Lewiston, Maine (April 24, 2015) – New England Fights (NEF), America’s number-one regional fight promotion, will hold its eighteenth mixed-martial-arts (MMA) event, “NEF XVIII: Made in America,” on Saturday, June 13, 2015 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine. Earlier today, the promotion announced that the inaugural NEF MMA Amateur Flyweight Champion will be determined that evening when Dustin Veinott (3-3) rematches “Sleepy” Norman Fox (4-1) at the flyweight limit of 125-pounds. Veinott and Fox initially met in their double amateur debut at “NEF IX” in Biddeford, Maine nearly two years ago with Fox taking the win via first-round technical knockout (TKO).
Dustin Veinott, a striking coach at Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (CMBJJ) in Auburn, Maine, got off to a slow start in his MMA career, losing his first three bouts in the NEF cage. Not one to give up due to a setback, Veinott came roaring back and is currently on a three-fight win streak. In fact, he has defeated all three of his most recent opponents in the first round, two by submission and one by TKO. Veinott was considering retiring from the cage after his most recent victory over Dave Brown (1-3), but decided against it when the chance to fight for the flyweight title was presented. Regardless of the outcome this time around, Veinott predicts an exciting contest against Fox.
“This is going to be a very entertaining fight,” said Veinott of the rematch. “Don’t blink though because this fight will not go the distance – either Norman or myself will be finished during the fight. So expect a high-action fight between two guys that are at the top of their game right now.”
Norman Fox is undefeated in the NEF cage. The only loss of his career to date came on a fight card in Plymouth, Massachusetts on which Fox was competing for a regional title. He is currently a member of Ryan Cowette’s (2-2) MMA Athletix gym, as well as Cowette’s Victory Church ministry. Fox realizes that he and Veinott are not the same fighters who stepped into the cage for the first time on that balmy night in the summer of 2013.
“Normally I don’t like rematches, but Dustin and I have grown as fighters so anything can happen,” said Fox when reached for comment. “Once they lock the cage door, it’s all in God’s hands.”
NEF’s next MMA event, “NEF XVIII: Made in America” will originate from the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine on June 13, 2015. Tickets for “NEF XVIII” start at just $25 and are on sale now at www.TheColisee.com or by calling the Colisee box office at207.783.2009 x 525. 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, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”
About New England Fights
New England Fights (“NEF”) is a fight events promotions company. NEF’s mission is to create the highest quality events for Maine’s fighters and fans alike. NEF’s executive team has extensive experience in combat sports management, events production, media relations, marketing, legal and advertising.
WARD TO FACE PAUL SMITH ON JUNE 20, 2015
AT ORACLE ARENA IN OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA LIVE ON BET
NEW YORK — April 23, 2015 — BET Networks is pleased to announce that it is stepping into the ring with Roc Nation Sports as their exclusive broadcast partner to air live throne boxing events on the network. The partnership between BET Networks and Roc Nation Sports is the first of its kind for the network and includes airing up to nine live, two-hour telecasts of Roc Nation Sports throne boxing events over the next 18 months. The first main event fight to air on BET Networks will feature WBA Super Middleweight World Champion Andre Ward (27-0, 14 KO’s) facing former World Title Challenger Paul Smith (35-5, 20 KO’s) of England in a 12 round bout on Saturday, June 20, 2015 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. In addition to the great action inside the ring, the telecast will feature several notable Roc Nation touches that offer an unprecedented fan experience, including a live musical performance and a name DJ to keep the energy at a high level throughout the night. Fans can catch the action live on BET in the United States and globally on TIDAL.com, the newly launched music streaming service that combines the best high fidelity sound quality, high definition music videos and expertly curated editorial.
Tickets priced at $250, $125, $90, $60 and $30, not including applicable service charges and taxes, go on sale Friday, April 24 at 10:00 AM PT and will be available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com and charge by phone at (800) 745-3000.
