Regis "Rougarou" Prograis Dominates and Stops Kiryl Relikh to Capture the WBA Super Lightweight Title and Advance to the Finals of the World Boxing Super Series!
(April 29, 2019) The Fighting Pride of New Orleans, Regis "Rougarou" Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs), promoted by DiBella Entertainment, defended his WBC Diamond Championship and captured the WBA Super Lightweight Championship on Saturday night with a sixth-round stoppage of Kiryl Relikh (23-3, 19 KOs), of Minsk, Belarus, in front of a passionate home-state crowd at the Cajundome in Lafayette, LA. The victory moved the new champion into the finals of the World Boxing Super Series to face the winner of the other semi-final bout between IBF Super Lightweight World Champion Ivan Baranchyk and undefeated, world-ranked contender Josh Taylor set for Saturday, May 18, in Glasgow, Scotland.
"I'm not surprised at all, I'm a different animal," said a victorious Prograis. "Relikh already knew that from the start of the fight. I know that whoever is put in front of me is going to get the same treatment.
"It was the same thing as my last fight, I worked on my defense. People have been saying that I get hit too much, so guess what? I proved against Flanagan that I can go 12 rounds and I barely got hit. This fight, I barely got hit and I stopped him."
Said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment, "What Regis did was make an emphatic statement to the boxing world. He showed his best offense and the best of his defense. It was an all-around brilliant performance.
"I want to see him enter every pound-for-pound list. Rances Barthelemy couldn't do a thing with Relikh and this fight looked like a mismatch. I've worked with some special fighters, including Sergio Martinez. Prograis is special. The firepower, angles, movement, and agility are all there. In the last fight, Regis didn't want to get hit and Flanagan didn't touch him, but this time, Regis opened up. He basically knew Relikh couldn't hurt him and wanted to show off his arsenal. It was a savage performance. There were moments of Pernell Whitaker defense. The only real punch that landed from Relikh was clearly after the bell."
Stated manager Peter Berg, of Churchill Management, "Regis may very well be the best pound-for-pound boxer currently in any weight class. Regis is going to get the IBF belt in the WBSS finals and then it will be a rough going for Mr. Hooker and Mr. Ramirez when Regis comes to collect their belts."
Prograis is currently listed among the top 10 boxers in Yahoo! Sports' Pound-for-Pound rankings. He is also Ring Magazine's #1 ranked super lightweight.
Opening the bout by dropping Relikh with a blistering left hand to the liver in the initial stanza, Prograis set the tone for the fight using his heavy hands, a punishing left jab and tight defense to control the action. Prograis then ripped open a cut on the bridge of Relikh's nose in round two. Relikh ended the second hitting Prograis with a left well after the bell. However, Prograis went back on the attack in the third round, continuing to punish the bloodied champion with blistering power shots to the head and body, displaying his full arsenal.
In the sixth round, with Relikh taking an overwhelming amount of punishment, the bout was stopped by referee Luis Pabon at the 1:36 mark, as the jubilant Prograis was declared the new WBA Super Lightweight World Champion to add to his WBC Diamond Super Lightweight Title.
DiBella Entertainment Signs Fast-Rising
Super Lightweight Star Sonny Fredrickson!
(April 25th) DiBella Entertainment has signed fast-rising super lightweight star Sonny Fredrickson (20-1, 13 KOs), of Toledo, OH, to an exclusive promotional agreement.
The 24-year-old Fredrickson will take his first bow under the DiBella Entertainment banner this Saturday, April 27, against undefeated Kazakh prospect Bakhtiyar Eyubov (14-0-1, 12 KOs) over 10 rounds at the Cajundome in Lafayette, LA. The fight will take place on the undercard of the highly anticipated World Boxing Super Series semi-finals between WBC Diamond Super Lightweight Champion Regis Prograis and WBA Super Lightweight Champion Kiryl Relikh. Fredrickson vs. Eyubov will be broadcast on DAZN (9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT).
"I'm very excited to start working with Sonny Fredrickson; he's bounced back nicely from his only loss with two tremendous victories," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "Fighting Eyubov this Saturday night is another big test, but I signed Sonny because I believe these are the types of fights that he's ready to compete in and win. Afterward, he will be well-positioned for a run toward his ultimate goal: a world championship."
Said Fredrickson, "I'm very thankful to DiBella Entertainment for giving me this opportunity. I have trained really hard and I'm ready to put on a great show Saturday night."
Fredrickson is managed by Mike Leanardi and Rick Torres.
"I am very excited for the opportunity for Sonny. He's only 24 years old and the best is yet to come in his career," said Leanardi.
Continued Torres, "I go back a long way with Lou DiBella and the team at DiBella Entertainment. I'm looking forward to working with them and I know they can help get Sonny to the top."
Most recently, Fredrickson won a 10-round unanimous decision against Manuel Mendez on November 1, 2018, in Washington, D.C., capturing the USBA Super Lightweight Title. His only loss came against Shohjahon Ergashev on January 12, 2018, in a bout telecast on SHOWTIME.
In his last fight, Eyubov fought to an eight-round majority draw against Jose Luis Rodriguez (25-12) on February 15, in Mulvane, KS.
Prior to turning professional in 2014, Fredrickson was a very accomplished amateur, compiling a record of 120-8, with 60 knockouts. Competing in the 2013 National Golden Gloves, Fredrickson finished in the top eight of the world class field of amateur boxers. He was also a two-time Ohio State Junior Olympics Champion and a five-time Toledo Golden Gloves Champion.
Dibella Entertainment Signs World Ranked
Super Featherweight O’Shaquie Foster!
