NEWS ON: Road To Jr-Vera II, Klitschko vs. Alex Leapai, Steve Epstein

BY The Sweet Science ON February 03, 2014
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ChavezJrvsBryanVera fe774February 3, 2014 - HBO Boxing presents “Road to Chavez Jr./Vera II,” an exhilarating special examining the upcoming super middleweight rematch between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Bryan Vera. The duo engaged in a no-holds barred battle last September, which emerged as one of the year’s most highly-debated outcomes. On Saturday, March 1, the Alamodome in San Antonio will showcase the hotly anticipated rematch, televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing ®.

The “Road to Chavez Jr./Vera II” special will premiere Monday, February 17 at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. It will revisit the high drama from their first bout last September in Carson, CA, as well as providing all-new content, including portraits of both fighters’ journey to this significant showdown on boxing’s leading television platform.

On September 28, 2013, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (47-1-1, 32 KOs) defeated Bryan Vera (23-7, 14 KOs) in a hotly-debated ten-round decision. Originally slated at the 168-pound mark, Chavez Jr. had weight issues, prompting his team to make a deal with Vera’s team to raise the limit to 173 pounds. Vera fought valiantly, but Chavez was awarded a unanimous decision by the judges at ringside, triggering demands for an immediate rematch.

The 15-minute special will also be available on the HBO On Demand® service, HBO GO® and at www.hbo.com/boxing as well as various other new media platforms that distribute the series.

Other HBO playdates: February 19 (9:15 a.m. & 7:00 p.m.), 22 (11:00 p.m.), 23 (9:45 a.m.), 25 (3:20 a.m. & 11:45 a.m.), 27 (4:30 p.m.), 28 (1:00 a.m.), and March 1 (12:15 p.m.).

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WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO World Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko will defend his titles against WBO #1 and mandatory challenger Alex Leapai (Australia) at the König-Pilsener-Arena Oberhausen, Germany on April 26.

Last November the 34-year-old Leapai became a boxing sensation when he beat undefeated Denis Boytsov, the great heavyweight hope and No. 1 of the WBO world rankings. Leapai won a unanimous decision dominating Boytsov over 12 rounds and knocking him down twice in the process. As a result of this victory the WBO appointed Leapai the mandatory challenger for Wladimir Klitschko.

"The Lionheart" Leapai was born in Samoa and now lives and trains in Logan City, Australia. The reigning WBO Asia Pacific and WBO Oriental heavyweight champion is currently rated No. 1 in the WBO world rankings. He turned professional in 2004 when he suffered most of his four losses due to being over-matched early in his career. With his latest victory against Boytsov, Leapai improved his record to 30 wins with 24 KOs.

37-old Wladimir Klitschko has been the undisputed No. 1 heavyweight champion for many years. As an amateur, Klitschko won the gold medal in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. In his last fight in October 2013, Klitschko scored a unanimous decision against undefeated WBA “regular” champion Alexander Povetkin at the sold-out Moscow Olympic Hall. The clash with Leapai will be Klitschko’s 25th Heavyweight World Championship fight. His professional record is currently 61 wins, with 52 KOs and only three defeats.

Wladimir Klitschko: "It impressed me how Alex Leapai dominated Boytsov: He has shown strong punching power and a lot of heart. But moreover, that he can take a punch and feels confident in the role of the underdog. I will be very focused and prepare myself 100 per cent as always and will look forward to this next challenge.”

Alex Leapai: "People talk about how great Wladimir is and the 61 victories he has had in his career. I on the other hand think of the fact that he has been comprehensively ko’ed 3 times by people who cannot punch nearly as hard as me. I will break Wladimir and it will not be my hardest fight.“

Tom Loeffler, Managing Director of K2 Promotions: "Wladimir has proven to be the most dominant heavyweight champion in recent memory and we are looking forward to another great performance and victory on April 26.”

In Germany, Klitschko vs. Leapai will be broadcasted live und exclusively on RTL Television.

Ticket sale starts on February 11 on www.eventim.de and via phone on +49-(0)1806-12 13 14. Prices range from 55 to 100 Euro (upper level), 55 Euro to 150 Euro (lower level) to 270, 390 and 640 Euro for exclusive VIP tickets with a seat in the inner field.

CROMWELL, Conn. (Feb. 3, 2014) -- Veteran boxing judge Stephen Epstein, 58 of Cromwell, CT, passed away peacefully surrounded by his friends and family last Thursday (Jan. 30) at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Epstein judged 30 world title fights, including three in Las Vegas. He was a member of the International Boxing Federation (IBF), as well as a founder and member of the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame.

He is survived by his two daughters, Alyssa Epstein, of Manchester, CT and Michelle Jenison of Waverly, Iowa; his sister Susan Epstein of Brookfield,CT; two grandchildren, Anthony and Dayton; three nieces, Rebecca and Jessica Coatsworth and Monique Quiles; and one nephew Damon Quiles of Brookfield.

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