I’m expecting 2015 to be a bangup year for boxing, and lord, I’m hoping so, as 2014 was a nasty comedown from 2013. Lots of new product will be hitting the shelves, and one new entry into the mix kicks off their slate on Dec. 13.
CBS Sports Network will run a two-hour live show on that night, and follow up with a show on Jan. 2, I was told today, by Joseph Gentile, a producer of the series, which is called “Ringside Red Carpet.?
Gentile, a financier who’s married to actress Cathy Moriarty (“Raging Bull”), said he has a “multifight” deal with CBS, and his boxing side partner Sal Musumeci, a promoter with a few decades in the game, will be open to any and old promoters who want to place their kids on Red Carpet shows.
Both the Dec. 13 and Jan. 2 shows will unfold at the Hammerstein Ballrrom in Manhattan, which used to feature fights put on by Lou Dibella, and also Cedric Kushner.
The first event will be held on Saturday, December 13 at 8:00 PM, ET. Charles Martin, a heavyweight promoted by King Sports, will be featured, as will Notre Dame grad Mike Lee (13-0, with 7 KOs; last fight was in July, beat Paul Gonsalves via MD6), who will fight, and then take off the gloves and replace them with a headset, to help call the action.
“Ringside Red Carpet will feature high level boxing, along with the spectacle and big-event feel to each event,” Musumeci said. “The goal is to have the 56 million US subscribers to CBS Sports Network sitting back, and feeling like they are a ringside,” Gentile told me.
Martin (18-0-1 with 16 KOs; born in Missouri), in camp at Abel Sanchez’ gym in Big Bear, will rumble with Raphael Zumbano Love (35-8-1 with 28 Kos; from Argentina; age 33; stopped just once, in 2006; lost to Shannon briggs in June).
King exec Paul Cain said that Martin is on message, at about 245 now, and got great work at Amir Mansour’s recent camp. “Hopefully, HBO or Showtime will be onto Charles,” he said. “And right now he’s headlining for Sal and Joe. We want a Klitschko fight sooner rather than later. Charles thinks and we think he’s good enough.”
Gentile said he will soon announce some of the Hollywood talent who will make a red-carpet entrance and attend the scraps. “I love the sport and want to bring out the best of it,” he stated. “It’s open to all promoters, I’d like this series to be like Switzerland like that! Bring me a great fight, which is good for the sport, good for the audience live and on TV.”Gentile thinks Lee is a real keeper, and he will get lots of love from RRC. “He has a a finance degree, he’s a sweetheart, he’s altruistic, he’s a good looking kid, and apparently the ladies like him! It’d be great to bring more female boxing fans to the audience. Lee is just a great role model.”As for the January show, Gentile said he will announce participants on that card on Dec. 13. Musumeci told me he’s looking to fill out the Dec. 13 slate with one more fight, apart from the Martin and Lee scraps, and said he’s sifting through a bunch of possibles.