ILSHAT "THE SHERIFF" KHUSNULGATIN
INKS PROMOTIONAL CONTRACT WITH MAIN EVENTS
TOTOWA, NJ - Undefeated Russian light heavyweight boxer, Ilshat "The Sheriff" Khusnulgatin, 11-0, 6 KOs, signed a promotional contract with Main Events on Friday. The 23 year old who stands nearly six feet four inches tall, has fought mostly in his native country, but is no stranger to the United States.
The free-swinging, switch-hitting boxer-puncher is an exciting prospect who has fought in California three times, including his two most recent starts. "The Sheriff" stopped both Arsenio Terrazas (TKO4) and Nathan Bedwell (KO5) in those bouts, and looks forward to more bouts stateside under the Main Events banner.
"These are exciting times in the light heavyweight division and for fighters from Eastern Europe," said promoter Kathy Duva. "Ilshat makes another great addition to our light heavyweight line-up at Main Events. At 23, he is the youngest fighter at Main Events and we look forward to watching him develop."
Ilshat got his start in the sport at the Samara Boxing Club, a gym in his hometown of Samara, Russia. The Club spawned undefeated middleweight Dimitry Pirog, super middleweight Maxim Vlasov, and others.
Managaed by Egis Klimas, Ilshat is currently advancing his boxing skills under the expert tutelage of veteran boxing trainer, John David Jackson.
With a bit of seasoning, the young "Sheriff" may prove to be a real attraction in the light heavyweight division, and turn the rest of the key 175-pounders into his most wanted list. His size and willingness to engage should make him one to watch, and in time may put him on track for a world title shot.
SIGNS PROMOMTIONAL CONTRACT
WITH MAIN EVENTS
TOTOWA, NJ - Main Events announced today that they have signed up-and-coming cruiserweight sensation Thabiso Mchunu, 14-1, 10 KOs, to an exclusive promotional contract. The southpaw from South Africa made his American debut on August 3rd with a surprise 10-round unanimous decision over Eddie Chambers, 36-4, 18 KOs, at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT, in a bout that was nationally televised by NBC Sports Network. Mchunu's performance in the fight served as a terrific introduction and made it clear that his impressive record and collection of African titles were no fluke.
Mchunu turned professional in 2007, and started winning regional titles almost immediately. He earned the vacant South African cruiserweight title in just his fourth bout, with a 9th round stoppage of Patrick Madzinga. Two fights later, he won the vacant WBA Pan African cruiserweight crown with a 32-second KO of Marciano Commey. Then in 2012, Mchunu knocked out Danie Venter in round five to take the vacant African Boxing Union cruiserweight title.
However, none of those wins made a bigger impression on the boxing world than his one-sided victory over the well-regarded Eddie Chambers, who was a heavy favorite to beat Mchunu in their August 3rd bout. Against Chambers, Mchunu showed a hypnotic boxing style that completely foiled the highly respected former world challenger.
Assumed to be just a powerful puncher with a high knockout percentage, the 25-year old fighter nicknamed "The Rock" displayed an unexpected ability to box that night, and became a sudden player, with a complete skill set, in the fertile 200-pound division.
"Kathy Duva and her team (at Main Events) have something very unique in boxing. That is the family feel you get and need in moving towards the world title," said Mchunu. "After beating Eddie (Chambers) I realize I can beat anyone on the planet, and after seeing what Main Events has done for the likes of Curtis Stevens and other Main Events fighters, Sean Smith and I want to be under this umbrella." Mchunu added, "I just have a warning for Huck and Jones - I will beat you both on the same night...you cannot run forever!"
Damian Michael, Showpony Promotions CEO, commented on signing with Main Events, "The professional outfit that is Main Events was always first choice for me and the Showpony team, not just because Kathy and co can play in that cruiser division but because I genuinely think that Thabiso Mchunu is the best cruiser on the planet and the USA fans deserve to see a Mayweather in a 200 pound frame. I look forward to the tradition and family values that the Duva family have brought to the sport."
"Mchunu's absolute domination of Eddie Chambers on NBCSN "Fight Night" in August was a revelation," said promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events. "As a massive underdog fighting a very accomplished opponent in Chambers, Mchunu made the very most of his opportunity and made a resounding statement. He is the kind of fighter who can alter the landscape in the bigger weight classes for years to come. We at Main Events look forward to working with him, his manager/trainer Sean Smith and his promoter Damian Michael of Showpony Promotions as he continues to climb the cruiserweight ranks."
Mchunu came to the United States as a total mystery, but after just one start, he has shown himself to be a force to be reckoned with in the sport. In time he might just fight his way to world title, and go from "mystery man" to being a (hard-to-pronounce) household name.
SIGNS PROMOTIONAL CONTRACT WITH MAIN EVENTS
TOTOWA, NJ - Main Events announced today that they have signed an exclusive promotional contract with South African light heavyweight Isaac Chilemba, 20-2-2, 9 KOs. The 26 year old Chilemba was born in Malawi and has fought the majority of his bouts in South Africa.
Nicknamed "Golden Boy", Chilemba turned professional in 2005, and won several African titles during his eight years in the ring as a 168 and 175 pounder. Chilemba's collection of championships include the African Boxing Union super middleweight title, the WBO Africa light heavyweight title, African Boxing Union light heavyweight title, WBC International light heavyweight title, the IBO super middleweight title, and the WBC International light heavyweight title.
