Strictly Business Boxing
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Real Deal Sports & Entertainment Partners with VENUM!

(May 17th)Evander Holyfield’s Real Deal Sports & Entertainment is proud to announce their partnering with VENUM, a world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of sports apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of combat sports and fitness activities. VENUM is based in Paris, France, with offices in Paris, Los Angeles, London, and Hong Kong. The company sponsors top athletes in MMA, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, karate, boxing, Muay-Thai and fitness. Founded in 2006, VENUM is the official boxing glove brand of Real Deal Sports & Entertainment.


“We are excited to announce our new partnership with VENUM, as they have proven to be a superior-quality product and company,” said Eric Bentley, COO of Real Deal Sports & Entertainment. “We are committed to providing our fighters with the very best and, by partnering with VENUM, we continue to honor that commitment by supplying them with the necessary training apparel and equipment to enhance their performance and preparation.”  



Evander Holyfield’s Real Deal Sports & Entertainment will promote world-class and entertaining boxing events and will strive to be a company that does what is best for the sport and the fighters. With Holyfield’s vision to provide mentorship to athletes, prioritize fighter health and safety, and create innovative and interactive platforms for the fans, Real Deal Sports & Entertainment is at the forefront of revolutionizing the sport of boxing.  

Evander Holyfield Kicks Off

“Real Deal Championship Boxing Series” June 24th

Live on CBSN from Freedom Hall, Louisville, Kentucky!

(May 12th) Four-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and his company Real Deal Sports & Entertainment announced today that he will kick off his “Real Deal Championship Boxing” series on Saturday, June 24, at Freedom Hall in Louisville, KY, in partnership with locally based Top Knotch Boxing and Kentucky Venues.  


The undercard at Freedom Hall will consist of three amateur and eight professional bouts, including local boxers. Participants in the main event and undercard will be announced within the next 10 days.  


The first installment of the “Real Deal Championship Boxing” series on June 24 will be branded as “Evander’s Tribute to Ali” that will air live on CBS Sports Net at 10pm ET. The fight card will be a part of the locally based “I Am Ali” Festival, which is a six-week celebration of the one-year anniversary of Muhammad Ali’s passing and his global impact and legacy.  


“I’m proud to bring the inaugural event for the ‘Real Deal Championship Boxing’ series to Louisville, KY, and I am especially pleased to have it take place during the ‘I Am Ali’ Festival,” said Evander Holyfield. “I share many of the same principles as Ali, and this event allows me to pay tribute to his legacy.”  


“Ali was an inspiration to me as I started my professional career; the integrity and sportsmanship that this event brings to boxing is one way I can give back to fighters to help them succeed, both in the ring and in life,” Holyfield continued.  


“We are thrilled to welcome Evander Holyfield and Real Deal Sports & Entertainment to Kentucky for this exciting night of boxing,” said Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin. “Our state has a rich boxing heritage, and we have worked hard in recent months to cut red tape and remove unnecessary bureaucracy hampering the industry. As a result, Kentucky is able to once again host large scale, combat sports events. We anticipate that this will be the first of many to come and are grateful to Real Deal Sports & Entertainment for their vote of confidence.”  


The CBS Sports Net broadcast will open with a tribute to Muhammad Ali hosted by Holyfield and narrated by CBS Sports Net commentator Benny Ricardo.  


“Louisville loves sports, and we love to win,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “This event is a big win for our city, and another chance for us to welcome folks from around the nation and the world to the hometown of Muhammad Ali.”  


The last professional boxing event held at Freedom Hall took place on July 30, 2004, when a relative unknown from England named Danny Williams shocked Mike Tyson by stopping him in the fourth round. Among the fights on the undercard that night, Laila Ali, daughter of Muhammad Ali, defended her IWBF super middleweight title with a ninth-round TKO against Monica Nuñez.  


“Freedom Hall is a major venue in boxing history, starting with Muhammad Ali’s professional debut in 1960 through Jimmy Ellis’ heavyweight world title elimination battle against Argentinean Oscar Bonavena in 1967, and Mike Tyson’s defeat in 2004,” said Jason Rittenberry, President and CEO of Kentucky Venues. “We are very proud and excited to partner with Evander Holyfield’s Real Deal Sports & Entertainment and Joe Reeves’ Top Knotch Boxing to bring the next generation of champion boxers to Freedom Hall and to the world.”  


“I’m thrilled to be able to play a role in bringing championship-level boxing back to Louisville,” said Joe Reeves, founding partner of Top Knotch Boxing and board member of Louisville TKO, one of two beneficiaries of the event. “Louisville TKO strives every day to empower young men and women to build positive futures by offering a structured boxing program, positive reinforcement, academic support, and connection to the community. This event allows us to continue this focus on youth development.”  


“Evander’s Tribute to Ali” takes place during the week of the “I Am Ali” Festival that highlights Muhammad’s core value of respect.  


“Since losing The Champ in June, there has been a renewed interest in Muhammad Ali’s life from the community and the world. His work, both in and out of the ring, truly exemplifies why he earned the title of the ‘Greatest of All Time’,” said Muhammad Ali Center President and CEO Donald Lassere. “It is appropriate to bring back championship-level boxing to Muhammad’s hometown of Louisville, KY, where his professional career was launched. We’re excited to host it as part of the community-wide ‘I Am Ali’ Festival, running June 3 through July 15, which will celebrate Ali's life and legacy.”  


