Promoter Sampson Lewkowicz proudly announces he has signed Bangkok, Thailand, slugger Apinun Khongsong to a co-promotional contract, along with Jimmy Chaichotchuang of Kiat Kreerin Promotions.
23-year-old Khongsong (16-0, 13 KOs) is the mandatory challenger to WBA and IBF Super Lightweight World Champion Josh Taylor of Scotland. Khongsong became the IBF’s mandatory by scoring a fifth-round knockout over Akihiro Kondo this past February.
Co-promoter Chaichotchuang says he and Khongsong were in attendance for Taylor’s World Boxing Super Series unanimous decision victory over Ivan Baranchyk last May and the pair say they see holes in the Scotsman’s game.
“We are very confident,” said Chaichotchuang of Taylor. “We know we can beat him. My fighter is a very, very hard puncher and he will beat Josh. And when he does he will go on to become the ‘Pacquiao of Thailand.’
”Chaichotchuang says he’s happy to be working with his old partner Lewkowicz on the promising Thai’s career.
“I’ve known Sampson for almost 20 years and he’s a good man. I feel very good about this deal and for my fighter’s future.”
Lewkowicz, who says he will begin negotiations almost immediately for the Taylor vs. Khongsong match-up, says he’s also happy to have inked this co-promotional.
“I’ve known Jimmy for many years, and we’ve done a lot of good business together,” said Lewkowicz. “Jimmy is very loyal and honest and I’m very proud to be helping him represent the best fighter from Thailand in all of boxing. Khongsong is a very hard puncher and not many fighters will be able to take his punches, especially at 140 lbs.”
Dmitriy Salita proudly announces the signing of undefeated Detroit-based welterweight Joseph Bonas to a co-promotional contract.
Bonas (6-0, 5 KOs), a four-time national champion as an amateur and twin brother of also undefeated welterweight Jacob Bonas, is an immensely popular Romanian American with star potential.
The 26-year-old puncher trains with top-tier chief second Javan “Sugarhill” Steward at the new Kronk Gym and says he’s got big plans now that he’s inked a contract with the up-and-coming Salita.
“I feel great about singing with Dmitriy Salita,” said Bonas. “Me and (now co-promoter) Cameron Dunkin (of Now Promotions) knew it was going to be a great decision. He is making a lot of big moves and putting fighters in great positions and his shows are on a big level. He’s based in Detroit, close to me and is making real noise as a promoter. His work speaks for itself. I know where Salita can get me and it’s the very top.”
The confident Bonas revealed some ambitious plans for his fistic future.
I want to fight as much as I can this year and work on dropping my weight to 140 while racking up wins. I’m currently fighting at a catch weight from 147 to 152. My overall goal in boxing is to, of course, become a world champion and make as much money as I can and put my family in a better place. I also want to show people that I am the next Detroit great. I will take this sport over and win titles in more than one weight class
Bonas will have his first fight as a Salita Promotions fighter this Friday, January 10, a four-rounder against Steubenville, Ohio’s Glenn Mitchell (3-4, 3 KOs) on the untelevised undercard of undisputed middleweight champion Claressa Shields’ 10-round main-event showdown for the vacant WBC and WBO 154-pound titles against Croatia’s Ivana Habazin (20-3, 7 KOs) at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. and live on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
“Joseph Bonas is one of the best prospects in boxing and I am very excited about working with him,” said Dmitriy Salita. “He comes from the old Kronk Gym and is the connection between the rich history of the past and the future. I believe that he, along with his brother Jacob, will bring big championship fights to the city of Detroit.”
Brother Jacob Bonas (4-0-1, 2 KOs) will also appear this Friday in a four-rounder against Highwood, Illinois’ Christian Rivera (1-0-1).
In the night’s other televised bouts, undefeated welterweight Jaron Ennis (24-0, 22 KOs) will take on hard-punching Bakhtiyar Eyubov (14-1-1, 12 KOs) in the 10-round co-main event and in the telecast opener, WBA Super Middleweight Champion Alicia Napoleon Espinosa (12-1, 7 KOs) meets IBF Champion Elin Cederroos (7-0, 4 KOs) in a 168-pound world title unification.
The event is promoted by Salita Promotions in association with T-REX BOXING PROMOTIONS. The Napoleon-Espinosa vs Cederroos fight is promoted by Salita Promotions in association with DiBella Entertainment.