Chilemba holds victories over perennial contender Edison Miranda (W10), then-undefeated Maxim Vlassov (W10), and dangerous trial horse Rayco Saunders (W8), all in the United States. In his last two bouts, Chilemba went 24 rounds in the UK with Liverpool Bomber Tony Bellew (D12, L12), in bouts for the WBC Silver light heavyweight title.
With his excellent international experience and solid record, Chilemba is likely to quickly break into the talented top-tier of the current light heavyweight scene.
Chilemba said, "I am pleased to be with Main Events and I look forward to getting back in the ring. Everything happens for a reason."
"Isaac gave Maxim Vlasov, Thomas Oosthuizen and Doudou Ngumbu their first loss. All three are world rated fighters today. Also, arguably, he should hold one win over Tony Bellew, as they fought to a draw in Liverpool earlier this year . Isaac's most impressive fights occurred during times when he was very active. We believe that the combination of activity and the exposure he will receive fighting on the NBC Sports Network will create the right environment to bring out his full potential," said promoter Kathy Duva. "We are excited to work with him and his manager, our long time friend, Damian Ramirez."
Chilemba is expected to make his first start under the Main Events banner before the end of the year.
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SIGNS PROMOTIONAL CONTRACT WITH MAIN EVENTS
TOTOWA, NJ - Main Events announced today that they have signed light heavyweight boxer Lionell Thompson, 14-2, 9 KOs, to a promotional contract. Thompson, an exciting boxer-puncher from Buffalo, NY, was a five time New York State Golden Glove Champion before turning professional in 2009 with a first round KO of Zaid Malik at the Buffalo Convention Center.
The quick win was the start of 12-bout winning streak that included eight knockouts over a three year stretch that took him up and down the East Coast, as well as to Canada and the UK.
In 2012, Thompson lost two bouts, a controversial decision to Canadian Nicholson Poulard, then 17-3, 8 KOs, for the vacant NABA title, and Russian Sergey Kovalev, then 18-0-1, 17 KOs, who three fights later, won the WBO light heavyweight world title.
This year, Thompson bounced back from those setbacks with an explosive TKO of tough Chuck Mussachio in February, and a measured unanimous decision over then-undefeated Yathomas Riley, in his most recent start. Each victory highlighted a different side of Lionell's impressive skill set.
Thompson said, "I thank Main Events for giving me the opportunity to prove myself once again and for helping me get closer to my dream of becoming a world champion. I'm honored to be a part of a legendary promotional company who has produced so many champions."
"Lionell impressed us, last year, when he came to fight Sergey Kovalev on less than two weeks' notice. He is the kind of fighter who will thrive with enough activity and the efforts of a strong team working for him behind the scenes," said promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events. "Lionell has an exciting style and has proven to us that he will truly fight anyone. We expect fireworks from him in the future and look forward to working with him and his manager, Kevin Dever."
The 28-year old Thompson, nicknamed "Lonnie B", has the size, tools and experience to make a move in the talent-rich 175-pound division. Big fights against the top light-heavies are on the horizon if Thompson can keep winning. And now with Main Events firmly in his corner, Lionell Thompson should soon get an opportunity to crack the top-ten rankings.
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SERGEY "KRUSHER" KOVALEV
WBO Light Heavyweight Champion
KOVALEV FACES CLEVERLY FOR LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE SATURDAY
CARDIFF, WALES - Russian light heavyweight knockout artist, Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev, 21-0-1, 19 KOs, takes on undefeated WBO champion Nathan Cleverly, 26-0, 12 KOs, for the world light heavyweight title at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff Wales, Saturday night. The fight will be shown on HBO in a broadcast scheduled to begin at 9:45 PM (Eastern Time).
Kovalev will not only have to overcome the unbeaten champion's boxing style, he will have to do it in the hostile environment of Cleverly's back yard. However the hard-punching challenger has been on quite a roll of late, five knockouts in his last five starts, and is completely confident that his abilities can carry him to the championship against Cleverly, regardless of the fight's venue.
"It doesn't concern me at all," Kovalev said of fighting in Wales. "This is the fight I've waited for and I am confident that I will do my best."
A win by the exciting puncher would not only place a championship belt around his waist, it would also set him up for numerous lucrative bouts in the future against the cream of the light heavyweight crop. Championship matches against the likes of belt holders Bernard Hopkins and Adonis Stevenson would be widely embraced by fans.
However, Kovalev must first defeat a champion who has yet to lose a fight. Not an easy task for any fighter.
"He's not a bad fighter," said John David Jackson, Kovalev's trainer. "I'll give Nathan this, he moves well. He's slippery. He doesn't take three or four rounds to get started. But once he gets hit the first time, all that's going to leave. He's going to become one of two things. He's either going to go into defensive mode, or he's going to become too brave for his own good. Either way, it's not a problem for Sergey."
This is the first world title shot for Kovalev, who became the #1 contender for the IBF title in his last fight, a third round TKO of Cornelius White in June. However, instead of waiting for IBF champ Bernard Hopkins' schedule to clear, Kovalev opted instead to face the champion from Wales.