FAIRFAX, VA (December 15, 2005) – Jimmy Lange (26-2-1, 17 KOs) and Joey Gilbert (10-1, 7 KOs) will square off for the North American Boxing Organization (NABO) Middleweight Title on Saturday, February 18, 2006 at George Mason University’s Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA in the first-ever title fight pitting two of the contestants from the popular TV boxing show “The Contender” against one another. The 12-round grudge rematch will serve as the main event of a six-bout card promoted by Keystone Boxing.
Lange seeks revenge from Gilbert who upset and eliminated the Great Falls, VA native from “The Contender” competition in episode eight with a controversial five-round decision. While redeeming himself later in the series with a majority decision over Tarik Salmaci in the “fan favorite” match, the loss to the underdog Gilbert – only his second professional defeat and first since 1998 – still haunts Lange:
“I entered The Contender for one reason and one reason only, and that was to win it all,” said Lange, who is managed by his father, Johnny, and is trained by former world champion Buddy McGirt. “Losing to Joey – the best athlete on the show – was a huge disappointment, but getting a rematch for a major championship belt in my hometown is a great opportunity for redemption. I appreciate the support the fans have given me throughout my boxing career and I can assure you that a different Jimmy Lange will show up for this fight. I will train hard and there will be no doubt in the outcome of this one.”
After defeating Lange, Gilbert, a native of Reno, NV and former NCAA boxing champion, lost a split decision to Peter Manfredo Jr. in a bout that was stopped early as Gilbert suffered a cut from an accidental head butt. Gilbert’s last fight was a unanimous decision win in six rounds over James North (7-7) on the Jeff Lacey vs. Scott Pemberton undercard on November 5 of this year in Lake Tahoe, NV.
“I want to decide this business with Lange once and for all,” exclaimed Gilbert. “This time there is a title at stake, and all I can say is that it’s going to be a war in Virginia!”
Lange last fought on September 17, 2005 at the Patriot Center before more than 5,000 raucous fans where he scored an impressive 4th Round TKO against Perry Ballard to capture the World Boxing Empire (WBE) Junior Middleweight Title.
The fighter who emerges victorious on February 18 will not only wear the NABO Middleweight belt, but should also secure a top-ten World Boxing Organization (WBO) ranking.
A Northern Virginia press conference featuring Lange and Gilbert has been scheduled for January 6, 2006; details will be forthcoming.
Maryland’s own Lamont Pearson (22-3-1, 12 KOs) will defend his United States Boxing Association (USBA) 130-pound title against a yet to be determined opponent as part of the card.
Tickets, priced at $500 (VIP Ringside), $350 (Ringside), $250, $200, $150, $75 and $30, will be sold through all Ticketmaster outlets, including the Patriot Center box office, online at www.ticketmaster.com or via Phonecharge at 703-573-SEAT, 202-397-SEAT or 410-547-SEAT. For more information please visit www.patriotcenter.com. Tickets may also be purchased through Lang, Inc. at 703-536-6060.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV