Bangor, Maine (July 28, 2016) – The dedicated delegation from Young’s MMA of Bangor usually relish their reputation as road warriors in New England Fights.
Lewiston is long established as the hub city for the organization, drawing competitors and spectators from both directions on the Maine Turnpike. Fighters and fans from the Penobscot River valley find that staying engaged for those fight cards four or five times a year requires greater commitment than most.
For only the second time in its history, the regional promotion will bring its cage to the Queen City. “NEF Presents: Dana White Lookin’ for a Fight” is slated for Friday, August 5 at Cross Insurance Center.
Young’s, the gym located just a few blocks away at 127 Hammond Street, will celebrate by showcasing one of its fighters in four of the eight scheduled professional bouts. Battle-tested Ryan Sanders and relative newcomers Aaron Lacey, Josh Harvey and CJ Ewer all are poised to take their best shot with the support of a raucous, partisan crowd.
“That’s the most exciting part for me, being from Brewer. I went to Brewer High School,” Lacey said. “It was definitely a huge, huge draw for me, seeing it in person. I went to the fights when NEF came to Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion (July 12, 2013) and all I could think is, ‘Man, I want to do this.’ This has been a goal of mine for a long time.”
Sanders (10-7) will battle Derrick Kennington (11-7) in a clash of wily lightweights that will be on the featured attractions on the docket.
His three stablemates each emerged victorious in their only previous pro bout. Lacey will lock up with John Santos (3-3) of Derry, N.H., in a featherweight fight. Harvey has an appointment at featherweight. Ewer, who won an amateur bout at the outdoor concert venue in Bangor, will be tested by Ruben Redman (0-1) in a welterweight scrap.
Even with numerous friends in attendance, the four men know it is the presence of UFC president White, who grew up in nearby Hermon, which could have career-changing ramifications.
“It’s a great opportunity. It’s awesome to know that someone like that is going to be in the building on fight night,” Sanders said. “But for me it’s just another fight. I don’t want to get caught up in all that. Just let it unfold.”
White and cohorts Din Thomas and Matt Serra travel the country in pursuit of undiscovered MMA talent in a reality show that is broadcast on White’s YouTube page as well as the UFC Fight Pass subscription-based streamed video service.
Yes, the entrepreneur’s Maine connections are well-documented. White also previously brought UFC Fight Night 47 to Bangor. Young’s talent pool suspects that the latest event is more than just a case of White throwing a bone to his home base, however.
“I’m grateful that he’s bringing it here. I’m sure he’s watched film from NEF in his spare time. He must see something in NEF that he likes in order to be doing this,” Harvey said. “It doesn’t make me more nervous. I’m excited for it. I’m going to try to put that all aside and focus on the task at hand.”
Under the tutelage of co-owners Chris Young and Ernie Fitch, roughly five or six professionals and a dozen amateurs cycle through the gym in any given training camp.
“Four of us fighting, it just shows we’re the best gym in the area. Three of us are undefeated. We’re producing studs. People see that and want to train with the best guys they can,” Sanders said. “We definitely push each other. You have guys who kick your ass every day. We want the best for each other. That’s why we’re here.”
Harvey expects the numbers and commitment to grow after White’s visit. He has been training at Young’s for three years. The cage side seat at the waterfront inspired him to step up his own training regimen. It’s a built-in advantage, Harvey noted, that has belonged almost exclusively to Lewiston until now.
“That’s what gets most people started. They go and see the fights and they want to try it,” Harvey said. “That’s why you see places like Central Maine BJJ (Lewiston) and First Class MMA (Topsham) growing so much. The fights are right there in their backyard.”
Lacey characterizes Young’s as “a gym full of killers.”
The statistics underscore Lacey’s point. The three pros with unblemished records all won their debut in two minutes or less.
“Ryan has only gone to a decision I think one time in his career. He’s a finisher. Josh won his fight by submission in the first round. CJ is super strong,” Lacey said. “They challenge me to be the best I can be every day. They keep me focused not just in the gym but in the game of life outside the cage.”
Although he is facing an opponent with significantly greater experience, Lacey expects a helpful adrenaline rush from having so many familiar faces at his back.
“It is different. I fought I think seven times in Lewiston between amateur fights and my pro debut,” he said. “This gives me a chance to be in my comfort zone. And a lot of my fans can’t make it down there. By the time you figure in the travel, the price of the tickets, maybe staying overnight, they just can’t do it.”