ABOUT SALITA PROMOTIONS
Salita Promotions was founded in 2010 by Dmitriy Salita, a professional boxer and world-title challenger who saw the need for a promotional entity to feature boxing’s best young prospects and established contenders in North America and around the world. Viewers watching fighters on worldwide television networks including Showtime, HBO, ESPN, Spike TV, Universal Sports Network, UFC Fight Pass, DAZN, ESPN+ and MSG have enjoyed Salita Promotions fight action in recent years. We pride ourselves on offering our fighters opportunities inside and outside the ring. Salita Promotions looks forward to continuing to grow and serve the needs of fight fans around the globe.
JOE “THE BEAST” SMITH JR. (24-3 20KO’S) made his pro-debut in 2009 and spent much of his early years in boxing developing in the New York boxing scene, most notably at Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing praised “Rockin’ Fight” series at The Paramount. Fast forward to 2016 and the year of “THE BEAST” was truly upon us.
Starting in June of ’16, Smith Jr. traveled to Chicago, the hometown of then #2 world rated light heavyweight, ANDREZJ FONFARA. In a stunning upset, Smith Jr. unleashed a furious double-handed attack, delivering a perfectly placed right to the temple of the home-town 16-1 favorite, dropping Fonfara just 64-seconds into the fight. Fonfara wearily rose to his feet, but it wasn’t long until Smith Jr. resumed his onslaught, planting Fonfara on the canvas for good, at the 2:32 mark of the first round. Smith Jr. earned the WBC International Light Heavyweight Title as well as upset of the year honors.
With momentum on his side, Smith Jr. was hand-picked by boxing legend, BERNARD HOPKINS as the opponent for his farewell fight on HBO at The Forum in California. However, come fight night, Smith Jr. was the one bidding farewell, as he landed a devasting multi-punch combination in the eight-round, sending Hopkins clear out of the ring, and into retirement. Smith Jr. would be the first, and only, fighter to knockout the legend, Hopkins. With this TKO victory, Smith Jr. defended his WBC International light heavyweight title and became the #2 rated light heavyweight in the world.
Turning to 2017, Smith Jr. found himself going toe to toe with Cuban veteran, SULLIVAN BARRERA, back at The Forum on HBO. Once again showing his immense power, a one punch overhand right landed flush on the top of Barrera’s head, putting the Cuban on the floor. To the vet’s credit, Barrera would stand inside the 10-count and continue the fight. In the second-round, Smith Jr. would break his jaw, but incredibly continued to fight for the remaining eight-rounds of the bout. Smith Jr. would fall short by decision, but received praise for his insane toughness, and fortitude.
Finally recovered from his injury, Smith Jr. made his triumphant return to the ring at Mohegan Sun Arena in 2018, taking on tough southerner, MELVIN RUSSELL. Wasting no time returning to his power punching ways, Smith Jr. devoured the over-matched Russell by a devastating upper cut, causing referee Steve Willis to stop the action just 2:40 into the first round.
2019 saw Smith Jr. get his first crack at a world title against Russian technician, DMITRY BIVOL at Turning Stone Resort Casino for the WBA World Light Heavyweight Championship. Smith Jr. would take the champion the full 12-rounds, highlighted by a massive right hand that landed at the end of the tenth-round leaving Bivol on unsteady legs, however, without enough time left on the clock to capitalize. Smith Jr. would fall short by unanimous decision to Bivol in the championship fight.
With the start of 2020, Smith Jr. returns to familiar territory, fighting his way into world championship contention. The “Common Man” as he is affectionately known by his fellow union members, must first take on former two-time world title challenger, JESSE “HOLLYWOOD” HART (Philadelphia, PA 26-2 21 KO’s) in a top light heavyweight battle. Hart, mentored by Bernard Hopkins, believes this is his chance to get revenge for the way Hopkins was defeated by Smith in 2016. Smith Jr. knows a spectacular victory over the likes of Hart, puts another world title challenge at arms-length. One thing is for sure, fireworks are bound to be set off, and a great main event lies ahead this Saturday night.
One day before the quadrennial Leap Year date of February 29, a group of eight unbeaten prospects from the Everton Red Triangle Gym in Liverpool take to the ring in the first of five scheduled shows in 2020.
Trained by Paul Stevenson, the talented octet of fighters will all strive to keep their perfect records intact on the February 28 Black Flash Promotions event at the Grand Central Hall in Liverpool.
Unbeaten super-featherweight star Nick Ball (11-0) headlines the stacked show, as he prepares for inevitable championship opportunities this year.
The Junior ABA champion ended 2019 with a devastating second-round KO against tough Nicaraguan Johnson Tellez (10-50-5) at the Hilton Hotel in Mayfair with Frank Warren, Tyson Fury, David Haye and John Conteh all watching on in the crowd at annual Nordoff Robbins charity event.
