From Brooklyn To Deadwood To San Antonio Dibella Entertainment Enjoys Sensational Back To Back Weekends!
(March 15th) DiBella Entertainment is coming off highly successful back-to-back weekends, from promoting the heavyweight championship of the world between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz, to getting top-rated contenders Regis Prograis, Ivan Baranchyk, and Richard Commey in line for world title shots, as well as seeing several prospects continue to rise up the rankings with impressive victories.
"It has been a tremendous past two weekends for DiBella Entertainment," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "The boxing world witnessed Deontay Wilder show the heart of a true champion to secure his signature victory at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Women's boxing crowned a new champion in Alicia Napoleon and saw the emergence of a new exciting attraction in the New York area. At the Deadwood Mountain Grand, in South Dakota, super lightweight Regis Prograis won a share of what will be his 140-pound WBC green belt and established himself as one of the sport's rising superstars. With his new trainer Pedro Diaz, Ivan Baranchyk fought the best fight of his career and became the mandatory challenger for Mikey Garcia. In San Antonio, lightweight Richard Commey gave himself a great birthday present with a sensational knockout to earn the mandatory versus Robert Easter."
On Saturday, March 3, DiBella Entertainment promoted the WBC Heavyweight World Championship between champion Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) and previously undefeated challenger Luis Ortiz (28-1, 24 KOs). In the highly anticipated bout before a crowd of 14,069--the second largest boxing crowd at Barclays Center--two of the best heavyweights in the world engaged in a phenomenal battle with Wilder overcoming serious adversity to notch his seventh WBC title defense by stopping the hard-hitting Cuban in the 10th round.
Alicia Napoleon (9-1, 5 KOs), of Lindenhurst, Long Island, NY, was featured on the Wilder-Ortiz undercard and won the WBA Women's Super Middleweight World Title, displaying her championship class by defeating Femke Hermans (6-1, 3 KOs) via 10-round unanimous decision. After winning 11 amateur titles, including two New York Golden Gloves titles and a National Golden Gloves title, Napoleon turned pro in August 2014. Having won her world title in front of a large cheering section at Barclays Center, it is clear that Napoleon has established herself as a new female boxing star attraction in New York.
Trained by Joe Higgins, Freeport, NY's junior middleweight contender Patrick Day (15-2-1, 6 KOs) made the first defense of his WBC Continental Americas Title on the undercard, winning a unanimous decision against Kyrone Davis (13-2, 5 KOs). Going into the bout, both Day and Davis had stellar amateur pedigrees, with Day a New York Golden Gloves champion and US Olympic alternate and Davis a two-time National champion. Day won his belt in front of local fans at Long Island's NYCB Live last July, earning a thrilling unanimous decision against previously unbeaten Eric Walker.
DiBella then traveled to the Deadwood Mountain Grand in Deadwood, South Dakota, for a sensational six-bout card on Friday, March 9, that had the capacity crowd on their feet throughout. Hitting all three local TV stations and four different radio outlets in nearby Rapid City before Thursday's weigh-in, DiBella became an instant celebrity in the area and was surrounded by well-wishing boxing fans on the night of the event.
Headlining the "SHOWTIME Boxing: Special Edition" telecast, Regis "Rougarou" Prograis (21-0, 18 KOs) put himself on the world stage with a stunning second-round stoppage of former unified champion Julius Indongo (22-2-1, 11 KOs) to capture the interim WBC Super Lightweight Title. The contest made history as it was the first world title fight ever staged in South Dakota. As the interim WBC titleholder at 140 pounds, Prograis will meet the winner of Saturday's clash in New York between Jose Ramirez and Amir Imam for the WBC belt. Prograis will be watching intently from ringside at Madison Square Garden, eager to take on the winner and become the first world champion from New Orleans since Willie Pastrano, more than 50 years ago.
With his new trainer, Pedro Diaz, Belarus-born, Brooklyn-based junior welterweight Ivan "The Beast" Baranchyk (17-0, 11 KOs) participated in the evening's co-featured bout, enamoring fans in attendance with his most impressive performance yet. Known for his all-action style and last seen on SHOWTIME in a war against Abel Ramos, in one of the best fights in the history of the "ShoBox: The New Generation" series, Baranchyk dismantled the game former world title challenger Petr Petrov (38-6-2, 19 KOs) over seven rounds, dropping him three times en route to a stoppage victory. It was his fifth appearance on SHOWTIME. The win earned Baranchyk, co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment, Fight Promotions Inc., and Holden Productions, and managed by David McWater's Split-T Management, the #2 ranking at 140 pounds by the IBF, and put him in line for a shot at newly-crowned champion Mikey Garcia.
New Zealand heavyweight prospect Junior Fa (14-0, 8 KOs) opened up the SHOWTIME telecast, staying unbeaten with an eight-round decision win versus Craig Lewis (14-2-1, 8 KOs). It was the third fight Stateside and second appearance on SHOWTIME for Fa, who holds two amateur wins over WBO Heavyweight Champion Joseph Parker, as he works his way up the rankings and into title contention.
Once ranked the #2 featherweight in the world, Hartford, Connecticut's Matt "Sharp Shooter" Remillard (27-1, 15 KOs) earned the fourth victory of his comeback against Jesus Valdez (22-4-1, 11 KOs) to seize the WBC USNBC super featherweight title. Trained by Connecticut Boxing Hall of Famer Paul Cichon, Remilard resumed his career in April 2017 following a six-year ring absence. Prior to his lone defeat to Mikey Garcia in March 2011, Remillard had accumulated the WBC USNBC, NABF and NABO titles at 126 pounds. He is now ready to prove himself against the 130-pound division's elite and top-rated fighters.