Part of the proceeds from the June 24 event will be donated to Louisville TKO and the Muhammad Ali Center to help support youth development activities in the Louisville area.

“Experience and history tell us that sports often change the lives of young people for the better,” said Karl Schmitt, Jr., President and CEO of the Louisville Sports Commission. “Boxing provided Muhammad Ali the opportunity of a lifetime, and we especially are thrilled to help bring championship-level boxing back to Louisville to benefit two worthwhile causes.”  



Founded in 2015, Louisville TKO is a nonprofit organization that strives to empower youth by giving them tools to build positive futures. It depends on the support of individuals to fulfill its mission to transform the lives of youth through structured boxing programs and positive reinforcement.  



Under the Kentucky Venues brand of venues, entertainment, events and agriculture, two major convention and exhibition facilities — the Kentucky Exposition Center and the Kentucky International Convention Center — serve regional, national and international clients. Governed by the Kentucky State Fair Board, Kentucky Venues produces the Kentucky State Fair, National Farm Machinery Show, North American International Livestock Exposition, Championship Tractor Pull, World’s Championship Horse Show, North American Championship Rodeo, and All-In Hoopfest.

Boxing Legend Evander Holyfield Launches

Real Deal Sports and Entertainment!

(May 8th) Boxing legend and soon-to-be Hall of Famer Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield has officially announced that he has entered the promotional ring, launching Real Deal Sports & Entertainment (RDSE). Now on the opposite side of the negotiating table, Holyfield will mentor the careers of young fighters by maximizing their potential and providing them with the opportunities that he didn't have starting out. Teaming up with the four-time world heavyweight champion will be Sal Musumeci, the longtime President of Final Forum Boxing, who will serve as RDSE’s President and CEO. The parent company of Real Deal Sports & Entertainment, headquartered in Long Island, NY, will oversee The Real Deal Boxing, the promotional entity, as well as a production company and an apparel line.  


“Boxing was very good to me during my career,” said Holyfield, Co-Owner of Real Deal Sports & Entertainment. “Now it is time to give something back to the sport that treated me so well.”  


“I am proud to assemble the most respected, hardworking and intelligent team in the industry, starting with Evander right on through,” said Musumeci, CEO and Co-Owner of Real Deal Sports & Entertainment.  


The company’s first move was to hire Eric Bentley, who has more than a decade’s worth of experience in the boxing industry, as its Chief Operating Officer. Bentley spent over seven years working for the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) as a highly-respected executive, first as an event coordinator before being elevated to Director of Boxing in 2014. He has also served as a top matchmaker for Final Forum Boxing and DiBella Entertainment.  


“I am extremely humbled and honored to have the opportunity to oversee this company for Evander and Sal,” said Bentley. “I see unlimited potential for Real Deal Sports & Entertainment. After our initial conversation, it became an easy decision for me to leave my position at NYSAC and join the team. Evander’s main goal is to provide today’s fighters with the opportunities and knowledge he didn’t have at the outset of his career, which is a conviction this sport desperately needs and of which I’m proud to be a part. In the coming weeks, we will be rounding out our staff, expanding our stable of talented fighters and announcing several key partnerships and initiatives that will revolutionize the sport of boxing.”  


Real Deal Sports & Entertainment has already begun to build its roster and is proud to announce the signing of several promising prospects and contenders. World-ranked Ecuadorian standout Jeyson Minda (13-0-1) won the South American middleweight title last August and is rated no. 15 by the WBA. The fearless, always-entertaining Devaun Lee (7-2-1), of Jamaica, Queens, won the New York State middleweight championship last March and has already handed three favorites their first defeat. Unbeaten New York welterweight prospect Peter Dobson (8-0), from The Bronx, is a fan-favorite whenever he fights, with his brawling style. Those three up-and-comers will join the Real Deal stable that includes heavyweight contender Derric Rossy (31-12) and undefeated Las Vegas welterweight prospect Jeremy Nichols (7-0-1).  


“We are excited to announce the signing of these future stars,” said Bentley. “I am very proud to have them join our team and anticipate our roster growing with many more rising prospects searching for the right outlet to successfully guide their careers.  


Jeyson Minda had a stellar amateur career in South America and is a world-ranked middleweight just a few fights away from title contention.  


“‘Pistol Pete’ Dobson is someone very special to us, as he is one of the most motivated boxers with whom I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. He has traveled all over the country, constantly pushing himself outside of his comfort zone. He is willing to face anyone and his all-out aggressive style makes him a very crowd-pleasing fighter.   


“Devaun ‘Unique’ Lee is another fighter who takes on all comers. He is the current New York State middleweight champion and he has fought six undefeated fighters thus far in his young career. He is a tough assignment for anyone and deserves the opportunity to showcase his talents to the world.” 


The company has an agreement with CBS Sports Net and plans to air its “Real Deal Championship Boxing” series on the network on a monthly basis. Look out for a big announcement regarding Real Deal Sports & Entertainment’s first boxing event in the days ahead.   

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