“BET is constantly searching for ways to expand its portfolio of content with the sole goal of satisfying our audiences,” said Stephen G. Hill, President of Programming, BET Networks. “Roc Nation is doing very exciting things in the entertainment space and we are excited to partner with them on this groundbreaking deal positioning BET Networks as a go-to destination for premier live boxing events. Together, we’ll provide unique entertainment.”
“We’re thrilled to not only be introducing our newest broadcast partnership with BET Networks, but also to use this new platform to telecast Andre Ward’s highly anticipated return to the ring,” said David Itskowitch, COO – Boxing of Roc Nation Sports. “On June 20, we will once again provide fans a night of exciting throne boxing fights, live musical entertainment and an unprecedented fan experience.”
“I’m very excited to be coming back on June 20 at Oracle Arena in my hometown of Oakland which has been a long time coming,” said Ward. “I’m equally excited to be fighting on BET in front of a potential viewership of over 90 million homes. As a fighter, this diversifies my portfolio and puts me in front of a whole different audience. I have an extremely tough fighter in front of me in Paul Smith who’s looking to pull the upset, but I can’t let that happen. I have to be on my best game to turn Smith away and beat him the way I want to beat him. As always, I’m ready to put on a tremendous performance in front of my hometown fans and those watching on BET. This is a fight you don’t want to miss.”
“I cannot wait to get back in the ring and test myself against a class act like Andre Ward. I proved that I belong at the top level with my performances against Arthur Abraham and this is a challenge that I am relishing,” said Smith. “Andre is a top pound-for-pound fighter and someone I respect a lot, but he has only boxed once in almost three years and I will give it everything I have got. I am fresh and confident going into this fight. It’s a massive opportunity for me and one that I took with both hands when it was offered. I have spent a lot of time boxing in the United States and I look forward to returning for this fight.”
Known for his strong character and integrity outside the ring and his killer instinct inside it, Andre Ward’s skill and talent were apparent early in his outstanding amateur career. He racked up every title in the books, culminating with a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. As the only male American boxer to claim Olympic gold since 1996, Ward joined the likes of Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya. He turned professional on December 18, 2004, scoring a second round technical knockout victory over Chris Molina at Staples Center in a fight that was televised live on HBO. He has gone on to rack up 26 more victories since then, building an ever-growing legion of fans in the process. After becoming the Ring Magazine and WBA Super Middleweight World Champion, rising to the number two spot on the pound-for-pound list and winning the 2011 Fighter of the Year Award (ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Ring Magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America), it was announced that Ward signed an exclusive promotional agreement with Roc Nation Sports in January 2015, opening a new chapter in his storied boxing career. Now the Bay Area product is ready to return to the ring on June 20 at the Oracle Arena in front of his hometown fans in Oakland, California.
Paul “Real Gone Kid” Smith enters his fight against pound-for-pound star Ward coming off of two heroic performances against WBO Super Middleweight World Champion Arthur Abraham. Smith challenged the Armenian-German for his title in Kiel, Germany in September 2014 and put on the performance of his career in his world title first shot. The 32-year-old native of Liverpool was the clear winner of large parts of the fight and celebrated at the bell in front of a hushed partisan crowd that thought that Abraham had been dethroned. Smith was not expecting the wide scorecards that were read out in favor of the hometown fighter and, judging by the far-reaching outrage at the lopsided numbers, neither were the majority of the boxing world and beyond, with Smith receiving support from some of Britain’s biggest sports stars on social media. A rematch was the only possible scenario and, like a true champion, Abraham duly obliged. Smith returned to Germany in February of this year to face Abraham again, this time in Berlin, but Abraham was a different fighter the night of their second fight, successfully defending his belt against a brave challenge from Smith. Once again the judges’ were forced to give a verdict and this time a decision win by Abraham was met with no outcry of controversy. On June 20, “Real Gone Kid” will return to the ring and once again venture into hostile territory to take on one of boxing’s best, looking to silence the crowd.
Ward vs. Smith, a 12 round bout presented by Roc Nation Sports, takes place Saturday, June 20 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, will be televised live on BET and streamed globally on TIDAL.com at 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT and is presented in association with Matchroom Sport.