Cleveland's Charles Conwell (7-0, 5 KOs), a 2016 US Olympian and rising junior middleweight star, has kept a busy and impressive start to his career since turning pro last April. On the Prograis-Indongo undercard, the 20-year-old earned a six-round unanimous decision against the experienced Juan Jesus Rivera (28-20, 18 KOs). It was last November when Conwell made his television debut on SHOWTIME's "ShoBox" series. A highly accomplished amateur, having amassed a 132-14 record, Conwell is co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Holden Productions, and is managed by David McWater's Split-T Management.
Resuming his career following an injury-induced 14-month layoff, Tulsa, Oklahoma's heavyweight prospect Trey Lippe Morrison (14-0, 14 KOs), son of former heavyweight world champion Tommy Morrison, kept his perfect knockout percentage intact with a third-round stoppage of Oswaldo Ortega.
The following night, on Saturday, March 10, Ghanaian Richard Commey (26-2, 23 KOs), trained by Andre Rozier and Gary Stark Sr. in Brooklyn, NY, handed Alejandro Luna (22-1, 15 KOs) his first defeat with a blistering sixth-round knockout, in an IBF lightweight elimination bout from the Freeman Coliseum, in San Antonio, TX. He is now the mandatory challenger to champion Robert Easter, setting up a rematch of what was a hotly-contested battle in September 2016.
DiBella Entertainment Signs Undefeated Heavyweight Oleksandr Teslenko, Makes New York Debut
On Broadway Boxing at BB Kings Blues Club & Grill,
February 7th, Tickets On Sale Now!
(photo Credit: Mette-Margrethe Nielsen)
(January 30, 2018) DIBELLA ENTERTAINMENT (DBE) has signed highly touted undefeated heavyweight prospect OLEKSANDR "Sasha" TESLENKO to an exclusive promotional contract. Teslenko will make his DBE debut on Broadway Boxing, next Wednesday, February 7, at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in Times Square, New York City. Broadway Boxing is presented by Nissan of Queens, Azad Watches, OPTYX, and Christos Steak House.
The powerful 25-year-old Teslenko, who stands 6'5", sports a record of 11-0 with 9 KOs, and will face KEENAN HICKMAN (6-2-1, 2 KOs), of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in an 8-round bout.
Born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, Teslenko took up boxing at age eight when his father brought him to a gym to learn how to defend himself. As an amateur, Teslenko became a three-time Ukrainian National champion while accumulating an impressive 224-23 record. During this time, Teslenko also earned a degree in Marketing from the University of Chernivtsi and served in the Ukrainian Army alongside DBE stablemate Ivan Golub.
Teslenko took a bold step in search of success as a professional boxer, leaving his family behind, relocating to Canada with little contacts and settling in Toronto. Sharing a house with three other Ukrainians and sleeping on a mattress on the floor, Teslenko worked construction to earn extra money while taking classes to learn English. He made his pro debut in September 2015.
"My goal is to become the Heavyweight Champion of the World and I know by working with Lou DiBella that is now possible," said Teslenko. "I'm very happy to be making my New York debut on February 7 and will put on a great performance. The fans in attendance will know they are witnessing a future threat to the heavyweight throne."
"Sasha is one of the most talented heavyweights that I've come across," said LOU DIBELLA, President of DiBella Entertainment. "He had an impressive amateur career and possesses the tools to someday fight for the Heavyweight Championship of the World. We look forward to working with Sasha and his team as he strives to become one of the best heavyweights in the world."
Said GARY FREEDMAN, manager of Teslenko, "I am excited that Sasha will be fighting on DiBella Entertainment's Broadway Boxing event on February 7 in New York City and look forward to working with Lou and the entire team with the goal of making Teslenko the Heavyweight Champion of the World."
Teslenko is coming off a second-round knockout of Nick Guivas on October 14, in Ontario, Canada. Earlier in 2017, Teslenko was victorious in two fights held in California with an eight-round decision against Bernardo Marquez on February 24, followed by a third-round knockout of Juan Goode on July 22.
The February 7 installment of the acclaimed Broadway Boxing series is headlined by a crosstown clash of unbeaten welterweights NOEL MURPHY (12-0, 2 KOs), of Woodlawn, New York and Brooklyn's MIKKEL LESPIERRE (18-0-1, 8 KOs).
Tickets for BROADWAY BOXING, promoted by DiBella Entertainment and presented by Nissan of Queens, Azad Watches, OPTYX, and Christos Steak House, are currently on sale and are priced at $125, $100, $75 and $55. Tables are also available for purchase for this event, with VIP tables going for $1,000 per table (5 seats at $200 per seat), Ringside tables for $500 (5 seats at $100), and $375 tables (5 seats at $75). Tickets are available for purchase by calling the DiBella Entertainment office at (212) 947-2577. Doors open at 6:30pm with the first bout scheduled for 7:00pm. B.B. King Blues Club & Grill is located at 237 W. 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues in Times Square.
For more Broadway Boxing (click here).
DiBella Entertainment Signs
Undefeated Heavyweight Prospect Stephen Shaw!