(April 18th) DiBella Entertainment has signed world ranked super featherweight contender O'Shaquie Foster (15-2, 9 KOs), of Houston, TX, to a long-term promotional agreement. Foster is managed by Keith Mills and trained by Bobby Benton in his hometown.
The 25-year-old Foster was victorious in all three of his starts in 2018, highlighted by a sensational performance against top undefeated prospect Jon Fernandez on September 21, in his fourth appearance on SHOWTIME's "ShoBox" series. Earning a 10-round unanimous decision garnered Foster the WBC Silver Super Featherweight Title. He is currently world ranked #10 by the WBC.
Before turning pro in 2012, Foster was an accomplished amateur, compiling a record of 94-12. He was a five-time Ringside National Champion, a two-time National Junior Golden Gloves Champion, a 2011 Houston Golden Gloves Champion, a 2010 PAL National Champion, and a participant in the 2012 Olympic Trials.
"I've been impressed with O'Shaquie for a few years, but his victory against Jon Fernandez showed that he has all the attributes of a title contender and a future world champion," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "He has a great trainer in Bobby Benton, who also works with Regis Prograis, and I look forward to working with O'Shaquie and his manager Keith Mills and providing them with the biggest opportunities toward a world title shot."
"I want to thank DiBella Entertainment for giving me this opportunity," said Foster. "Lou is one of the biggest promoters out there and will definitely put me on the path toward accomplishing my dreams of becoming a world champion.
"Sometimes, on the business side of boxing, promoters and fighters are aligned with different TV networks making it difficult to secure the biggest fights that the fans want to see. What I respect most about DiBella is that he's willing to make the best fights when available. He also keeps his fighters busy and that's big for me.
"I want to fight all the top guys and show the fans that I'm the best pure boxer out there. My goal is to unify and win world titles in multiple divisions."
"We are very excited about signing with DiBella Entertainment, the best promoter for O'Shaquie. When we target ranked fighters signed to other promotions, we know there is a high possibility that those fights will happen," said Foster's manager Keith Mills.
"Toward the end of 2017, O'Shaquie moved to Houston to focus on boxing and escape certain elements. He is now under the tutelage of trainer Bobby Benton, who is an extremely talented head coach, mentor, and tactician. Bobby has been a major factor in Foster's success. We also have Aaron Navarro, who is recognized as one of the best cutmen in boxing, body attack strategist and a great head coach in his own right.
"I've always felt that when O'Shaquie is fully focused, he is unstoppable. His focus was very evident these past two years when he came in as the B-side on multiple fight cards and dominated. We had a great year in 2018 and now Foster has the platform to continue that momentum and push his boxing ability to the limit to become a world champion."
Following His Victory Against Culcay,
Sergiy Derevyanchenko Is Seeking the Biggest Fights
In the Middleweight Division!
(April 17th) World ranked middleweight contender Sergiy "The Technician" Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs), of Brooklyn, NY, was victorious this past Saturday night, April 13, against former world title challenger Jack Culcay (25-4, 13 KOs), of Davie, FL, at the Minneapolis Armory in Minneapolis, MN, taking home a 12-round unanimous decision. Scores for the bout, telecast nationally on FoxSports1, were 116-112 twice, and 115-113.
The victory earned Derevyanchenko, co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc., the status of mandatory challenger for the IBF Middleweight World Title currently held by Brooklyn rival Daniel Jacobs. On October 27, 2018, the former Ukrainian amateur standout lost a hard-fought controversial 12-round decision to Jacobs for the vacant title at Madison Square Garden.
With Jacobs headed to a middleweight unification showdown versus Canelo Alvarez on May 4, Derevyanchenko looks to make a quick return fighting any of the top middleweights.
"I felt very good against Culcay; he was a very tough opponent, but I prevailed by listening to my corner and staying focused," said Derevyanchenko. "I'm going to take just a short time off and return to the gym. My focus is staying active and fighting the best in the middleweight division. My fight versus Danny Jacobs proved I can compete with anyone. Now it is time to win a world championship."
"Sergiy defeated a very game Jack Culcay on Saturday and proved that he remains one of the best middleweights in the world," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "With the win, he is now the mandatory challenger for the IBF world title, and we will continue to seek out the biggest and best opportunities for Sergiy to compete against the elite of the middleweight division ASAP."
“Real Life Super Hero” Tiara Brown Named 2019 Washington D.C. Police Officer of the Year
Undefeated Female Boxing Star to be Honored March 19th!
(March 7th) Undefeated female boxing star and fulltime police officer Tiara Brown (7-0, 5 KOs) has been named the 2019 Officer of the Year by the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C. Brown is a four-year veteran on the force under Chief of Police, Peter Newsham.
Brown was recently featured on the Steve Harvey talk show, which hailed her as a "real life super hero" for her work as a police officer and in community relations while finding success as a boxer. Artist Robert Ayala captured that sentiment in a comic book-style rendering.
"I moved to Washington, D.C. from Florida six years ago to work as a youth boxing counselor and became a police officer four years ago," said Brown. "I still work as a youth boxing counselor as well so between my training for fights, working on the force and as a counselor, I stay very busy."
"I'm thrilled to be honored with this award but, truthfully, I just do my job every day to the fullest of my abilities and will continue with that mindset. It's the same thing in boxing, work hard every day."
The department's Nineteenth Annual Metropolitan Police Awards Ceremony will be held on Tuesday, March 19, at THEARC Theater in Washington, D.C.
Promoted by DiBella Entertainment, Brown is one of the most exciting fighters in female boxing.
As an amateur, Brown was a three-time gold medalist at the USA Boxing National Championships, a gold medalist at the 2012 Women's World Championships in China, and a participant in the 2015 Olympic Trials, before turning pro in September 2016. She has stopped her last three opponents and is coming off a victory against former world champion Dahiana Santana on December 8, 2018, at Bowie State University in Bowie, MD.