The 22-year-old dropped his opponent in the opening round and finished him off in clinical fashion in the following round. His durable ring rival hadn’t been stopped all year until he met the ‘Wrecking Ball’ on the 323rd day of 2019.
That impressive victory was preceded by a points win against London 2012 Olympian Abdon Cesar (3-10) on September 21 at the Greenbanks Sports Academy in Liverpool when Ball won all six rounds against the stylish 2011 All-Africa Games bronze medalist.
Now ranked in the top 10 in the UK with his latest win, Ball is in touching distance of big domestic title fights this year and will no doubt be looking to make another big statement on February 28 to put the rest of the country’s 130-pounders on alert.
Merseyside middleweight Harry Woods (3-0) will also be back in action, alongside teammate Nick Ball, after experiencing three fights during his debut year last year.
The 24-year-old steadily improved in each fight throughout 2019, which culminated in a shoutout points win over the tricky Italian Victor Edagha’s (2-63-3) last September.
23-year-old featherweight Andrew Cain (4-0) has won all his four-round contests inside the distance with three second-round stoppages and one third-round TKO.
The former England amateur representative will be back to the ring on the ninth weekend of the year eager to continue his devastating run.
European bronze medalist Connor Butler (3-0-1) also closed the year in a frustrating fight, which resulted in a technical draw after his southpaw opponent Steven Maguire (0-17-1) was cut and couldn’t continue in the second round of their four-round bantamweight contest.
Butler, a three-time national amateur champion, visibly hurt Maguire in the opener and had his travelling opponent from Middleton breathing heavily after a hurtful first round. The ‘Top Dog’ looked set to double his KO count until the disappointing premature end.
Originally born in London’s Whitechapel, the Kirkby resident will be keen to get back to winning ways on the 59th day of the New Year.
Another enthused fighter will be 24-year-old Jonathan Walsh (3-0), who will be firing on all cylinders after he secured his first stoppage win when he halted Youssef Al Hamidi (16-125-5) in the second round of their scheduled four-round super-lightweight contest last September.
A Haringey Box Cup winner known as ‘Jof’, was calm and collected, and demonstrated experience beyond his years, as he deftly put away the 146-fight veteran who hadn’t been stopped since 2014.
The KO will surely inspire the 24-year-old super-lightweight as he aims to kickstart 2020 with another convincing victory.
2018 Senior ABA champion Bradley Strand (2-0) is just 22-years-old but has a 70-fight amateur background behind him, as he looks to replicate that success in the unpaid code, which saw him collect multiple titles, including three Tri-Nations golds.
Carly Skelly (2-0) doubled her win tally in her last fight with a 40-36 points win over Roz Mari Silyanova (1-7-1) at the end of an entertaining four two-minute rounds bantamweight contest to build on her debut win over Bec Connolly (2-5).
Onwards and upwards for 33-year-old southpaw from Liverpool as she aims to rise up the world rankings in 2020 in a what is currently a thriving time for female boxing.
Jack McKinlay (1-0) kicked off his pro career with a points decision over seasoned veteran William ‘Warby’ Warburton (26-156-10).
Welterweight ‘Jack the Ripper’, 30 from Liverpool, was an Under 20’s national champion in the amateurs and will be pleased to begin his 2020 campaign with a win under his belt to build upon.
Everton Red Triangle head coach Paul Stevenson commented on the forthcoming show, “These shows are really gaining a reputation for boxing and excitement of the highest quality.
“People know what to expect at our shows and that is the spectacle of watching a stable full of hungry, dynamic professional fighters in the ascendancy.
“They’re all different, dangerous, highly-skilled and they’re going for the knockouts! There’s going to be some exceptional talent on display on February 28.”
Supporting cast will feature Liverpool super-middleweight southpaw James Heneghan (3-0), who crammed in three fights in seven months during 2019; also super-lightweight Michael Hedges (2-0), who fought in September and November last year to start 2020 with two professional victories behind him; and David Thompson (1-0), known as ‘Junior’, who forced tough opponent Bryn ‘The Bruiser’ Wain to retire at the end of the first round in his November 15 pro debut on the undercard of Rocky Fielding’s ring return at the Liverpool Olympia.
There’s heavyweight action on the bill in the form of 28-year-old hard-hitting Karl Tierney (1-0). The six-footer kicked off his pro career just weeks agon in the historic ‘Home of Boxing’, London’s York Hall, as he crushed 29-year-old Mateusz Rybarski (1-11) in three rounds.