(January 30th) Earlier today, DiBella Entertainment (DBE) announced that it has signed Ukrainian heavyweight OLEKSANDR "Sasha" TESLENKO. In the spirit of "Two For Tuesday", DBE has also added fellow undefeated heavyweight prospect STEPHAN SHAW, of St. Louis, Missouri, to its roster. Shaw will make his DBE debut on the February 7 edition of Broadway Boxing at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, in Times Square, Manhattan. Broadway Boxing is presented by Nissan of Queens, Azad Watches, OPTYX, and Christos Steak House.
The 25-year-old Shaw, undefeated with a record of 9-0 with six knockouts, will be fighting in New York City for the first time in a scheduled six-round clash against JOEL CAUDLE (7-1-1, 5 KOs), of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Following a stellar amateur career that included 2013 PAL and USA National Championships titles, Shaw turned professional in December 2013. A graduate of Hazelwood Central High School in nearby Florissant, Missouri, Shaw gravitated to the sport at a young age coming from a family of boxers. He trains with four-time Olympic Boxing coach Basheer Abdullah out of Arena Gym in San Diego, California. Abdullah was a family friend and has known Stephan for his entire life, having grown up with his parents. Stephan's grandfather, Buddy Shaw, was a renowned trainer in Missouri and acted as a mentor to Abdullah.
"I am very happy to sign a promotional agreement with DiBella Entertainment," said Shaw. "The fans in New York City will get an up-close look at me next Wednesday. I am thrilled to be fighting there and will not disappoint."
"I've watched Stephan fight and, just as important, I've seen him spar with Deontay Wilder, so I know what he's capable of," said LOU DIBELLA, President of DiBella Entertainment. "Boxing fans in attendance are in for a real treat to see both Stephan and Sasha fighting in separate bouts on our February 7 Broadway Boxing show."
"I am very excited to have another boxer managed by Split-T working with Lou," said DAVID McWATER of Split-T Management. "He is a friend and a brilliant promoter. Shaw is going to handle his business inside the ring and Lou and I will do the same outside of it. B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City is the perfect venue to make his DiBella Entertainment debut. It's an intimate atmosphere that will allow for a great introduction to the fans and media."
Dibella Entertainment Signs Former Unified
Jr. Welterweight World Champion Julius Indongo
(January 5th) DIBELLA ENTERTAINMENT has signed former unified junior welterweight world champion JULIUS "The Blue Machine" INDONGO to an exclusive long-term promotional agreement.
Sporting a record of 22-1 with 11 knockouts, the Namibia native will be relocating his training camp to Omaha, Nebraska, in preparation for his return to the ring in the United States.
Said Indongo, "I'm very happy for the opportunity to fight for DiBella Entertainment. I will make sure that I work hard in order to open doors for my fellow Namibians. It's an unexpected dream that turned into reality. DiBella Entertainment, I'm thrilled to continue my career and achieve my goals with your promotional push."
"I'm very excited to start working with Julius, not only is he a former unified junior welterweight world champion but also a true road warrior, winning titles in both Russia and Scotland," said LOU DIBELLA, President of DiBella Entertainment. "He's very serious about becoming a world champion again, including moving his training camp to the US, and I look forward to working with him toward another world title opportunity."
Said Indongo manager MICHAEL CARTER, "We are really excited to be a part of the DiBella Entertainment family, and are extremely grateful for the opportunity. That being said, we are confident that Julius Indongo will regain every title he lost and obtain the others he was pursuing. With the backing of a solid promotional company like DiBella Entertainment, we know that Indongo will once again become a dominant force in the junior welterweight division and become an even greater source of pride to his Namibian fans and supporters."
On December 3, 2016, Indongo traveled to Moscow, Russia, to knock out Eduard Troyanovsky in the first round to capture the IBF junior welterweight world title.
Four months later, on April 15, 2017, Indongo won a 12-round unanimous decision against Ricky Burns in Glasgow, Scotland, adding the WBA junior welterweight world title around his waist.
In his most recent outing, fighting in the United States for the first time and in the first four-belt world title unification bout since 2004, Indongo suffered his only defeat to Terence Crawford on August 19, 2017, in Lincoln, Nebraska.
With Crawford having vacated the belts and moving up to welterweight, Indongo will begin the journey of reclaiming his previously held titles.
(November 13th) For the second time this year, DIBELLA ENTERTAINMENT delivered a "Fight of the Year"candidate this past Friday night, November 10, in Cleveland, OH as local fan favorite YUANDALE EVANS (20-1, 14 KOs) stormed back in the second half of the 10-round featherweight battle against LUIS ROSA JR. (23-1, 11 KOs) to win a split decision by scores of 97-93, and 96-94 each way.
In February of this year, DiBella Entertainment promoted the highly memorable "Fight of the Year" candidate as IVAN BARANCHYK and ABEL RAMOS fought in one of the best ShoBox clashes since the inception of the series.
Said LOU DIBELLA, President of DiBella Entertainment, "It's clear that ShoBox has become the premier platform for showcasing the future champions in the sport. This is a tribute to Showtime's STEPHEN ESPINOZA but particularly to GORDON HALL.
"I'm proud that DiBella Entertainment promoted not only this past Friday's main event, but also the network debuts of 2016 U.S. Olympian CHARLES CONWELL and excellent heavyweight prospect JUNIOR FA in addition to earlier this year promoting future world champion REGIS PROGRAIS.
