Avtandil Khurtsidze Replaces Sam Soliman vs Antoine Douglas on March 5 Showtime Card

NEW YORK (Feb. 23, 2016) – Undefeated middleweight contender Antoine Douglas will face hard-hitting Avtandil Khurtsidze in the co-feature of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION® on Saturday, March 5, live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT) from Sands Bethlehem Events Center in Bethlehem, Pa.

Khurtsidze (30-2-2, 20 KOs) steps in to face GH3 Promotions’ Douglas (19-0-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight bout for the WBO International title after Sam Soliman pulled out of the fight last week with a knee injury.

Khurtsidze, of Brooklyn, N.Y. by way of Kutaisi, Georgia, has won eight straight – including six by knockout – since dropping a controversial decision to then-unbeaten Hassan N’Dam in a bout for the vacant interim WBA World Middleweight Title in Paris in 2010.

Khurtsidze was scheduled to face N’Dam in a rematch last November 21 in Paris, but the event was cancelled following the tragic November 13 terror attacks in France. The rematch with the former world champion was to be contested for the IBF No. 2 spot at 160 pounds.

A pressure fighter, Khurtsidze was also slated to fight last week on a DiBella Entertainment Broadway Boxing event and has been training since the fight with N’Dam was called off. The 36-year-old, who has also campaigned at super middleweight, is coming off a knockout victory over Melvin Betancourt last August.

“Avtandil is a world class guy, a former silver titlist and has been at the top of the division for years,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “This is a great opportunity for him and a huge step up for Douglas. Avtandil had been on his way to France to fight for the No. 2 ranking against N’Dam when the tragic terrorist attacks hit Paris, which was a terribly unfortunate situation for all. Now, he looks to impress in this fight against the highly regarded Douglas. The winner of this bout moves up significantly in the middleweight world rankings and will be in line for a major fight in the 160-pound division later this year.”

In the main event of the SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION tripleheader, Julian “J-Rock” Williams and once-beaten Italian Marcello Matano will square off in a 12-round IBF eliminator for the No. 1 ranking at 154 pounds. In the opening bout of the telecast, hard-hitting prospect Tony Harrison will face veteran former world title challenger Fernando Guerrero in a 10-round super welterweight contest.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by King’s Promotions, are priced at $100, $75 and $45, not including applicable service charges and taxes and are on sale now. Tickets are available HERE at www.ticketmaster.com. To charge by phone call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.

For more information visit www.SHO.com/Sports and www.sandseventcenter.com, follow on Twitter @SHOSports, @JRockBoxing, @Action_Douglas, @IAmBoxing, @FernandoDomini, @TheSBEC and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports

Antoine Douglas: “Wthin a Year, I Will be Fighting the Elite of the Division”



Brian Custer, Deontay Wilder & Antoine Douglas

Washington, DC (December 7, 2015) – This past Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Daniel Jacobs retained his WBA Middleweight title with a stunning first round stoppage over Peter Quillin.

One of the most interested spectators was undefeated and world ranked Middleweight Antoine “Action” Douglas.

Douglas (19-0-1, 13 KO’s) of Washington, DC, was an honored guest of Showtime Championship Boxing host Brian Custer along with WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder for an exclusive interview, just before the main event began.

“I will say within a year, I will be fighting on this level, no more, no less,” Said Douglas, who is currently ranked number-four by the WBO, number-nine by the WBA and number-eleven by the IBF.

Douglas, who is coming off a fourth round stoppage of Les Sherrington on November 6th in Las Vegas, that took place on Showtime’s acclaimed, ShoBox: The New Generation.

“I had a great stoppage, but the announcers said I got hit with four punches.  I want to turn that into zero”

Douglas is promoted by GH3 Promotions and his promoter Vito Mielnicki said, “I am very proud of Antoine and I want to thank Showtime.  To have him on camera with Deontay Wilder shows that the network is fully behind him.  The network showed early on that they have a great interest in Antoine and that spot on Saturday showed that. There were a lot of great fighters in the crowd and for Antoine to be chosen for that interview gave him terrific exposure.”