The thriving Everton Red Triangle Gym have an uncommon but sensible system where their events are scheduled for the entire year, meaning that fighters can plan their year accordingly. Their next shows will take place on May 2; July 4; September 5; and November 14.
Two of Team Sauerland’s most exciting talents Abass Baraou (8-0, 5 KOs) and Sophie Alisch (5-0, 1 KO) step back into the squared circle on January 25th in Hamburg, in a historic evening that will see Germany’s oldest promoters Team Sauerland and Universum co-promote a show for the first time in history.
Baraou enjoyed a fruitful 2019 claiming four victories, including wins over former World Champions Carlos Molina and Ali Funeka, he also won the WBC International Super Welterweight title and made his International and UK debuts, claiming stoppage victories over Abdelghani Saber in Dubai and John O’Donnell in London.
The unbeaten 25-year-old, ranked number 9 in the IBF world rankings and number 15 with the WBC, is hoping to use the January fight as a springboard to another successful year as he looks to push himself into world title contention.
Also returning to action is highly rated 18-year-old prospect Sophie Alisch. Alisch claimed five victories in her first year in the professional ranks and caught the fans attention with her slick skills and aggressive style.
“This show will be pure fireworks and sets the bar for 2020,” said Team Sauerland promoter Nisse Sauerland. “Whenever the countries two biggest and oldest promoters combine forces to send their best into the ring, it is great news for German boxing and the fans.
“We will see three hours of high level boxing on SPORT1 and I am sure Abass and Sophie will once again demonstrate their great skills and huge potential!”
Also on the card is IBO International Super Lightweight Champion Artem Harutyunyan (8-0, 5 KOs), Robert Harutyunyan (8-0-1, 3 KOs) and James Kraft (16-0-1, 9 KOs). Further fights and opponents will be announced shortly.
All the action from the Work Your Champ Arena will be broadcast live on SPORT1.
Promotions proudly announces the signing of undefeated heavyweight Gunnar Kolbeinn Kristinsson to a promotional contract.
Kristinsson (11-0, 5 KOs) from Gardabaer, Iceland, is the only active male fighter in his homeland and just the third in the country’s history. As an amateur, the 31-year-old was Icelandic champ and fought at the Amateur World Championships and Olympic Qualifier Tournaments.
Currently training in Detroit under Javan Sugar Hill Steward at the Kronk Gym, Kristinsson will have his debut fight under the Salita Promotions banner on Friday, January 17 at WinnaVegas Casino & Resort in Sloan, Iowa on the un-televised undercard of the 250th edition of ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT).
“I feel very excited about signing with Salita,” said Kristinsson. “It’s a big opportunity and I know we are going to do big things together. I came to Detroit to train with SugarHill because I was at a point in my career where I needed more experienced, world-class coaching. My goal in boxing has always been to be undisputed world champion, this signing brings me closer to that goal.”
Moving forward, Kristinsson will travel back and forth from Iceland to Detroit. In his homeland, he will work with trainers Vilhjalmur Hernandez, Dađi Ástþórsson and Arnór Már Grímsson at Hnefaleikastöđin ÆSIR gym in the capital city of Reykjavik. The training team in Iceland will stick to SugarHill Steward’s training program so that there is “only one chef in the kitchen,” no matter where he is working.
“The Heavyweight division is buzzing again,” said excited promoter Dmitriy Salita. “Koli is a big, skilled, undefeated fighter from a unique place for boxing. I’ve been watching him train with SugarHill at the Kronk Gym and I see consistent improvement. With continued training and a busy fight schedule, I see Koli progressing to world-class levels in the heavyweight division.”
In the 10-round main event on January 17, WBC #12 super middleweight Vladimir Shishkin (9-0, 6 KOs) will take on unbeaten Ulises Sierra (15-0-2, 9 KOs). WBA and IBF #6 super lightweight Shohjahon Ergashev (17-0, 15 KOs) will face Adrian Estrella (29-4, 24 KOs) in the 10-round super lightweight co-feature and in the opener, Detroit native Ja’Rico O’Quinn (13-0-1, 8 KOs) faces Nevada’s Oscar Vasquez (15-2-1, 3 KOs) in an eight-round super flyweight contest.
Sullivan Barrera is 100% healthy and ready to return to the ring.
The former Cuban amateur standout has fought through a torn labrum and rotator cuff the past few years but is now 100% healed after having surgery over the summer and is looking to make a final run in the light heavyweight division.