"We're very proud of our association with 'ShoBox: The New Generation' and look forward to collaborating with them for an even better year in 2018."
The memorable war this past Friday night telecast on SHOWTIME's acclaimed series had the huge crowd on their feet throughout cheering on Evans and Rosa Jr.
Wrote Dan Rafael for ESPN.com, "Fighting in his hometown, Evans, 28, won a thrilling decision over Rosa, 26, a Puerto Rico native fighting out of New Haven, Connecticut, in a minor upset. It was a tremendous action fight and one of the better bouts in the 16-year history of Showtime's 'ShoBox: The New Generation.' They went at each other with abandon with each man having his moments. Rosa was strong early before Evans came back to set the stage for the final two very exciting rounds. It was a very close fight with Evans getting the nod, probably thanks to having the edge in the final rounds."
Also featured on the "ShoBox: The New Generation" telecast Friday was the network debut of 2016 US Olympian CHARLES CONWELL (6-0, 5 KOs), who won a six-round unanimous decision over tough Philadelphia fighter ROQUE ZAPATA (4-2-3). Scores were 60-53 and 60-51 twice over the valiant Zapata, who was dropped three times by the 20-year-old Conwell.
Additionally featured on the telecast, JUNIOR FA (13-0, 8 KOs) stormed to a first-round knockout victory over FRED LATHAM (9-1-2, 5 KOs) with a barrage of power shots causing the stoppage just 67 seconds into the initial stanza. The victory was the 6'5" Fa's United States network debut. He also holds two amateur victories over WBO heavyweight world champion JOSEPH PARKER.
On February 10, 2017, DiBella Entertainment presented another sure-fire "Fight of the Year" candidate as IVAN BARANCHUK (17-0, 10 KOs) won a 10-round battle over ABEL RAMOS (18-2-2, 13 KOs), in Miami, Oklahoma.
With both fighters hitting the canvas in round three and Ramos again in the fourth, fans in attendance and those watching on "ShoBox: The New Generation" were treated to an outstanding battle.
Said Dan Rafael of ESPN.com, "What a fight! This may go down as the most exciting fight in the history of Showtime's 'ShoBox: The New Generation,' which has been around since 2001. 'The Beast' Baranchyk, a 24-year-old Russian prospect fighting out of New York, and Ramos, 25, of Casa Grande, Arizona, put on a sensational fight of the year-caliber slugfest that was a lot closer than the wide scores indicated.
"The fight went from interesting to thrilling in the third round when both fighters got knocked down. Ramos had dominated the round when Baranchyk clobbered him with an overhand right to knock him down with 40 seconds left. But seconds before the bell ended the round, Ramos dropped Baranchyk with a nice left hand to end the wild round. During the toe-to-toe fourth round, Baranchyk appeared hurt from a series of body blows before he dropped Ramos again with a left hook. The sixth round was another round of pure action as they smashed each other around the ring. The action rarely relented the rest of the way, but it was the better conditioned Baranchyk that was winning rounds and busting up Ramos."
(November 12th) Undefeated welterweight contender KERMAN "The Revolver" LEJARRAGA (24-0, 19 KOs), from Bilbao, Spain, thrilled the crowd of over 11,000 at the Bilbao Arena, earning a dominant 10-round unanimous decision versus southpaw JOSE DEL RIO (27-7, 7 KOs) on Saturday night. Scores were 99-90, 98-92 and 99-91.
The victory by the 25-year-old Lejarraga, co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and MGZ Promotions, was his fifth of 2017 as he closed this year's campaign in style. The win earned Lejarraga the Spanish welterweight title.
Stated Lejarraga, "It was a very hard fight. I spent 10 weeks of training camp working on my defense and I'm very happy with my performance. I'm growing with each fight and I'm ready for the biggest names in the division.
"I want to stay active and look forward to hearing what's next. I'm the champion in my country and highly regarded in Europe and want to fight the best anywhere in the world.
"I'm very happy with my performance and thankful for the support of my hometown fans. It was a great night for boxing in Spain."
Said promoter LOU DIBELLA, President of DiBella Entertainment, "Congrats to Kerman and his trainer Jesus Del Valle on the sensational victory in Spain in front of such a tremendous hometown crowd.
"The welterweight division in the United States is very deep with talent and I believe Kerman fits in near the top. I can't wait to have him return here in 2018."
"Kerman is a great fighter, he lives in the gym," said JESUS DEL VALLE, CEO of local promotional company MGZ Promotions. "He's the most popular fighter in Spain right now, selling over 11,000 tickets on Saturday night. Kerman is highly ranked in the world ratings and he's ready for the top names in his division."
"I am very happy for Kerman, he is a top contender and one of the best welterweights in the world," said MIGUEL ANGEL DE PABLOS, board member of the World Boxing Council. "With DiBella Entertainment and Jesus Del Valle, he has a great team and we are very happy to have him in our rankings. Kerman is going to be one of the biggest names in boxing."
Lejarraga is currently world ranked #6 by the WBA and #12 by the WBC.
Lejarraga made his US debut earlier this year on June 9, scoring a second-round knockout against Jose Antonio Abreu at Turning Stone Resort and Casino, in Verona, NY.
(September 29th) Professional boxing world champions and sisters AMANDA SERRANO and CINDY SERRANO spent Friday joining the drive to assist those affected by Hurricane Maria in their native Puerto Rico.