Harvey agreed, pointing out that it’s the initial fight for which he hasn’t needed to pack a suitcase.
“This will be the first time I’ve slept in my own bed the night before a fight. I think it’s a huge advantage,” Harvey said. “Some people might think with more of your fans there that there’s more pressure, but I think it just builds you up.”
“NEF Presents Dana White: Looking for a Fight” takes place on Friday, August 5, 2016 at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine. Tickets are on sale now at www.CrossInsuranceCenter.
For more information on the event and fight card updates, please visit the promotion’s website at www.NewEnglandFights.com. In addition, you can watch NEF videos at www.youtube.com/NEFMMA and www.flocombat.com, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”
Santa Cruz Family Opens Up About Father Jose’s Battle With Cancer
Frampton, & McGuigan Plan For Irish Invasion
As Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton prepare to collide for one of the top spots in the featherweight division this Saturday, the undefeated fighters have plenty of motivation as they approach their marquee summer blockbuster.
Boxing has always been a family affair for the Santa Cruz clan, with father Jose leading the charge with the assistance of Leo’s brother, Antonio. But a frightening diagnosis of cancer has threatened to prevent Jose from manning Leo’s corner for the first time in his career.
After unifying the super bantamweight division, Frampton moved up to featherweight for his second fight in the U.S. And while the Irish sensation aims to become a two-division world champion, he’s also hoping to become a star in America and follow in the footsteps of his mentor, Hall of Famer Barry McGuigan.
Check out these intimate SHOWTIME Sports features on Santa Cruz and Frampton as they approach a career-defining moment this Saturday, live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Tickets for the live event, which is presented by Premier Boxing Champions and promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Cyclone Promotions, start at $38 and can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.barclayscenter.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Undefeated former two-division world champion Mikey Garcia will fight for the first time in two-and-one-half years when he faces Elio Rojas in the co-feature on SHOWTIME. In the opening bout of the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast, Tony Harrison and Sergey Rabchenko will meet in a 12-round IBF Junior Middleweight Elimination Bout.
An all-Brooklyn showdown between welterweights Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi andGabriel “Tito” Bracero highlights the undercard on SHOWTIME BOXING on SHOWTIME EXTREME®. A 10-round clash between once-beaten lightweight Ivan Redkach and streaking Tevin Farmer, a winner of 14 straight, will open the SHOWTIME EXTREME®telecast live at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
Barclays Center’s BROOKLYN BOXING™ programming platform is presented by AARP. For more information visit www.SHO.com/Sports follow on Twitter @SHOSports, @LeoSantaCruz2, @RealCFrampton, @BarclaysCenter, and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports, www.Facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment, www.Facebook.com/barclayscenter. PBC is sponsored by Corona, La Cerveza Mas Fina.
July 29 airing live on Spike TV from Videotron Centre
Adonis ”Superman” Stevenson – WBC and lineal light heavyweight world champion:
”Welcome to Québec City Thomas. I saw your fight against Edwin Rodriguez. It was a nice performance with a beautiful KO. When I saw that bout, I told myself I wanted that fight with you. I knew I was going to be motivated.”
”I know Williams hits hard and that he has a name now in the United States, but I keep the same Kronk Gym mentality Emmanuel Steward taught me: we go for the KO. It is also my daughter’s birthday and I want to get her a KO, I am motivated. That will be exciting…don’t blink!”
Thomas ”Top Dog” Williams – WBC #8 light heavyweight ranked challenger:
”You don’t know what I have been through to be here. Tweets, talks and predictions won’t mean nothing Friday night…..facts will. There will be a new champion.”
Eleider ”Storm” Alvarez – WBC #1 ranked challenger and WBC Silver light heavyweight champion:
”With only a 10-day notice, I am really happy to face a fighter of good caliber. Berridge is a tough guy who faced good names like Thomas Oosthuizen and Blake Caparello, but I prepared really hard for Chad Dawson. I am ready.”
Robert ”The Butcher” Berridge – New Zealand light heavyweight champion :
”I am excited to be here and to face a solid boxer. Expect a good performance from me Friday.”
Yvon Michel – President of GYM:
”The event is called ‘SHOOTOUT’ because of the aggressive style of Thomas Williams Jr, who fights like there is no tomorrow, combined with the explosive power of Adonis Stevenson.”
”Williams is a clear and present danger but we are convinced that Adonis is well prepared and will succeed, so that we will all be happy Saturday morning while eating breakfast. We still have not seen his full potential yet.’