ABOUT BET NETWORKS:
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks – BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.
ABOUT ROC NATION SPORTS:
Roc Nation Sports, a sub-division of Roc Nation, launched in spring 2013. Founder Shawn “JAY Z” Carter’s love of sports lead to the natural formation of Roc Nations Sports, helping athletes in the same way Roc Nation has been helping artists in the music industry for years. Roc Nation Sports focuses on elevating athletes’ career on a global scale both on and off the field. Roc Nation Sports conceptualizes and executes marketing and endorsement deals, community outreach, charitable tie-ins, media relations and brand strategy. Roc Nation Sports launched its boxing division, a full service promotional company which represents world champions Miguel Cotto and Andre Ward, in August 2014. Roc Nation Sports’ roster includes premiere athletes such as Robinson Cano, Skylar Diggins, Kevin Durant, Geno Smith, Victor Cruz, CC Sabathia, James Young, Dez Bryant, Ndamukong Suh, Rusney Castillo, Yoenis Cespedes, Jaelen Strong, Todd Gurley, Wilson Chandler, Erick Aybar and Frances Tiafoe. For more information please visit www.rocnation.com. Follow Roc Nation on Twitter and Instagram @rocnation and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RocNation.
ABOUT ORACLE ARENA & O.co COLISEUM:
Oracle Arena and O.co Coliseum, managed by AEG Facilities, are the premiere sports and entertainment complexes in Northern California. Home of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and MLB’s Oakland Athletics as well as host to concerts, family shows and special events. Additional information on Oracle Arena and O.co Coliseum, including a complete schedule of events can be found online at www.coliseum.com. Follow Oracle Arena on Twitter, Instagram, Vine and Snapchat @OracleArena and on Facebook www.faecbook.com/OracleArenaO.coColiseum.
Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE: FL)
April 23, 2015
NEW YORK, April 23, 2015 — Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE: FL), the New York-based specialty athletic retailer, today debuted a new television spot, “It’s Really Happening,” in celebration of the highly-anticipated and long-awaited bout between champion boxers on Saturday, May 2.
The new spot builds on Foot Locker’s “Week of Greatness” commercial from November 2014, which played on enduring attempts to schedule the oft-rumored mega fight, ending with Pacquiao believing that the fight was happening back then. In this newest commercial, Pacquiao’s business manager tells him that the fight really is going to happen, which at first surprises Pacquiao, then he again reacts with his signature elation made famous in the original spot.
“Our original ‘Week of Greatness’ spot with Manny Pacquiao last November was a big hit with our customers. It parodied the well-documented opposition of the fighters to agree upon a deal,” said Stacy Cunningham, Executive Vice President of Marketing for Foot Locker. “So when the two sides finally announced that a deal had been made, we saw an opportunity to follow up, tapping into the hilarity of the original spot. We are excited to launch ‘It’s Really Happening,’ as part of Foot Locker’s signature ‘Approved’ marketing platform.”
The spot was created by worldwide agency BBDO.
About Foot Locker:
Foot Locker is part of Foot Locker, Inc., a specialty athletic retailer that operates approximately 3,500 stores in 23 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Through its Foot Locker, Footaction, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Champs Sports, SIX:02, Runners Point, and Sidestep retail stores, as well as its direct-to-customer channel, including footlocker.com, Eastbay.com, SIX:02.com,runnerspoint.com, and sidestep-shoes.com, the Company is a leading provider of athletic footwear and apparel.