Both women spent the morning shopping for water and other distinct items in need, including diapers, baby food, batteries, first aid supplies and feminine hygiene products. Their donations were dropped off at Engine 218 in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, NY.
Said Amanda, "We've both been so moved over the last week by what's happened in Puerto Rico where each of us were born and we're very happy to have this opportunity to directly assist those in need. There are 17 firehouses and EMS stations taking donations in New York's five boroughs and we encourage those who are able to assist as well."
A list of locations in New York City accepting donations and more information can be found HERE.
"These women are true champions in every sense of the word," said promoter LOU DIBELLA. "What's happened in Puerto Rico has touched native Puerto Ricans Amanda and Cindy and it's great to see the city of New York banding together to help their fellow Americans through these donations."
Amanda and Cindy are both training for upcoming appearances at Barclays Center. On October 14, WBO women's featherweight world champion Cindy (26-5-3, 10 KOs) will make her Barclays Center debut.
On November 4, five-division world champion and current WBO women's super bantamweight titlist Amanda (33-1-1, 25 KOs) will compete at Barclays Center for the fourth time.
(August 1st ) DIBELLA ENTERTAINMENT has signed top rated lightweight contender RICHARD COMMEY (25-2, 22 KOs), of Accra, Ghana, to an exclusive promotional contract it was announced today by its President LOU DIBELLA and Commey's manager MICHAEL AMOO-BEDIAKO.
Commey formally signed the deal while in New York for last Saturday's Adrien Broner vs. Mikey Garcia bout. He will remain in New York and train in Brooklyn under the tutelage of Andre Rozier and Gary Stark Sr.
Over the last year, Commey has been the recipient of two controversial decision losses. On September 9, 2016, the then-undefeated IBF mandatory challenger traveled to Reading, PA, to challenge also undefeated Robert Easter for the vacant IBF lightweight world title, losing a very close split decision by scores of 114-113, 112-115 and 113-114.
Three months later, Commey headed to Moscow, Russia, facing off against Denis Shafikov in an IBF lightweight world title eliminator. Although seeming to clearly win the majority of rounds, Commey would once again lose a split decision by scores of 116-112, 113-115 and 112-116.
Most recently, Commey fought in his native Accra, on March 11, 2017, winning a 12-round unanimous decision over Hedi Slimani to capture the vacant WBC International Silver lightweight title.
Commey is ranked #4 by the World Boxing Council and #6 by the International Boxing Federation.
Said DiBella about the signing, "I think Richard Commey is one of the top lightweights in the world and I'm very excited to work with him and his management. Richard's two losses were both by split decision and, in my opinion, he won the Shafikov fight.
"Richard will be training in the New York Area now and will have better sparring for his future fights. We feel that he can win a world championship and will pursue that path for him."
DiBella has previously worked with Ghana-based world champions Ike Quartey and Joshua Clottey.
Said the excited Commey, "It's great to be back in the United States and I can't wait to show everyone that I can be a world champion. I feel that I wasn't treated fairly in my world title fight with Robert Easter and then with Denis Shafikov in the final eliminator in Russia.
"I want to thank Lou DiBella and DiBella Entertainment for showing faith and signing me. I also want to thank my manager Michael Amoo-Bediako for all the hard work he has done for me over the years and is still doing."
Commey first turned heads in front of an American audience stopping Bahodir Mamadjonov in his US debut on May 22, 2015, in the eighth round in Las Vegas, NV.
Stated Bediako, "Lou and I have been talking since February prior to Richard's fight in Ghana on March 11. After his victory, we ramped up the conversations and negotiations were very smooth to be honest. Lou and his team have been a pleasure to work with."
Biscuits Sale Finalized: DiBella To Lead Biscuits
Into Grand Reopening Weekend
Experienced Operators Excited To Butter Up Biscuits' Fans
(May 5th) The Montgomery Biscuits, Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, are excited to announce that the sale of the franchise has been finalized by Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball and the Southern League to a Lou DiBella-led ownership group. The ownership change will take place immediately.
The new Biscuits ownership group will be spearheaded by experienced minor league operators Lou DiBella, Gary Green, Larry Botel, Peter Huff and Todd "Parney" Parnell. Green, with his partner Botel, joined DiBella in ownership of the Richmond Flying Squirrels in 2009, acquired the AAA Omaha Storm Chasers in 2012, and recently announced the acquisition of Baseball America, the publication and media company. Parnell, known throughout baseball as Parney, is COO of the Richmond Flying Squirrels and one of the most respected and visionary executives in Minor League Baseball. This 28-year veteran of the baseball business is renowned for his larger than life persona, creativity, and tireless dedication to community service. Parney is a force of nature!!
The new owners will mobilize the Montgomery Biscuits staff to increase the organization's presence and reach throughout the city of Montgomery and surrounding suburbs. One of the great attributes of the Greater Montgomery Area is its diversity, and Biscuit ownership and management know that we must celebrate this diversity as we reenergize the in-game experience and actively interact with our fans and neighbors everyday. The Montgomery Biscuit organization promises you a renewed commitment to affordable family fun at Riverwalk Stadium and we will host a Grand Reopening Weekend, beginning on Thursday, June 22, to show you what we got! The Grand Reopening Weekend will be filled with special activities, concerts and ceremonies to mark the beginning of a new era for the Montgomery franchise. There will be plenty of baseball and great fun before that, as the Biscuits return to Riverwalk Stadium on Monday, May 8, to begin an action-packed five-game homestand. A full list of promotions and details can be found just (click here) .