”The fight between Eleider Alvarez and Robert Berridge is really important for the rankings in the light heavyweight division. Alvarez is highly considered by all the independent rankings (The Ring, BoxRec) and Berridge was already in training before the withdrawal of Chad Dawson, because he was supposed to fight on HBO PPV last weekend before the bout was cancelled for administrative reasons. He is fearless and a hard hitter.”
Tickets for the “SHOOTOUT” event, jointly promoted by GYM and Gestev and presented by Vidéotron, in collaboration with Mise-O-Jeu, start at $50.00 and are on sale and available to purchase at www.ticketmaster.ca, the Videotron Centre Box Office, calling GYM at (514) 383-0666 andthe Champion Boxing club (514) 376-0980, or by dialing 1-855-790-1245
Open To the Public
LAS VEGAS, NV (July 27, 2016) – The 4th Annual Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame Ceremony kicks off this FridayJuly, 29, 2016, with a meet and greet at the world renowned Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The daylong event will commence from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and take place at Caesars Palace on the 3rd floor outside the Palace Ballroom in the pre function area. Boxing champions from past and present will be on hand to sign autographs and take photos with those in attendance. The event is open to the public. Charity donations, which will be donated to local boxing programs, will be accepted during the event.
On Saturday July, 30, 2016, eleven members of the boxing fraternity will be honored with induction into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. In the boxer category, Riddick Bowe, Ray Mancini, Christy Martin, Pernell Whitaker,Ricardo Lopez and Freddie Little will be inducted, and all six have confirmed their attendance. In the non-boxer category, trainers Kenny Adams, Thell Torrence and Johnny Tocco are the honorees, and will be joined by boxing writer Tim Dahlberg and broadcaster James “Smitty” Smith. Unfortunately, Tocco passed away in 1997, but all of the others are confirmed to be on-scene for their inductions.
Tickets for the NVBHOF induction Gala, priced $300, $175, $75 are on sale now by clicking here
Below are the list and times of the boxing icons that will be present at Friday’s meet and greet.
11am-12pm Ana Julaton – Former 2-time Women’s Super-Bantamweight World Champion
Hasim Rahman – Former 2-time Heavyweight World Champion
Devin Haney – Undefeated Rising Star and Featherweight Phenom
Ishe Smith – Former Super-Welterweight World Champion
Richard Steele – Famed Retired Boxing Referee
12pm-1pm Jesse Vargas – Current WBO Welterweight World Champion
Mike McCallum – Former Light Middleweight, Middleweight and Light Heavyweight Champion
Verno Phillips – Former 2-time Super-Welterweight World Champion
Leon Spinks – Former 2-time Heavyweight World Champion
Bones Adams – Former Super-Bantamweight World Champion
Terry Norris – Former 3-time Super-Welterweight World Champion
1pm-2pm Laura Serrano – Former Women’s Super-Featherweight World Champion
Ricardo Lopez – Former Minimumweight and Light-Flyweight Champion
Kevin Kelley – Former Featherweight World Champion
Joel Casamayor – Former Super-Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion
Riddick Bowe– Former 3-time Heavyweight World Champion
2pm-3pm Ava Knight – Former 2-time Women’s Flyweight World Champion
James Smith – Boxing Commentator and Host of In The Corner TV show
Badou Jack – Current WBC Super-Middleweight World Champion
Eddie Mustafa Mohammad – Former Light-Heavyweight World Champion
3pm-4pm Christy Martin – Former Women’s Super-Welterweight World Champion
Pernell Whitaker – Former Lightweight, Super-Lightweight and Welterweight World Champion
Zab Judah – Former Super-Lightweight and Welterweight World Champion
Quick Tillis – Former Heavyweight World Title Challenger
Ernie Shavers – Former Heavyweight World Title Challenger
Shawn Porter – Former Welterweight World Champion
4pm-5pm Elena Reid – Former Women’s Flyweight World Champion
Freddie Little – Former Super-Welterweight World Champion
Kenny Adams – Professional Boxing Trainer)
Paulie Ayla – Former Bantamweight and Super-Bantamweight World Champion
Crystina Poncher – Boxing Commentator
Bernardo Osuna – ESPN Boxing Commentator
The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame is an IRS 501-c-3 non-profit, charitable organization which donates to boxing-related causes. Ticket purchases, auction or raffle purchases, and donations are tax-deductible.