"I am so proud of Tiara," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "She is a terrific fighter and a future world champion. More importantly, Tiara is a true role model, not only keeping the streets of Washington, D.C. safe, but also working as a mentor to inner-city youth. She is very deserving of this award and it is an honor to promote her."
Details on her next bout will be announced shortly.
"Hot Rod" Radivoje Kalajdzic Calls Out
Marcus Browne for Rematch "I Whooped His Ass
and Everyone Knows It, and I'll Do It Again!"!
(February 5th) World Ranked Light Heavyweight contender "Hot Rod" Radivoje Kalajdzic (24-1, 17 KOs) has thrown down the gauntlet to Staten Island, NY native Marcus Browne (23-0, 16 KOs) for a rematch of their highly controversial clash in 2016.
"I saw Browne's fight against Badou Jack and it's the same amateurish style since he turned pro, holding at the first sign of trouble," said the 27-year-old Kalajdzic, who has called St. Petersburg, Florida, his home for 15 years. Browne won a 12-round unanimous decision against Jack on January 19, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, seizing the interim WBA Light Heavyweight Title and the WBC Silver Light Heavyweight Title.
Promoted by DiBella Entertainment, Kalajdzic lost a hotly contested split decision over eight rounds to Browne, the only blemish on an otherwise perfect eight-year career. The bout took place on April 16, 2016, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and was scored 76-74 both ways, and 76-75 Browne.
"I slipped in the first round and he hit me when I was down and the referee ruled it a knockdown. From then on, I won the second, fourth, the sixth where I legitimately dropped him, and the last two rounds. So even counting my knockdown in the first, I still should have won the fight as the one judge correctly scored it for me," said Kalajdzic.
"I've watched Browne's most recent fights and he's a front runner. As soon as the going gets tough, he starts holding. The referee finally took a point away for excessive holding in the Jack fight, which Browne should have been penalized for in our fight.
"I've wanted the rematch for three years. I'm sure Browne would be happy fighting some run-of-the-mill, faded contender and avoid me, but it's time to do it again. Anytime, anywhere, I'll fight him in his backyard. He can't beat me. He didn't the first time and he won't on the second try."
Five months after the Browne fight, Kalajdzic was featured on Showtime's "ShoBox" series and impressively knocked out the previously unbeaten Travis Peterkin in the fifth round. After beating Peterkin, "Hot Rod" took an extended period of time off to ensure the complete recovery of a lingering hand injury. In early 2018, he was given a clean bill of health and returned to the ring with two sensational first round knockouts versus Brad Austin and Alex Theran.
"After his long layoff, Hot Rod is back with a bang, having KO'd his last two opponents," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "No disrespect to Marcus Browne, who looked sensational against Jack, but everyone in Team Hot Rod Kalajdzic views his record as 25-0. The boxing world knows that Hot Rod beat Marcus Browne the first time and I know that the boxing world would love to see it again. In the meantime, Hot Rod's next fight will be announced shortly and he'll continue his march toward a light heavyweight title."
DBE Bolsters Female Roster
Signs Three-Time World Champion Hanna Gabriels!
(January 30th) DiBella Entertainment has signed women's WBA Super Welterweight World Champion Hanna "La Amazona Black" Gabriels (19-2-1, 11 KOs), of Alajuela, Costa Rica, to an exclusive promotional contract.
Gabriels successfully defended her WBA world title for the third time this past Saturday, January 26, with a dominant 10-round unanimous decision versus Sarah Dwyer in Managua, Nicaragua.
"When you have the opportunity to sign a fighter of this stature, of either gender, you take it," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "Hanna Gabriels is a sensational talent and an incredible woman. She showed it against Claressa Shields, and with her exceptional resume, that she is among the best of the best in female boxing.
"Remarkably, Hanna reached the pinnacle of the sport without an amateur career. She is perfectly bilingual and extraordinarily marketable. We're thrilled to work with one of Costa Rica's biggest stars and one of the biggest stars in women's boxing."
"I feel so privileged and honored to sign with Lou DiBella. This will truly bring out the best in me at this point in my career," said Gabriels. "Lou has done a great job for many years supporting women's boxing and I want to be a part of his work and further my career.
"My career has been a little crazy, filled with great accomplishments along with some obstacles. I only had one amateur fight before turning professional in 2007. However, signing with DiBella Entertainment truly energizes me to work even harder knowing what opportunities they can present.
"I love fighting in Costa Rica and the fans there have been very supportive of my career. However, I'd like to fight more often in the United States. I will fight any body. I've always wanted to face Cecilia Braekhus. I'd like to unify the super welterweight division, and I would love a rematch against Claressa Shields."
"I first met Hanna three years ago when I wanted to work with her husband, former world champion Bryan Vasquez. He insisted that if I wanted to represent him, I had to take on his wife as well, and it's been a wonderful experience ever since," said Gabriels' manager Hector Fernandez. "I am thrilled that Lou DiBella has signed Hanna and I am grateful for all that he's done and continues to do for women's boxing. Female boxers deserve respect and I look forward to making history with DiBella Entertainment."
Gabriels has been married to two-time WBA super featherweight world champion Bryan Vasquez for the past seven years and together they have a four-year-old daughter.
Immensely popular in her native Costa Rica, the three-time, two-division world champion Gabriels made her United States debut on June 22, 2018, moving up in weight to face two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields in Detroit, MI, for the vacant IBF and WBA Middleweight World Titles. Dropping the two-time Olympic Gold Medalist hard to the canvas in the opening round, Gabriels would come up short in a highly competitive, hard-fought clash.
