BRONX NEW YORK: (January 25, 2012) – Star Boxing and Times Union Center officials are pleased to announce that Wishing Well Pictures has chosen the arena to film scenes for their upcoming boxing film “The Challenger”. Filming will begin on Saturday, February 4, 2012 at the KO at the TU Boxing event. Boxing fans in attendance for the event, whose main event features Joe “The Future” Hanks (18-0, 12KO's) vs. Rafeal “The Cuban-Cajun Giant” Pedro (21-9-1, 15KO's), will be asked to stay for filming to be extra's in the movie.
Times Union Center General Manager Bob Belber is thrilled to not only have the ability to offer the venue for filming, but to be able to tie it in to the return of championship boxing at the arena. “Now that the Times Union Center has become a New York State Qualified Film Production Facility, we're thrilled to start utilizing the arena for movie productions. In addition to benefiting the arena, adding this dimension to our event calendar will also have a positive effect on the downtown Albany economy. Since filming is being tied into the KO at the TU, we will not only be bringing championship boxing back as a live event, but on the silver screen as well.”
Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing is “pleased that his fights on February 4th will be a part of this movie.” DeGuardia has had previous experience with other movie companies. “…our fighter, Anthony Tarver was Rocky's nemesis Mason Dixon in the last Rocky movie (Rocky Balboa), and I remember when they filmed the fight scenes in Las Vegas. The fans loved the experience and many were ecstatic when they saw themselves in the movie. Fans in Albany can now have that same experience February 4th at the Times Union Center.”
“We are excited that Albany County will once again be the site of filming. This activity generates economic vibrancy and literally puts Albany on the map and in the spotlight for many film companies for future projects,” said Michele Vennard, President/CEO of the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Inc.
“The Challenger” is an inspirational boxing drama about family and fate. In order to save the life that he knows, “Bronx Boy” Jaden Miller must turn to the one thing he's always run from, fighting. In every fight on his way to the title, Jaden Miller is “The Challenger.”
Smallville's JUSTIN HARTLEY and Listen to Your Heart's KENT MORAN star as the boxers and will be filming part of the film's final fight for the Light Heavyweight Title directly following Star Boxing's bouts that night.
Writer/Director and lead actor KENT MORAN says “Everyone in Albany has been a pleasure to work with and we are very excited to film at the Times Union Center. It should be a fun filled and exciting night. We hope to put on a good show after the real show. A big thanks to the Times Union Center, SMG, and Star Boxing.
“The Challenger” is still casting, more news and updates to come. The film production can be followed on Facebook.com/TheChallengerMovie
Dan McCoy, Albany County Executive says, “I am extremely pleased that writer/director Kent Moran has chosen to film key scenes from his movie “The Challenger” at the Times Union Center. This is a great opportunity to showcase what I believe to be one of the finest venues for sports and entertainment in the Northeast. What is doubly exciting is that the filming will be done the same evening as boxing returns to the TU with defending IBA heavyweight Champion Joe Hanks fighting Rafeal Pedro. This is the beginning of a great year of sports and entertainment at the Times Union Center, and we certainly welcome the actors, producers and crew of “The Challenger” to Albany County”.
Tickets for the KO at the TU are on sale now at the Times Union Center Box Office, select Wal Mart Music Centers, 1-800-745-3000 and www.timesunioncenter-albany.com and www.starboxing.com or by calling Star Boxing at 718 823-2000. Tickets, priced at $75, $50, $40 and $30, are available through Ticketmaster, (www.Ticketmaster.com, 800-745-3000) Tickets for the KO at the TU will guarantee you a seat for the fights and the filming.
The Times Union Center is location at 51 South Pearl Street in Albany, New York, 12207.