"On behalf of new ownership, we're thrilled to take the reins of the Montgomery Biscuits from Sherrie Myers. Under Sherrie, the Biscuits have created a legacy that we will proudly build on," said Managing Owner Lou DiBella. "While we own the franchise, it really belongs to our fans and the Greater Montgomery Area.
"With Parney, Brendon Porter, and Biscuit veterans Scott Trible and Greg Rauch at the helm, we are going to make ourselves indispensable to the community, reinvigorate the ballpark experience for our fans, and facilitate and encourage more of our friends and neighbors to join us at Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium. We won't only be your baseball team during the season; we will be a part of your lives all twelve months of the year. You won't just come to Riverwalk Stadium to cheer on the Biscuits. The ballpark will be a destination for entertainment, sports and community events all year round.
"These Biscuits are gonna be hot! Come to the ballpark soon. Together, we are going to have fun, get loud and make memories. Expect many announcements in the days and weeks to come and plan on joining us during our Grand Reopening Weekend, from June 22 through June 25."
About Lou DiBella
Lou DiBella currently serves as the CEO & Managing Owner of the Montgomery Biscuits as well as the President & Managing General Partner of the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants). Prior to overseeing the relocation of the franchise from Norwich, CT, to Richmond, DiBella served as President & Managing Partner of the Connecticut Defenders and the Norwich Navigators that preceded them. In that role, which he held from 2005-09, he fostered the relationship that continues presently between the Flying Squirrels and the San Francisco Giants.
Outside of baseball, DiBella's name is synonymous with world championship boxing. He enjoyed an outstanding 11-year run at HBO Sports, where he was a backbone of the division that vaulted HBO Boxing to signature programming status. DiBella recruited and signed a bevy of boxing stars for HBO, including numerous Hall of Famers. He also revolutionized the sport as creator of the critically acclaimed "Boxing After Dark" television series, providing underexposed fighters the opportunity to advance their careers on a national stage. After leaving HBO, he founded DiBella Entertainment, establishing himself as one of the world's leading boxing promoters, and producing and appearing in numerous documentary and feature films.
DiBella was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Manhattan's prestigious Regis High School. He was a summa cum laude graduate of Tufts University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a 1985 graduate of Harvard Law School. A tireless advocate of boxing reform, DiBella has been a leader in the movement for federal regulation, uniform health and safety standards and a national boxing commission.
A past recipient of the AHRC's Thurman Munson Corporate Hero Award, DiBella has also been honored by Council for Unity as a "Champion for Children" and has received several other lifetime achievement and community service awards. He has been inducted to both the New York State and Connecticut Boxing Halls of Fame. In 2016, he was honored by the Boxing Writers Association of America as a recipient of its James A. Farley Award for Honesty and Integrity.
Dibella Entertainment Wraps Up All-Action Weekend!
(April 25th) It was an eventful weekend for DiBella Entertainment (DBE) that spanned two continents, and saw the beginning of one career and a career-best victory for another. In addition to promoting the Showtime Championship Boxing event, headlined by Shawn Porter vs. Andre Berto at Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, NY, DBE saw one of its fighters, 2016 United States Olympian Charles Conwell, make his pro debut and begin his journey toward a world title, while another, Avtandil Khurtsidze, capture the interim WBO world middleweight championship across the pond in Leicester, England.
Avtandil Khurtsidze (33-2-2, 22 KOs), who hails from Kutaisi, Georgia, but now lives in Brooklyn, traveled to England to face Tommy Langford (18-1, 6 KOs) in a 12-round affair. The contest ended early in the fifth round when Khurtsidze, who stalked his opponent mercilessly, landed a left hook that sent the previously unbeaten Langford to the canvas. He would not recover and Khurtsidze was crowned the interim WBO world middleweight champion. He is now first in line to challenge Billy Joe Saunders (24-0, 12 KOs) for the WBO world middleweight title in July.
"Whether you call him 'Mini Tyson,' 'Homicide,' or 'Suicide,' Avtandil Khurtsidze is a man with bad intentions by any name," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "He put British boxing on notice by knocking out Tommy Langford. I look forward to working with Frank Warren so that he can deliver the same message to Billy Joe Saunders."
Stateside, in Miami, OK, one of DiBella Entertainment's newest prospects Charles Conwell made his long awaited debut, sensationally ending his first professional bout inside of a minute with a knockout win versus Jeremiah Page, of Andover, KS. The super welterweight, who inked a co-promotional pact with DiBella Entertainment and Holden Productions in March, ended the bout with a barrage of punches that left Page on the canvas and unable to continue.
"In 41 seconds, Charles Conwell sent the world a clear message that he won't have any trouble adjusting from the amateur to professional ranks," said DiBella. "Tony Holden and I hope to have him back in the ring in May and plan to make him one of the most active young prospects in boxing."
Conwell's half-brother, and fellow DBE stable mate, Isaiah Steen (7-0, 6 KOs) finished his super middleweight contest in four rounds, knocking down his foe three times en route to a stoppage. Also on the card, Cleveland's Yuandale Evans (19-1, 14 KOs) was crowned the WBA-NABA-US junior lightweight champion, earning a unanimous decision over Billel Dib (21-2, 10 KOs).
Dibella Entertainment Signs Highly Ranked
Welterweight Kerman Lejarragato
to Co-Promotional Agreement with MGZ Promotions!