Gabriels first became a world champion in December 2009, capturing the WBO Welterweight World Title with a fourth-round knockout against Gabriela Zapata. Five months later, she moved up to claim the WBO Super Welterweight Title with a first-round knockout of Gardy Alvarez and made three defenses before suffering her first defeat to Oxandia Castillo in February 2013.
On December 20, 2014, Gabriels regained the WBO 154lb. title with a second-round stoppage against Paty Ramirez. In her second WBO defense, Gabriels became a unified champion, adding the WBA belt to her collection, earning a third-round TKO of Katia Alvarino on June 18, 2016. Two successful defenses of her unified WBA/WBO crown followed in 2017, including gaining revenge against Castillo in their rematch that October via unanimous 10-round decision.
Details of Gabriels' first fight under the DiBella Entertainment banner will be announced in the near future.
About DiBella Entertainment
DiBella Entertainment (DBE) was born from the unique insights that owner Lou DiBella honed as a television executive and matchmaker. DBE rejects the contractual exploitation of professional boxers and employs a business model that at once shifts the balance of power from promoters to boxers, and establishes a legacy of matchmaking excellence to elevate the sport of boxing.
DiBella graduated from Tufts University and Harvard Law School and was previously head of programming for HBO Sports. He created and orchestrated the highly successful series, “Boxing After Dark.” HBO experienced enormous success under his guidance with some of the most high-profile matches in boxing history. DiBella also owns the San Francisco Giants Baseball AA Eastern League affiliate, the Richmond Flying Squirrels, formerly the Connecticut Defenders, which is one of the most successful teams in Minor League baseball.
DiBella Entertainment created a rebirth for boxing in New York City with its popular series “Broadway Boxing.” The two-hour program is the longest running and most successful independently produced boxing television series, which features up-and-coming fighters and promising contenders.
DiBella Entertainment represents athletes with honesty and integrity and seeks the best and fairest financial deals for its clients.
Dibella Entertainment Signs
2016 Colombian Olympian Juan Carlos Carrillo!
(January 25th) DiBella Entertainment has announced the signing of 2016 Colombian Olympian Juan Carlos Carrillo to an exclusive promotional contract.
The 26-year-old Carrillo advanced to the second round at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. He was among Colombia's most decorated amateurs, with over 400 bouts experience, and winning gold at the 2012 Colombian National Games, 2012 Pacific Cup Tournament, 2011 Colombian National Championships, 2010 Colombian Youth National Championships, and silver at the 2014 Central American & Caribbean Games. Carrillo comes from a boxing family and, at age nine, followed his father and older brother into the sport. His brother, Leonard Carrillo, is an active junior middleweight. Now living in Queens, NY, Carrillo is trained by Martin Gonzalez and Juan Carlos Gonzalez out of Brooklyn's Gleason's Gym and will compete in the light heavyweight division as a professional.
"The light heavyweight division just got a little more crowded," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "Colombia's Juan Carlos Carrillo was a spectacular amateur with a record of 388-23 and will have the tools and maturity to progress through the pro ranks at a quick pace. I am happy to work with his manager Felipe Gomez and look forward to providing Carrillo with the opportunities necessary for him to achieve his dream of becoming a world champion."
"I've always dreamed fighting in the United States and I thank God for making my dream come true," said Carrillo. "I want to thank Lou DiBella for signing me and giving me this opportunity and my manager Felipe Gomez for helping to make this happen. I am very grateful and happy with the direction that my career will be heading now that I am with one of the best promoters in boxing and have a good manager by my side."
"I am extremely happy to be part of Carrillo's team," said Carrillo's manager Felipe Gomez. "He is a fighter that had a huge amateur background and will be bringing that experience into the pro ranks. I have big plans for him and I will work relentlessly with Lou DiBella to help Carrillo become a World Champion."
Details on Carrillo's professional debut will be announced shortly.
Dibella Entertainment Signs Two of Brooklyn’s Finest, Mikkel Lespierre and Jude Franklin!
(December 20th) Preparing for a busy 2019, DiBella Entertainment (DBE) has added to its deep stable of world champions and top contenders, signing undefeated junior welterweight contender Mikkel "Slikk Mikk" LesPierre (20-0-1, 9 KOs) and unbeaten junior lightweight prospect Jude "King Zar" Franklin (9-0, 8 KOs). Both LesPierre and Franklin are Brooklynites who train out of Gleason's Gym.
"I'm very excited to add Mikkel LesPierre and Jude Franklin to the DiBella Entertainment roster," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "Mikkel is very talented and has a tremendous work ethic, as he juggles boxing with his fulltime job at Mt. Sinai Hospital. He is world rated and belongs with the top of the junior welterweight division. We will continue to position him for a world title opportunity in 2019. Jude is a dynamic young boxer-puncher with a growing local following. He's both talented and fan-friendly. I look forward to working with both of these future stars as their careers progress."
A professional for six years, LesPierre picked up his career-best victory on February 7, with a 10-round unanimous decision versus then-undefeated Noel Murphy in New York City. The dominant performance earned LesPierre the WBC USNBC Junior Welterweight Title. Following that up on June 21, LesPierre stopped Italian veteran Gustavo David Vittori in the seventh round in Queens, NY. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, LesPierre moved to the US at age six and was raised in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. As an amateur, LesPierre was a New York City Metro and Empire State Games champion as well as a participant in the 2012 Olympic Trials before turning pro in June 2012. He is managed by Josie Taveras and trained by Don Saxby out of Gleason's Gym. When he's not training, LesPierre works fulltime as a data specialist at Mt. Sinai Hospital, where he's been employed for the past 10 years in various positions. In the ring, LesPierre is determined to secure a world title opportunity against the junior welterweight champions.
