission pricebefore 5 pm is a very modest $5.00; come later if you want to pay more. Please make sure, you soak up all of the Cinco de Mayo festival events including musical offerings by diverse artists such as: Ginuwine, Tower of Power, Sir-Mix-A lot & Jay Perez aka the voice. The annual festival has a bit everything; so don’t be late and bring a date……Until Next Tkime

 

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