(March 17th) DiBella Entertainment (DBE) is pleased to announce that it has signed unbeaten Spanish welterweight contender Kerman "Revolver" Lejarraga (20-0, 16 KOs) to a co-promotional agreement with MGZ Promotions, based in Spain. From Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain, the 25-year-old Lejarraga is an aggressive, hard-hitting fighter with a crowd-pleasing style, ranked no. 3 by the WBA and no. 19 by the WBC. Having fought exclusively in Spain thus far, Lejarraga will make his United States debut later in 2017.
Lejarraga made his DBE debut on March 11, 2017, with a fifth-round TKO over Gabor Gorbics in Spain.
Born in the small village of Morga in 1992, Lejarraga has revitalized the boxing scene around Spain since turning pro in May 2013, being compared by fans and experts to former world champion Javier Castillejo. In 2015, the Spaniard showed promise defeating the likes of fellow countryman Javier Garcia Roche (16-4) in his first 10-rounder and Danish Kim Poulsen (27-2), both via stoppage. On March 19 of last year, Lejarraga defeated the 20-1 Laszlo Toth via 12-round unanimous decision, dropping him in the second, to seize the WBA International welterweight title. He has since defended that belt twice with knockout victories over English Commonwealth champion Denton Vassell and Mexican Jesus Gurrola.
"There is a lot of talent in Spain, and the undefeated Kerman Lejarraga has already established himself as one of the most promising fighters in his country," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "Our agreement with MGZ Promotions will allow Lejarraga to continue to fight at home and within Europe as well as introduce him to the American market. With his aggressive, fan-friendly style and power, I am confident that he will fit right into the mix of top welterweights."
"It's like a dream come true that such a great promoter as Lou DiBella has put his eyes on me," said Lejarraga. "I come from a little village in Spain and I couldn't ever imagine that I was going to fight and pursue my career in the United States. I look forward to making my American debut and proving that I belong among the welterweight elite."
"This is a sensational agreement that offers Kerman the opportunity to showcase himself under a big promotional company," said Inigo Herbosa, matchmaker for MGZ Promotions. "DiBella Entertainment has a keen eye for talent. When Kerman makes his US debut, he will do so as a contender. However, we are well aware that it is important for boxers to take the right steps en route to challenging for a world title. I believe that DBE is great at building up careers from the bottom to the top, so we are very pleased to be working with them."
"For MGZ Promotions, it is a great honor that a top promoter like Lou DiBella is working with our boxer," said Lejarraga's trainer Jesus Del Valle. "I am certain that with Kerman's skills and the backing of DiBella Entertainment, Lejarraga will shine under the spotlight when he competes in the States. There are a lot of great fighters in the US at welterweight and Kerman wants to test himself against the best."
DiBella Entertainment and Holden Productions
Ink Promotional Pactswith Charles Conwell,
Isaiah Steen, and Ardreal Holmes!
(March 9th) DiBella Entertainment wrapped up an eventful weekend of boxing with the signing of three of the Midwest's most promising prospects, including a 2016 Olympian. After a record crowd descended on Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, for the unification bout between Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, promoter Lou DiBella looked to the future, inking promotional deals with 2016 American Olympian Charles Conwell, Conwell's half-brother Isaiah Steen, and former amateur champion Ardreal Holmes. The trio, who are managed by Split-T Management's David McWater, will be co-promoted by Oklahoma-based Holden Productions.
Conwell, of Cleveland, OH, who will make his professional debut on April 21 at Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, OK, amassed a record of 132-14 as an amateur before representing the United States in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Despite Conwell losing to eventual two-time Olympic gold medalist Vikas Krishan Yadav, it was clear to many that he would have a promising future in the professional ranks. The 19-year-old welterweight will join Holden's "Four State Franchise," a team of boxers that boasts a large and passionate following in Oklahoma.
"Signing with DiBella Entertainment and Holden Productions means everything to me," said Conwell. "I know they really care about their fighters. With them guiding my career, the sky is the limit. They will help make sure that I am not only a champ, but a legend. I love my fans in Cleveland and can't wait to make new fans and family in New York City and in the Four State Franchise."
Boxing is a family affair for Conwell, who, like all eight of his siblings, was enrolled in boxing at a young age by his father, Charles Conwell, Sr. Charles Jr. and his older half-brother, super middleweight Isaiah Steen (6-0, 5 KOs), were the only two to stick with it. "It is good to have my brother next to me as I go into the next phase of my career," said Conwell.
"I'm excited to be with DiBella Entertainment and Holden Productions," said Steen. "I know they are great people and meeting Mr. DiBella was very exciting. I could tell right away he cared about his fighters. I can't wait to start this next chapter in my career."
Junior middleweight Ardreal Holmes (5-0, 3 KOs) also signed a promotional pact with DiBella and Holden on Saturday. The 22-year-old southpaw hails from Flint, MI, and is a four-time Michigan Golden Gloves champion, a 2015 USA National Elite champion and 2016 US Olympic Alternate. He has since relocated to Lansing, MI, to train with Joe Bermudez. There he splits his time between boxing, a part-time job and caring for and mentoring his 15-year-old brother, who also has aspirations to become a professional prizefighter.
"Aside from winning world titles, and unifying all of the belts at 154, then moving up to 160, my goal is to return to my home in Flint, and bring whatever success I have back with me. I want to be a positive role model for the kids in Flint," said Holmes. The young fighter hopes to use the platform that boxing provides to keep attention on the water crisis in his hometown. "Everyone I know has been affected by the water crisis in Flint. I want to help make sure they aren't forgotten."
Holmes describes signing with DiBella and Holden as the high point of his boxing career thus far. "I can't thank God enough for blessing me with this opportunity. Rest in peace to my brother and I love you to my family, Split-T Management, Flint and my whole state of Michigan for standing behind me 100 percent. It's been a long road for Team Holmes and we have plenty miles left in us. I'm grateful that Mr. DiBella is giving me a chance to showcase to the world what I've been working on for almost half my life. I'm definitely going to make the most of it."
"These three fighters are phenomenal additions to the DiBella Entertainment family," said DBE President Lou DiBella. "All three guys are well-grounded, family-oriented and have the talent to become champions. It's great to expand my relationship with Tony Holden, who I have worked with for years."
ABOUT DIBELLA ENTERTAINMENT
In May of 2000, Lou DiBella launched DiBella Entertainment (DBE), a full-service sports and entertainment company, which has become one of the most successful promotional entities in boxing. Serving as matchmaker, television distributor, marketing advisor, and promoter, DiBella has developed an exciting stable of championship caliber, world-class fighters. DBE clearly established itself as an industry leader with the successful launch of its monthly-televised "Broadway Boxing" series in April 2004. Prior to becoming a promoter, DiBella held an 11-year tenure as the Senior Vice President of HBO Sports. He is also a well-known fixture in the film industry, having worked as an Executive Producer for the film "Love Ranch", as an Associate Producer on "The Fighter", and making his acting debut in "Rocky Balboa". The President and Managing General Partner for the Richmond Flying Squirrels baseball team, DiBella proudly wears his 2010, 2012 and 2014 World Series rings, as his team is the class AA affiliate to the San Francisco Giants. In 2014, DiBella was inducted into the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame.
ABOUT HOLDEN PRODUCTIONS
Tony Holden, a former television producer, started in boxing in 1990 when he formed Holden Productions. Holden has promoted numerous world champions and stars, some of whom started their careers under his wing. They've fought on all of the major television outlets, both domestically and internationally. Currently, Holden Productions' "Four State Franchise" is a major draw at the Buffalo Run Casino and their cards are always sold out. Current and former fighters include boxing greats Tommy Morrison, Johnny Tapia and Prince Naseem Hamed, Joe Mesi, Olympian Zahir Raheem as well as Trey Lippe-Morrison, and Ivan Baranchyk, among others.
Felix Diaz Wants Crawford:
“I Hear That Bud Is Fighting in April,
It’s Time for Crawford to Face a Real Challenge!
(January 20th) Dominican Felix Diaz (19-1, 9 KOs) ended a successful 2016 as a world ranked junior welterweight contender with another two impressive victories added to his ledger. He is determined to continue that momentum this year by facing the biggest challenges. The top name on his hit list remains WBC/WBO junior welterweight world champion Terence Crawford.
"I spent half of last year calling out Crawford. He went the easy route, facing John Molina, who entered their December title fight three pounds above the weight limit and was way overmatched. Now, it is time for Crawford to face a real challenge," said Diaz.
"It doesn't look like he'll be fighting Pacquiao any time soon. I am highly ranked by the WBC and WBO, and I am willing to go to Omaha, if that's what he wants. I respect Crawford as a champion and would love the opportunity to knock him out in his hometown. My promoter Lou DiBella is ready and willing to talk to Bob Arum to get a deal done. It would be a great fight for boxing fans. Let's get it on."
Diaz closed out last year fighting in his native Dominican Republic for the first time in three and a half years, breaking down his opponent en route to a TKO victory, on December 16, in Santo Domingo.
Prior to that, Diaz won a thrilling 10-round war against highly regarded, undefeated contender 21-0 Sammy Vasquez in Birmingham, AL. The bout was shown live on FOX, and served as the co-main event to Deontay Wilder's heavyweight title defense versus Chris Arreola.
The Vasquez fight came just nine months after Diaz lost a questionable majority decision to former IBF 140lb. champ Lamont Peterson in his adversary's backyard. Wins over 15-1-1 Emmanuel Lartei, 13-2-2 Adrian Granados, and 23-1 Gabriel Bracero earned Diaz the shot against Peterson.
Following the win over Vasquez, Diaz, the only boxer to win an Olympic gold medal for the Dominican Republic, signed a long-term promotional agreement with DiBella Entertainment. Ranked no. 5 by the WBC, no. 13 by the WBO and no. 15 by the IBF, Diaz is anxious to prove that he belongs among boxing's elite.
"Arum and I have worked together for a long time," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "Diaz facing Crawford is a very attractive fight, one that promises a lot of action, and I am confident that we can get it done. We'd be happy to fight on HBO and in Omaha, or anywhere else. While many fighters are avoiding Crawford, Diaz is ready for the challenge. The question is, does Crawford want it?"
"Terence Crawford is someone we've been going after for a while," said Diaz' manager Jose Nunez. "We would love the opportunity to fight for the world title. Diaz wants to face the best and the best at 140 pounds is Crawford. He continues to maintain his conditioning and will be ready when called, hopefully in April. It all depends on whether Crawford wants to step up to the challenge."
CONTACT: DiBella Entertainment: (212) 947-2577