SHYMENT, Kazakhstan (Jan. 5, 2011) – A terribly upset and disappointed WBA/IBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Beibut Shumenov was in near shock to learn that his scheduled opponent for Saturday night’s unification fight, WBO titlist Juergen Braehmer, left Shymkent last night without informing or explaining why he has pulled out of “The Unification.”
Beibut Shumenov (10-1, 6 KOs) chose to fight Braehmer (36-2, 29 KOs) in a world unification match in only his 12th pro fight. However, Braehmer’s inexplicable behavior has left Shumenov without a world champion opponent for this weekend.
“The Unification” is being presented by Goossen Tutor Promotions and KZ Event Productions. Shumenov owns and operates the Las Vegas-based KZ Event Productions along with his brother, Chingis, and is promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions.
A determination later today will be made regarding whether Saturday night’s show will proceed with three boxers fighting under the KZ Event Productions banner: WBA No. 13 welterweight Ravshan Hudaynazarov (13-0, 11 KOs) vs. former Mexican welterweight champion Jose Luis “Chelin” Cruz (41-7-2, 33 KOs), WBA FEDALATIN Welterweight Championship; former Kazakhstan National amateur champion Alexandr Zhyuravskiy Ahmedov (9-0, 7 KOs) vs. Ruben “Modern Day Warrior” Galvan (27-14-4, 10 KOs), WBA International Super Lightweight Championship; WBA No. 6 & Interim PABA light heavyweight Gayrat Ahmedov (15-0-1, 10 KOs) vs. 3-time world middleweight champion William Joppy (39-6-2, 30 KOs), Interim PABA & WBA International Light Heavyweight Championships.
(January 5, 2011 – New York, NY) Recently, the name of DiBella Entertainment’s grand champion Sergio Martinez has been turning up left and right as publication after publication name their 2010 Fighter of the Year. But also getting some ink are two young super middleweights in the DiBella Entertainment (“DBE”) stable: Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (17-0, 13 KOs) and Marcus “Too Much” Johnson (20-0, 15 KOs), as they have both been recognized as top prospects to keep an eye on in 2011 by various media outlets.
Rodriguez was active in 2010, going 4-0 with each of his wins coming by way of knockout. He made his debut on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights in March with a first round knockout of normally rugged veteran George Armenta, and then made his ShoBox debut in April with a six round drubbing of Kevin Engel. Both those wins came via body shot. He closed the year by capturing the WBC USNBC title with a ninth round stoppage of James McGirt, Jr. on ShoBox.
“Receiving these honors validates the hard work I put in at the gym,” said Rodriguez, who returns to the ring next Friday night against Aaron Pryor, Jr. on Friday Night Fights. “To have guys like Dan Rafael and George Kimball write the things they have about me is humbling and it only makes me want to do more.”
Johnson fought twice in the year, both on Showtime’s ShoBox series. In April, he decisively beat previously unbeaten Derek Edwards, winning a twelve round decision. He followed up that performance with an impressive third round stoppage on hard-nosed Kevin Engel in November.
“This is pretty exciting,” said Johnson. “I am looking forward to this upcoming year and making some more noise. I am going to keep striving and keep my record intact.”
Dan Rafael of ESPN.com listed both Rodriguez and Johnson in his annual prospects watch list, mentioning that Rodriguez “had an excellent year, going 4-0 and winning each fight by knockout” and cooed at Johnson’s size and skill, saying the Houston native “is built like a truck, puts his punches together well and has solid power.”
Hall of Fame boxing scribe George Kimball of the Boston Herald named Rodriguez the New England Fighter of the Year over former Olympian Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade and former Olympic alternate Danny O’Connor “on the basis of experience, level of competition, and the fact that as a sparring partner, in the past two months alone he made a pair of world champions — Froch and Jean Pascal — both say ‘Uncle.’”
Jake Donovan of BoxingScene.com listed Rodriguez in his honorable mention of top prospects, hinting that Rodriguez may have saved his best performance for last in his “one-sided beatdown of James McGirt Jr on Shobox.”
Peter Czymbor of 8countnews gave Rodriguez his New England Fighter of the Year honors, for living up to his billing despite being the “most hyped amateur turned pro to come out of the region in years.” He even suggested a showdown between Rodriguez and Johnson.
Cyzmbor also put Rodriguez on his list of the top prospects entering 2011, heaping high praise upon the unbeaten super middleweight saying, “He may be the best body puncher to come out of New England since ‘Irish’ Micky Ward.”
Bob Hanna of the New Bedford Times in Massachusetts also hailed Rodriguez as the New England Fight of the Year by virtue of certifying himself “as one of the top prospects in the country.”
On Friday night, one of boxing brightest star’s, Providence, Rhode Island’s, Demetrius Andrade (11-0, 8KO’s) will look to keep his unbeaten record in tact, and kick off what is expected by many to be a very big year for the 22-year-old southpaw, when he takes on Alberto Herrera (7-1-1, 5KO’s) from the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, NV. The bout, scheduled for eight rounds in the jr. middleweight divison, is promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and Banner Promotions, and will kick off ESPN’s 2011 “Friday Night Fight” series.
Also on the same night, not too far away in Fairfield, California, fellow undefeated prospect “Flawless” Brandon Gonzales (13-0, 10KO’s) headlines Telefutura’s fight-series season opener when he squares off against Lester Gonzalez (11-1-1, 6KO
‘s) in an eight round middleweight contest. That bout is promoted by Star Boxing, in association with Let’s Get It On Promotions on Don Chargin’s card.
“We are expecting huge years out of both Demetrius and Brandon,” stated promoter Joe DeGuardia (DeGuardia co-promotes Andrade with Banner Promotions and Gonzales with Let’s Get It On Promotions). They are both very exciting and talented, and they are right on the cusp of moving from top prospects to legitimate top ten contenders in their respective divisions. As long as everything goes as planned we will keep both of them very busy this year, and believe that they will both be ready to challenge for their first world titles by early 2012. They are both elite prospects and we expect two stellar performances from them on Friday night.”
Andrade, the 2007 Amateur World Champion and 2008 U.S. Olympian went 3-0, 2KO’s in 2010, with two of those fights coming on the nationally televised Friday Night Fight series. Gonzales, who was the 2006 Regional Golden Gloves Champion, and ranked as the number one light heavyweight in the U.S. as an amateur in 2005, went 4-0, 2KO’s.
Both Andrade and Gonzales are expected to be tested somewhat on Friday night, with both taking on just once beaten foes. Coincidently both Andrade and Gonzales’ opponents are coming off their first career losses, both at the hands of Chris Chatman, who Andrade previously defeated in 2009.