“He had surgery to repair his rotator cuff and torn labrum in August. He has been back in the gym working and is ready to go. He is a promotional free agent so he can fight with anyone,” said his manager Luis Molina. “Marcus Browne is coming off of a loss and so is Sully. This next fight will be a make or break fight for Sully and Browne needs to get back in the mix too so I think it would be a perfect fight for both of them.”
Barrera has fought several of the top names at 175. Fighters such as Andre Ward, Dmitry Bivol, Joe Smith Jr. and Jesse Hart are all on his resume. While he hasn’t won all of his big fights, he is a proven television friendly action fighter.
With his shoulder fully healed, Barrera believes that he will prove that he still has a lot left in the tank. A lot of critics have written him off and he is using that negativity to fuel his comeback.
“A lot of people say I am too old but I know what I can do. I wasn’t 100% the past few fights. People haven’t seen the best Sully B in a long time. I just need one more chance to step in the ring and prove it. If I am so old and past it then I am sure Browne’s people will have no problem making the fight,” said Barrera.
LAS VEGAS (December 30, 2019) – Texas super lightweight Kendo “Tremendo” Castaneda (17-0, 8 KOs) will risk his perfect pro record against Yomar “The Magic” Alamo (17-0-1, 12 KOs) in a rare showdown between undefeated prospects on February 28, live on Boxeo Telemundo, starting at 11:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. PT, from Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida.
The 26-year-old Castaneda will challenge Alamo, the reigning North American Boxing Organization (NABO) super lightweight champion, in the 10-round main event.
Alamo vs. Castaneda is co-promoted by All-Star Boxing, which promotes Alamo and the event, and Castaneda’s promoter, Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions.“This fight is a testimony of what can happen when two companies work together to make the best fights possible.” Veltre said. “Yomar versus Kendo is a great match-up and exactly what the sport of boxing needs.”
The irony of Alamo vs. Castaneda is that a fighter from the city of San Antonio, home of the historically famous Alamo, will be fighting an opponent named Alamo.
“When I first saw his name,” the outspoken Castaneda said, “I thought to myself that he was in for what The Alamo is really all about, only a one-on-one war, and The Alamo is coming to him. I’m going to take it slow and let the good times roll.
“He’s undefeated, the same as me. He has a higher knockout ratio than me, but he hasn’t fought the caliber opponents than I have. I’ve been in tough. I was thrown into the fire from the start. I took over my state and now I’m in the stable of a big name, Roy Jones Jr. I’m the only ‘Tremendo’, though.”
Alamo, fighting out of Puerto Rico, is the former World Boxing Council (WBC) Youth World and FECARBOX super lightweight champion, who has made three successful NABO title defenses. The 24-year-old knockout artist will be headlining his fourth straight fight at Osceola Heritage Park.
“Alamo is a boxer-puncher who likes to stick and move,” Castaneda added. ”But he’s on his back foot too much, fighting in reverse, and he’s never fought anybody applying pressure like me. This is going to be a win for me. He’s going to try and out-box me, but I can box and punch the whole fight. This guy fights backwards. It’s going to be the same result as my fight with ‘Stan The Man’ (Martyniouk).”
Castaneda captured the vacant North American Boxing Association (NABA) crown a year ago, taking a 10-round decision from previously undefeated Gilbert Venegas, Jr. (10-0), and followed that with an impressive 10-round unanimous decision over Dominican veteran Eudy Berbardo (24-3).
This past October in Reno, Nevada, Castaneda stopped Stan Martyniouk (20-3) in the sixth round, after which he was installed by the World Boxing Organization as its No. 15 rated super lightweight in the world.
WBO No. 8 ranked Alamo is coming off the lone blemish on his pro record, a draw with Antonio Moran (24-4-1).
Castaneda has always delivered, in an out of the thing. He’s a part-time employee of FedX, starting work at 3 a.m. as a pre-loader. “Santa was coming. It’s peak season and we’ve been getting slammed,” Castaneda reported. “I look at my job as an advantage. Other fighters may wake up at 4 in the morning to start training. My workout starts at work. I go from work to the gym to train, or sometimes I mix it up and go home to sleep, and then train at 5 (p.m.).
Alamo vs. Castaneda has world title implications for the winner, possibly as early as late 2020, in addition to showcasing two fan-friendly fighters on television.
“This is the biggest fight of my career,” Castaneda concluded. “It’s two undefeated fighters, champion versus champion, Puerto Rico versus Mexico, and airing on Telemundo is huge. I’m going to make my mark in this fight. I’m going to put on a show and knock this guy’s brains out.”