"I'm very excited to sign with Lou DiBella and DBE. DiBella Entertainment is well established and has produced many champions," said LesPierre. "I know that they can guide me toward the world title. I would love to fight Jose Ramirez or Maurice Hooker. I want anyone with a belt. In the meantime, I will keep winning until I get that opportunity."
"I've always wanted to work with Lou DiBella and I'm happy to sign Mikkel LesPierre with DiBella Entertainment," said LesPierre's manager Josie Taveras. "DBE is based in New York where Mikkel lives and they are heavily invested in the junior welterweight division with two of the 140-pound world champions, Regis Prograis and Ivan Baranchyk, in their stable. I look forward to building LesPierre's career with Lou as we match him against the division's elite contenders and champions."
The 23-year-old Franklin stayed busy in 2018 with three knockout victories on DiBella Entertainment's Broadway Boxing series against Floriano Pagliara and Angel Jimenez in the first half of the year then a sixth-round knockout versus Danny Flores on September 29. Franklin was born in the US but spent much of his youth in Trinidad and Tobago before moving back to the States permanently at age 13, settling in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, NY. Shortly thereafter, Franklin's mother took him to Gleason's Gym where he was introduced to trainer Elmo Serrano. They've been working together ever since and Franklin accumulated an impressive 60-11 record as an amateur. Before turning pro in February 2016, Franklin won gold medals at the NY Metros Tournament, twice at the Bergen County Tournament, Battle of the Tri-State Tournament and at the Trinidad and Tobago National Championships, as well as a silver medal at the 2014 Junior Olympics.
"It's been a pleasure to work with Lou DiBella these last few fights so signing a long-term deal with DBE was a no-brainer," said Franklin. "I'm happy to have DiBella Entertainment as my promoter and I look forward to achieving great things together."
"Jude is like my son so watching him grow into the fighter he is makes me extremely proud," said trainer and manager Elmo Serrano. "Making this deal with DiBella Entertainment in the next step in his growth. Lou is one of the best promoters in the world and he's got a future world champion on his hands with Jude."
Details on upcoming bouts for both LesPierre and Franklin will be announced in the near future.
Top Welterweight Prospect Mykquan Williams
Re-Signs with Dibella Entertainment!
(December 17th) Top undefeated junior welterweight prospect Mykquan Williams (13-0, 7 KOs), of East Hartford, CT, has extended his exclusive promotional agreement with DiBella Entertainment.
"We're thrilled to continue working with Mykquan, who has clearly demonstrated the potential to become a world champion over the last couple of years working with him," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "Mykquan has a very fan-friendly style and a massive fan base in the New England area where he has drawn huge crowds at Foxwoods.
"We've got big plans for Mykquan going forward and I'm very excited to work with him and his team, manager Jackie Kallen and trainer Paul Cichon."
"Lou has been great to work with. He's put me on the right path to become a world champion, one step at a time," said the 20-year-old Williams. "I know he can guide me to where I want to go and I'm very excited about my future."
Said Kallen, "Lou and his team have done a wonderful job with Mykquan and I'm confident that they can bring him to a world title opportunity. We're delighted to re-sign with DiBella Entertainment. The future is very bright for Mykquan, with TV exposure, 10-round fights and world rankings ahead in 2019."
Since turning professional in April 2016, the all-action Williams has fought 11 times at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT, drawing huge crowds to the iconic boxing venue, only 60 miles from his hometown.
Further details on Williams' next fight will be announced shortly. In his last start, Williams won a shutout eight-round decision against Martin Angel Martinez on November 21.
DiBella Entertainment Signs
Top Lightweight Contender Emmanuel Tagoe!
(November 12th) DiBella Entertainment (DBE) has signed top lightweight contender Emmanuel "The Gameboy" Tagoe (29-1, 14 KOs), from the boxing rich city of Accra, Ghana, to an exclusive promotional contract.
A pro since 2004, Tagoe has accumulated a collection of title belts, including the IBF Inter-Continental super featherweight title, WBO Africa and WBA International titles at super featherweight and lightweight, as well as the IBO lightweight strap. He is currently ranked #12 by the IBF at lightweight.
Tagoe comes from a boxing family. His maternal uncle, Nana Yaw Konadu, is a former two-division and three-time world champion, having held the WBC super flyweight title and the WBA bantamweight title twice. Tagoe's other uncle, the late Emmanuel Teiko Tagoe, was a renowned trainer in Ghana, having worked with Joshua and Emmanuel Clottey, Osumanu Akaba and Ossie Duran.
Despite his boxing background, Tagoe initially had no interest to enter the squared circle himself. However, he was adept with his fists, known locally as a skilled street fighter. His pro debut on June 19, 2004, came about as a fluke. Tagoe attended a boxing event with his uncle Teiko and an opponent for one of the fighters on the card, Lante Addy, didn't show up. Though he had never trained before nor even laced on a pair of boxing gloves, a confident Tagoe offered to sub in for the missing fighter. He held his own until exhaustion set in and was stopped in the fifth round.
Tagoe was hooked, began to hone his craft and has won 29 fights in a row. The hard-hitting, popular African kicked off 2018 with a 10-round knockout of Fernando Saucedo on January 27 at the legendary Bukom Boxing Arena in Accra. At the same venue, Tagoe boxed beautifully to win a 12-round unanimous decision against former world champion Paulus Moses on October 20. He also has a win against former world champion Mzonke Fana in 2016.
With one exception, Tagoe has fought exclusively in his native country. He did secure a Stateside victory in August 2013, stopping Gerald Robles in nine rounds in Cabazon, CA, and is now determined to make a name for himself in the US.
"I've followed Emmanuel closely for a couple years and he's gotten better with every fight," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "I look forward to working with him toward his pursuit of a world title in the talented lightweight division. DBE is anxious to get started and will be announcing his return to the United States shortly. Accra, Ghana has produced a wealth of great world champions and we believe Emmanuel can be the next one."
