March 19, 2013 - It has been officially announced that undefeated Puerto Rican knockout specialist Jorge Maysonet Jr. (11-0, 10 KOs) will take on 26 year old southpaw Gabriel Tolmajyan (13-2-1, 3KOs) in the televised co-feature of ESPN's Friday Night Fights on April 5th, featuring Marvin Quintero (25-4, 21 KOs) vs. Ammeth Diaz (31-11, 22 KOs) in an IBF lightweight title elimination bout scheduled for 12 rounds. The fight will take place at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California.
The show will air live at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT on ESPN2, and will be available online through WatchESPN.com and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app. The card will also air live on ESPN Deportes +, the new digital extension of ESPN Deportes, and will air tape delayed on ESPN Deportes Saturday, April 6, at 2 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Both fighters will enter the fight looking to make a statement in front of a national TV audience, but the spotlight shouldn't bother Maysonet Jr. too much due in part to the time he spent on Puerto Rico's National Team. Also, Maysonet Jr. comes from a boxing family and grew up watching his father/trainer Jorge Maysonet Sr., a former Olympian who possessed a perfect knockout rating as a professional with 22KO/TKOs in 22 bouts.
Maysonet Jr. is earning a reputation for being a savage puncher as well, winning 10 of his 11 pro victories by way of KO/TKO. It's unique to see a father and son share such a distinct attribute, but Jr. is out to separate himself and make his own name in boxing.
"I'm my father's son, yes, that's true, but I'm my own man and I want to go even further than my father. I love him being in my corner because it's reassuring, but he is honest with me and I'm able to work off of the blueprint he created. This April 5th fight will be a good opportunity for me to show some distinction and have a new generation of fans get familiar with me," Maysonet Jr. said.
His father has trained him since he was a child and helped Jr. develop a style of his own. Although the power may be genetics, the skill is wisdom handed down from a lifetime served in the ring and Jorge Sr. is adamant his son's talents beyond the power.
"He's a dangerous puncher, but he's more than that. Jorge Jr. has a very fan friendly style and we think it will come across very well on TV. My son can move, box, defend, and sharp shoot; he can fight on the inside and the outside. He's anxious to prove himself," Maysonet Sr. said.
Gary Shaw is also excited about Maysonet Jr. appearing on ESPN and having his fight broadcasted as the co-feature.
"This kid is going to reinstate hope for all the old school guys that think true power is lost; Jorge Jr. is a true powerhouse in the ring. Some guys pack a strong punch, but let Jorge touch you with one of his bombs and you'll be seeing stars for weeks. I know that this performance is all it will take for the US fans to take notice because he is a fun fighter and ESPN will gladly have him back. Once again I want to thank Doug Loughrey of ESPN for giving us the opportunity," Shaw said.
Maysonet Jr. is a member of "Team Puerto Rico", a collaboration between Warriors Boxing, Gary Shaw Productions and Universal Promotions. Their goal is to gather Puerto Rico's best boxing talent.
MIAMI (March 19, 2013) - Underrated spoiler Marcus "Hurelius" Upshaw (15-8-2, 7 KOs) has returned to Mexico, seeking revenge on Saturday night (Mar. 23) for his last fight south of the border, against two-time world title challenger Marcos Antonio "El Veneno" Rubio (56-6-1, 49 KOs) for the vacant World Boxing Council Continental Americas middleweight title.
Upshaw is a true throw-back fighter, who will really fight anybody, anywhere, anytime. The 32-year-old Floridian has done just that throughout most of his seven-year professional career, earning a reputation as a dangerous opponent who has made a reputation for pulling-off major upsets.
"If I'm in the gym and in good shape," Upshaw said, "I will fight anybody, anywhere, even on short notice. My problem was I'm a very late starter. I didn't get going until the fourth, fifth or sixth rounds. It just took me a few rounds to get going. I like to adjust to my opponents' style to decide what style I need to use. Since I've been with my head trainer, (two-time world champion) John David Jackson, I've decided to let it go early. He knows I'm a slow starter but, by the third round, I'm now firing."