Additional information may be found at footlocker.com | Twitter: @footlocker | Instagram: @footlocker | YouTube: youtube.com/footlocker | Blog:unlocked.footlocker.com | Facebook: facebook.com/footlocker #Approved
New Primetime Series to Include First-Ever Use of “Spidercam” for Live Boxing Telecast
Kevin Kugler to Provide Play-by-Play with World Class Welterweight Timothy Bradley & Reporter Crystina Poncher
truTV and Top Rank will partner to exclusively present the MetroPCS Friday Night Knockout on truTV, a live primetime boxing series set to debut Friday, May 1, at 10 p.m. ET. The new boxing series, in association with Turner Sports and HBO Sports, will launch on the eve of the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao pay-per-view fight with a card featuring two title bouts inside The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
The network’s presentation will feature the first-ever domestic use of “Spidercam” technology for a live boxing telecast, providing dynamic coverage of this new series. “Spidercam” operates on a four-point system of cables from designated points beyond the corners of the boxing ring. The suspended camera has the ability to provide compelling 360-degree angles of the action including the ability to move in three dimensions – left/right, forward/backward and up/down.
“Spidercam” will provide the definitive views of the action throughout the series, including a main event on Friday, May 1, showcasing Takahiro Ao (27-3-1, 16 KOs) from Chiba, Japan, vs. Ray Beltran (29-7-1, 17 KOs) from Los Mochis, Mexico, in a 12-round bout for the vacant WBO Lightweight World Championship. The undercard will include two undefeated fighters in action – Mikael Zewski (26-0, 23 KOs) from Quebec, Canada, vs. Konstantin Ponomarev (27-0, 13 KOs) from Miass, Russia – in a 10-round bout for the NABF Welterweight Championship.
Commentators for the event will include Kevin Kugler providing play-by-play with analyst Timothy Bradley and reporter Crystina Poncher. Kugler is a veteran announcer who has called college basketball and NFL coverage for Westwood One and college football for the Big Ten Network. Bradley is a former WBO welterweight champion and former WBO and two-time WBC junior welterweight champion, including a win over Pacquiao during his career. Poncher is a commentator and reporter for Top Rank, as well as a host, reporter and correspondent for NFL Network and NFL.com. Additionally, closed captioning in Spanish will be available.
The second week of the MetroPCS Friday Night Knockout on truTV series – live from Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on Friday, May 8, at 10 p.m. – will be headlined by Top-10 contenders Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia (23-1, 15 KOs) from Passaic, N.J., and “Irish” Seanie Monaghan (23-0, 15 KOs) in action. Tapia will defend his NABO junior middleweight title against Michael Soro (25-1-1, 15 KOs) from France, with Monaghan (defending his WBC Continental Americas light heavyweight title) facing Cleiton Conceicao (20-6-2, 16 KOs) from Brazil.
As part of its entitlement sponsorship of the boxing series on truTV, MetroPCS will receive camera-visible center ring and corner pad brand placement for each fight, as well as inclusion in all promotional messaging across truTV and other Turner Broadcasting networks. Sony PlayStation also joins as an associate sponsor of the series, with in-ring signage and inclusion in promotional spots.
NEW YORK (April 23, 2015) – Gary Shaw Productions undefeated Jr. Welterweight prospect, Kenneth Sims Jr. (5-0, 2 KOs) will return to the ring this Saturday at the Madison Square Garden Theater on the undercard of Klitschko vs. Jennings. Sims Jr. will face veteran Luis Rodriguez (3-2, 2 KOs) in a 6-round bout.
Kenneth Sims Jr. was a chief sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao, getting him ready for his super fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. He’ll look to use that experience against Rodriguez, and impress those in attendance with a great performance.
“I’m coming off a great training camp with Manny Pacquiao, where I gained invaluable experience,” said Kenneth Sims Jr. “I learned a lot from one of the greatest fighters of all time. I’m going into this fight with a tremendous amount of confidence. I’m going to be throwing a lot of hard punches with precise accuracy. I want to thank Gary Shaw for giving me another wonderful opportunity to showcase my skills on the big stage. Fighting at Madison Square Garden is a dream come true.”
“Kenneth has shown me he wants to take his career to new heights,” Gary Shaw said. “The fact the Team Pacquiao wanted him in camp says it all. He’s got a lot of God given talent and I’m very happy with his development. I encourage everyone to show up early top get a glimpse of a future star.”