Included among the long list of world champions from Accra, Ghana, are Azumah Nelson, Ike Quartey, Joshua Clottey, Joseph Agbeko and David Kotei. Tagoe is trained by Adama Addy, who guided Agbeko to a world title.
Said the 29-year-old Tagoe, "The grass is greener where you water it. Wherever life plants you, you bloom there with grace. I am in charge of how l feel and today l am choosing happiness because DiBella Entertainment is my everything and they will take me to the promised land which is the world title."
"Little by little, day by day, what is meant for you will find its way," said Tagoe's manager Abraham Neequaye. "A great attitude becomes a great day which becomes a great month which becomes a great year which becomes a great life. Be so happy that when others look at you they become happy too. DiBella Entertainment, we are very happy to be in your stable."
Peter Kahn, who helped train Tagoe's uncle Konadu while the fighter was stationed in Florida in the mid-nineties, has taken on the role as Tagoe's advisor.
"I'm very excited to have Emmanuel Tagoe team up with DiBella Entertainment," stated Kahn. "DiBella Entertainment is a perfect fit to guide Tagoe toward a world title and with the current landscape of the lightweight division, their stable and their ability to work well with other promoters, Tagoe is going to get his opportunity to fight for a world title. Ghana continues to produce elite level fighters and Tagoe is right in line with the best."
DiBella Entertainment's Top Contenders,
Eric Walker and Ievgen Khytrov Scored Big Wins
On “The Contender: Season Five Finale” Undercard In LA!
(November 12th) This past Friday night, November 9, two of DiBella Entertainment's top contenders, Eric "Baby Faced Assassin" Walker and Ievgen "The Ukrainian Lion" Khytrov scored victories with dominant performances on "The Contender: Season Five" Finale undercard at the Forum in Inglewood, CA.
In the televised co-feature on EPIX, Walker, of Plaquemine, LA, improved to 18-2 with eight knockouts, defeating Michael Moore (16-2, 7 KOs) over eight shutout rounds by scores of 80-73 and 80-72 twice. Walker previously defeated John Jackson and John Thompson during "The Contender" tournament before losing a majority decision to eventual champion Brandon Adams in the semi-finals.
Also on the undercard, fighting out of Brooklyn, NY, Khytrov (18-2, 15 KOs) stopped Malcolm McAllister (9-3, 8 KOs) in the fourth round. Khytrov dropped McAllister with a sensational combination before earning the referee's stoppage at the 1:44 mark from a barrage of power punches. Khytrov had also defeated Morgan Fitch as part of "The Contender" series this season.
Dibella Entertainment Signs Middleweight Contender
Steve Rolls to Multi Year Extenson!
(October 10th) Undefeated middleweight contender Steve "Mister" Rolls (18-0, 10 KOs), of Toronto, Canada, has signed a multi-year extension to his promotional agreement with DiBella Entertainment (DBE), it was announced today.
Rolls is currently rated in the top-15 by the International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Council. Since originally singing with DBE in 2015, Rolls has been featured twice on ShoBox defeating previously unbeaten Steed Woodall in 2015 and current WBC-USNBC super middleweight champion Demond Nicholson in 2017.
Said Rolls, "I'm happy to renew my agreement with DiBella Entertainment, so we can continue working together to put me in position for what I've always wanted: a shot at the middleweight championship of the world."
Added Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment, "Steve is a gentleman outside the ring, but a terror inside. He has accepted and passed every challenge put in front of him, including two nationally televised appearances against tough competition. With this extension in place, we have a mandate from Steve and his manager, Todd Christie, to begin an aggressive push toward a world title and all middleweight contenders should be on notice that 'Mister' Rolls is coming."
Most recently, Rolls won an eight-round decision over Damian Ezequiel Bonelli on April 18, in his hometown of Toronto.
Rolls plans to return to the ring before the end of the year and details for his next bout will be announced soon.
Middleweight Contender Alantez Fox Earns Impressive Victory In Return to the Ring This Past Saturday!
(September 24, 2018) DiBella Entertainment's middleweight contender Alantez "SlyAza" Fox, and prospects Tiara "The Dark Menace" Brown and Jose "Cheito" Roman all posted big wins on Saturday night, September 22, in hometown clashes.
At Bowie State University, in Bowie, MD, middleweight contender Alantez Fox (24-1-1, 11 KOs) was victorious returning to the ring following surgery for a torn rotator cuff suffered in his last fight. Battling former world title challenger Elvin Ayala (29-11-1, 13 KOs), the tall southpaw Fox displayed his full arsenal of world-class skills en route to a shutout eight-round decision (80-72 on all cards) in front of the hometown crowd. Fox was bouncing back from his first loss, a 12-round clash against former world champion Demetrius Andrade on October 21, 2017, telecast on HBO's "Boxing After Dark" from Verona, NY. It was during the first round against Andrade that Fox suffered the injury to his left shoulder and he gutted it out for the remainder of the 10-round contest, including scoring a knockdown in the seventh frame. The 26-year-old Fox is co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and New Legend Boxing and managed by Mike Borao.
Also featured in Bowie, MD, on Saturday night, popular, undefeated female prospect Tiara Brown (6-0, 4 KOs) stayed perfect with a fourth-round stoppage of Jasmine Clarkson in their scheduled six-rounder for the Metropolitan Police Department (Washington, D.C.) Officer. Although there were no knockdowns, the ringside physician called a halt to the action at the end of the fourth stanza as Brown was punishing Clarkson with a barrage.