In 2001, Upshaw derailed 19-1 James McGirt's ascent to the top with a controversial 10-round majority draw, in which many felt Upshaw should have had his hand raised. Two fights later, Upshaw upset 10-0 prospect Ashandi Gibbs (10-0) by way of a fourth-round technical knockout for the Florida State middleweight championship. Upshaw traveled to Quebec City in 2010 and won his signature fight to date, a stunning 10-round decision over 21-1-1 local hero Renan St. Juste, which catapulted Upshaw into the world ratings (IBF #6, WBO #9, WBC #11).
In his next fight, though, Upshaw was stopped in the fourth round by future world title challenger Osumanu Adama (18-2) for the USBA and IBO Inter-continental middleweight titles. The dream-breaker returned this past January in his last fight, as Upshaw registered am eighth-round technical knockout of local favorite Vladine Biosse (14-1-1).
"I know what they expect," Upshaw spoke about fighting favored opponents in their backyards. "It's not a surprise to me. I don't get upset. They talk tough, right up until the time we step in the ring, but once I touch them, they know. I have had a few fights taken away from me."
Upshaw acknowledges undefeated super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez and Gilberto Ramirez Sanchez as the best he's ever fought. Last November, Upshaw lost a 10-round decision in Mexico to Sanchez (23-0) for the WBC Youth World middleweight championship.
"After the fifth round," Upshaw noted, "I thought I had him. He's a helluva fighter, like a southpaw Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. We went 10 hard rounds. I hurt him and should have beaten him. I haven't been the same since that fight. Now, I'm out to destroy. I'm a changed fighter. This time I'm going there (Mexico) to get revenge. After my first experience fighting in Mexico, I'm going for a knockout this time. If we go 10 rounds everybody will know that we duked it out."
Rubio lost world title fights to Chavez (DEC12) and Kelly Pavlik (RTD9). The rugged Mexican has defeated Carlos Manuel Baldomir, David Lemieux, Jose Luis Zertuche twice, Enrique Ornelas, Frankie Randall, Fitz Vanderpool and Saul Roman during the course of his 13-year prizefighting career.
"As you can see by his last fight, you can't go by Marcus' record," explained his manager for the past four years, Si Stern. "Earlier in his career, his management team didn't have a plan in terms of what weight class to fight him. He was fighting light heavyweights and super middleweights, thrown to the wolves as a fill-in fighter. It took us some time to get him on the right track but, today, Marcus is a very good middleweight. There is no doubt in my mind that he is going to win this fight."
The son of a career military man, retired U.S. Navy E6 Harry Upshaw, Jr., Marcus has rich athletic DNA in his system. His uncle, the late Gene Upshaw, was an NFL Hall of Fame offensive guard for the Oakland Raiders; younger sister, Antonette, played professional basketball in the WNBA and Europe; brother Harry III played basketball in Italy, and his 15-year-old cousin, Braden, is a blue-chip Maine running back/defensive end who'll reportedly be playing college football in a few years for the University of Miami.
Tough shoes to fill, for sure, but an upset of Rubio could very well position him for the biggest fight of his life.
Everyone knows that Dancing With the Stars champ and pro dancer, Tony Dovolani has had a major impact in the world of ballroom dance, but Dovolani has another life as a boxing manager. Dovolani, a major fan of boxing his entire life, is very serious about getting more involved in the sport of the Sweet Science.
Dovolani partnered with his uncle Reggie Dovolani, cousin Ajet Dovolani and longtime business associate Louis LaRose to form Dovolani Boxing. The latest edition to the Dovolani Boxing stable is Kosovo's Sevdail Sherifi, 9-1-2, 8 KO's. Sherifi will be fighting at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on Saturday afternoon, April 20th Tyson Fury - Steve Cunningham undercard in a 6 round cruiserweight match.
Dovolani learned that 6'9" Tyson Fury has incorporated dance into his training and was delighted with the revelation. He immediately issued a challenge to Fury to participate in a Dance Off.
When Fury learned of this challenge at a press conference to announce the April 20th fight, he did not hesitate to accept and asked Dovolani to name the time and place.
Check in every Monday for more of "Tony Dovolani's Weekly Boxing Muse" at www.youtube.com/meboxingseries
Tony Dovolani's "Dancing With The Stars" partner for season 16 is country music legend Wynonna Judd.
Tony and his partner, Melissa Rycroft, were season 15 "Dancing With The Stars: All-Stars'" Mirror Ball champions.