A graduate of Fort Myers High School in Fort Myers, Florida, Brown will be inducted into the school's High School Athletic Hall of Fame this Friday, September 28, at a ceremony to be held during halftime of the school's varsity football game.
Fighting in Juncos, Puerto Rico, the 24-year-old Jose Roman (7-0, 3 KOs) stayed undefeated with another dominant performance, winning a unanimous decision against fellow Boricua, Alexander Charneco. Thrilling the island crowd, the 6'3" Roman, managed by Ricardo Figueroa, earned the victory by scores of 60-54 twice and 59-55. The victory was Roman's third this year.
Dibella Entertainments Oleksandr Teslenko, Demond Nicholson and Ivan Golub In Action This Saturday Night!
(August 15th) DiBella Entertainment will showcase three of their top contenders in televised or streamed action this Saturday, August 18, including undefeated heavyweight Oleksandr Teslenko, super middleweight Demond Nicholson and welterweight Ivan Golub.
A native of Chernivtsi, Ukraine, now fighting out of Toronto, Canada, the 26-year-old Teslenko (13-0, 11 KOs) will face Los Angeles, CA-based veteran Avery Gibson (9-6-4, 3 KOs) in a scheduled eight-round clash from Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. The bout will be streamed live on ESPN+ as part of an eight-bout card beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT.
The heavy-handed Teslenko will be making his third start of 2018, scoring two previous second-round knockouts against Terrance Marbra and Keenan Hickmon earlier this year. Gibson will be looking to stay in the win column following a stoppage of Enrique Gastelum in the second stanza on November 18, 2017, in Lancaster, CA.
Additionally, on Saturday night in Hanover, MD, Nicholson and Golub will be featured in separate 10-round WBC USNBC title bouts from Maryland Live Casino. Both bouts will be telecast live on CBS Sports Net beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Also originally from Ukraine and now fighting out of Brooklyn, NY, the 29-year-old Golub, (14-1, 12 KOs) faces battled-tested veteran Lanardo Tyner (34-12-2, 21 KOs), of Houston, TX. Co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc. and managed by David McWater's Split-T Management, Golub is returning to the ring following a third-round knockout of Fidel Monterrosa Munoz on January 20, in front of his legion of local fans at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Tyner has won both of his fights this year; a fifth-round stoppage of Gundrick King and an eight-round decision versus Andre Byrd.
In the main event on the CBS Sports Net telecast, the 25-year-old Nicholson (18-3-1, 17 KOs), of Laurel, MD, clashes with Brazil's Isaac Rodrigues (25-2, 20 KOs). Nicholson will look to return to the win column following a hard-fought loss to top-rated contender Jesse Hart on April 28, in Philadelphia. Unbeaten in his last eight fights, Rodrigues heads back to the ring following a fourth-round stoppage of Frankie Fillippone on June 8, in Verona, NY.
Tevin Farmer Wins IBF Jr. Lightweight World Title!
(August 3rd) Tevin "The American Idol" Farmer (26-4-1, 5 KOs), of Philadelphia, PA, won the IBF Junior Lightweight World Title today via 12-round unanimous decision against Australian Billy Dib (43-5, 24 KOs), at Technology Park, in Eveleigh, a suburb of Sydney, Australia.
Dominating from the opening bell, the southpaw Farmer landed at will throughout the fight. Using lateral movement and superior ring intelligence, Farmer hurt Dib with a piston-like jab and battering left hands over the course of the bout, dropping the valiant Australian in the ninth stanza en route to his first world title. After 12 rounds, scorecards read 118-109, 119-108 and 120-107. An emotional Dib announced his retirement in the ring following the decision.
"Billy Dib is a hell of a fighter, he had a great career, and he's a two-time world champion," said an elated Farmer. "He tried to bully me and that might have worked if I wasn't from Philly. I'm the new champion of the world. It was a long time to get here, but there's a long way to go.
"Nobody wanted to give me a shot, everybody was ducking me so I had to kick the door in. Now I've got the belt and everybody will want to start screaming my name. I'm ready to fight anyone and unify the titles."
"I've never had a champion like Tevin Farmer," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "At 7-4-1, with all the odds against him, he decided he'd be a world champion. He went from 7-4-1 to 26-4-1, now with an IBF strap around his waist. Despite being shot through the hand protecting family and getting robbed in his last fight, he never stopped smiling and always believed in himself. Tevin is Philly to the core.
"I'm so proud of Tevin and I'm so proud of my friend Billy Dib, who fought the only fight that he could to give himself a shot. Dib would not quit as he hasn't quit throughout the dark moments of his life. He went the distance with his heart, as he has and will in life. I wish him well in retirement."
The 28-year-old Farmer had challenged for the same vacant title in his last bout on December 9, 2017, losing a very close, controversial decision to Kenichi Ogawa, of Japan. Ogawa later tested positive for a performance enhancing drug and was stripped of the title with the decision being changed to a No-Contest.
Farmer vs. Dib aired in the United States on ESPN+ and is currently available on replay (click here).
Dibella Entertainment Signs 2016 Olympic Heavyweight Clayton Laurent Jr. of the U.S. Virgin Islands!
(July 6th) DiBella Entertainment has signed 2016 Olympic Heavyweight Clayton "Mr. 340" Laurent Jr. of the U.S. Virgin Islands, it was announced today. He is the stepson of former junior middleweight and middleweight world champion Julian "The Hawk" Jackson and the stepbrother of contenders John and Julius Jackson.
Standing 6'5" and weighing 250lbs., the 27-year-old Laurent competed at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, advancing to the second round. With the ultimate goal of becoming the first world heavyweight champion born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Laurent made his professional debut on August 19, 2017, earning a second-round stoppage against Wayman Carter.
Outside of boxing, Laurent is a property manager for Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA), the local emergency response agency.
"I'm thrilled to add heavyweight puncher Clayton Laurent Jr. to the DiBella Entertainment roster," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "With his background as a 2016 Olympian, and having honed his skills under the tutelage of his legendary stepfather Julian Jackson, Clayton has explosive potential. Together with his managers Philippe Fondu and Matt Clark, we will work to develop Clayton and provide him with an opportunity to become the first heavyweight champion from the U.S. Virgin Islands."
"It's a great feeling knowing that I'm being signed by one of the biggest names in boxing right now," said Laurent. "I first heard about Mr. DiBella when my brothers went to train with Sergio Martinez at his camp in California. I saw him take Sergio from being an undiscovered, unknown boxer to a superstar, and I look forward to seeing him transform my career as well.
"Boxing is what I love to do, it's what I live for. Growing up, it was exciting to see my brothers excelling. I wanted to be a world champion and a world ranked heavyweight fighter representing the U.S. Virgin Islands, and I appreciate having this opportunity at really building my career and becoming somebody in the ring."
Laurent is co-managed by Philippe Fondu and Matt Clark.
Stated Fondu, "I was privileged to work several times in the past with Lou DiBella, whom I consider a leading boxing promoter in the world. When it came time to select someone trustworthy to develop Clayton's career, my suggestion to the team was to address DiBella Entertainment's proposal. I am deeply convinced that Clayton has a great future in front of him being associated with DiBella Entertainment."
Added Clark, "Clayton is an exciting addition to the heavyweight scene. He has a good engine and punches to the body very well. We are proud to be a part of the DiBella Entertainment stable."
In addition to representing the U.S. Virgin Islands in the 2016 Olympics, Clayton had an illustrious amateur career, including participating in the Pan American Games in 2015 and 2011. He also had three victories in the World Series of Boxing in 2015, competing for the Puerto Rican Hurricanes.
Additionally, Laurent has sparred on numerous occasions with current Unified Cruiserweight World Champion Murat Gassiev.
Details of Laurent's first bout under the DiBella Entertainment banner will be announced shortly.
Dibella Entertainment Signs
Top Female Prospect Tiara Brown!
(May 22nd) DiBella Entertainment has announced the signing of
top female prospect Tiara Brown (4-0, 2 KOs), an undefeated junior lightweight from Washington, D.C.
"I am so proud to have signed Tiara Brown," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "She is a terrific fighter and an even better person. Tiara is a fulltime Washington, D.C. police officer, a mentor to kids and teens, and a true role model. She is another example of the strong, empowered women boxers who deserve to have their platform."
"I'm so honored to be working with Lou and his team," said Brown. "He works from his heart, especially for his female fighters and I felt great being around him. He's had a great amount of success with numerous female fighters and, given his track record, this is a perfect fit for me."
A three-year veteran of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department working in the Sixth District, Brown has the full support of her fellow officers who regularly attend her fights.
"The police department and the Chief of Police, Peter Newsham, are big supporters of mine and I look forward to putting on another show for them on June 30," said Brown. "I'm here to make an impact on my weight division and fight top contenders as soon as possible."
Brown will return to action on Friday, June 30, in Washington, D.C. against Carla Torres in the main event at the Sphinx Club.
While competing as an amateur, Brown was a bronze medalist at the 2015 World Championships in Korea and a gold medalist at the 2012 World Championships in China.
Kerman Lejarraga Storms to Victory In Bilbao, Spain!
(May 1st) On Saturday night in Bilbao, Spain, in front of a packed Bilbao Arena, undefeated world ranked Kerman Lejarraga (25-0, 20 KOs) knocked out British contender Bradley Skeete (27-2, 12 KOs), of London, in the second round of their scheduled 12-rounder.
Cheered on by the hometown crowd of over 10,000 fight fans, the heavy-handed Lejarraga did not disappoint, dropping Skeete hard to the canvas at the opening of the second stanza with a battering right cross to the jaw. Following up with a crushing left hook to the body, the 26-year-old Spaniard felled Skeete again, though he arose valiantly to fight on.
However, with Lejarraga's relentless onslaught, referee Daniel Van de Wiele had no option but to call a halt to the carnage at the 1:45 mark of round two.
"I'm very happy with my performance. I wanted to put on a good show for my fans in Bilbao and I accomplished that," said Lejarraga. "Give me the opportunity, and I will take full advantage of it. Bring on the top welterweights."
Lejarraga is ranked #8 by the World Boxing Association. The victory earned Lejarraga the vacant European Welterweight Title and high praise from co-promoter Lou DiBella.
"What Kerman did last Saturday was very impressive. Bradley Skeete was a fighter that everyone avoided and Frank Warren always had trouble matching. Lejarraga took the challenge and dominated him," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "The European championship organization mandated that Kerman box Skeete when the Frenchman pulled out of the show. Kerman and his team in Spain had no hesitation in taking the bout, telling Frank to stage the fight in Bilbao because they could fill the arena. They even let Warren keep the TV rights for Box Nation just so Lejarraga could get the international exposure.
"The MGZ Promotions group was very smart and knew something most others did not; that Kerman Lejarraga is one of the best welterweights in the world," DiBella continued. "The opportunity allowed Kerman to shine in front of 10,000 hometown fans and an international audience watching the broadcast. We will now bring him back to the United States to help grow his fan base further. He is a very exciting fighter to watch with an all-action style reminiscent of Arturo Gatti so American fight fans will find him very appealing."
"Kerman was in tremendous shape for this fight and really wanted to put on a show for the stadium full of fans on Saturday night", said Jesus Del Valle, CEO of MGZ Promotions in Spain. "We have a great working relationship with Lou DiBella and his team and look forward to having Kerman fight in the United States again soon."
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.
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.