GH3 Promotions features undefeated Middleweight Antoine Douglas, Super Middleweight’s Jerry Odom & Derrick Webster, undefeated Super Bantamweight Adam Lopez as well as Boxcino 2015 Jr. Middleweight Champion John Thompson, Jr., undefeated Welterweight’s Hector Frometa, Jerrell Harris & Keenan Smith, Light Heavyweight Lavarn Harvell, Jr. Lightweight O’Shanique Foster & Super Middleweight Andrew Hernandez to the GH3 Promotions stable.

Antoine Douglas Tales On Les Sherrington Nov. 6 On ShoBox

NEW YORK (Oct. 22, 2015) – Unbeaten rising star Antoine “Action” Douglas will fight on ShoBox: The New Generation for a fifth time when he takes on Les “Lock N Load” Sherrington in a clash of world-ranked middleweights in the main event of a quadrupleheader live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) on Friday, Nov. 6, at Downtown Las Vegas Events Center (DLVEC), across from the D Las Vegas in iconic Downtown Las Vegas.

The popular prospect-oriented boxing series premiered in July 2001 and has produced 63 world champions to date. Antoine’s fifth ShoBox appearance will tie him with eight other fighters for second place on the all-time list (the ShoBox appearance record is held by Chris Avalos with six appearances). All of the fighters with five or more ShoBox appearances went on to challenge for a world title, five triumphed -Andre Ward, Ishe Smith, Robert Guerrero, Kendall Holt and Badou Jack-and three fell short -Avalos, Mike Arnaoutis and Sechew Powell. A sixth five-time Shobox participant, Lateef Kayode, is scheduled to challenge WBA Cruiserweight World Champion Denis Lebedev on Nov. 4.

Douglas, of Burke, Va., is the WBA’s ninth-ranked contender. He will enter the 10-round bout for the WBA and WBO International 160-pound titles with a record of 18-0-1, 12 KOs. Australia’s Sherrington, the WBA’s No. 12th-rated contender, is 35-7, 30 KOs.

“Douglas has been consistently entertaining throughout his fights on ShoBox and is fighting another older, more-experienced opponent once again,” said ShoBox expert analyst Steve Farhood. “Part of the satisfaction of watching fighters develop on ShoBox is seeing them graduate to contender status. Douglas is just about at that point; he is taking his final classes.”

The 10-round ShoBox co-feature will match former international amateur standout and 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Ukrainian southpaw Taras “Real Deal” Shelestyuk (12-0, 8 KOs), of Los Angeles, Calif. against experienced Aslanbek Kozaev (26-1-1, 7 KOs), of Vladikavkaz, Russia, in a welterweight bout.

Two eight-rounders will round out the four-fight telecast: southpaw “Killa” Keenan Smith (8-0, 3 KOs) of Philadelphia battles Benjamin “Da Blaxican” Whitaker (10-1, 2 KOs) of San Antonio in a super lightweight scrap and O’Shaquie “Ice Water” Foster (8-0, 5 KOs) of Orange, Texas, confronts “Tsunami Sam” Teah (6-1, 2 KOs) of Philadelphia in a lightweight match.

All but Douglas will be making their ShoBox debuts in an event promoted by GH3 Promotions and Banner Promotions. All eight boxers will be fighting in Las Vegas for the first time. Tickets are priced at $100.50, $75.50, $40.50, $25.50 and $20.50 and are available for purchase at www.ticketmaster.com.

Douglas, 23, has been impressive in four consecutive victories since he boxed a draw with former world title challenger Michel Soro in an eight-rounder that was part of the 200th ShoBox telecast on July 25, 2014. Douglas has won his last two starts by knockout: on July 17, a third-round TKO over Istvan Szili and on March 13, a sixth-round TKO over Thomas LaManna.

“This is a very good matchup for me,” said Douglas. “I feel I’m in the right place on my career. I want to move up the ranks and earn a title shot.

“I have seen Sherrington and he is tall and long. He likes to fight on the inside. He has lost to Sam Soliman. I’ve been in camp with Soliman and he’s not a big puncher.

“This is my first fight in Las Vegas, I’m very excited. Las Vegas is the boxing mecca of the world. This is a huge step up for me.”

Douglas, a top amateur who made it to the 2011 U.S. Olympic Trials, has been extremely active since turning pro in October 2012. He fought twice in 2012, nine times in ’13, six times in ’14 and this would be his third start this year.

Sherrington of Burleigh, Gold Coast, Australia, will be fighting outside of his native land for the first time in this, his U.S. and 2015 debuts. He’s won two in a row and is 8-1 in his last nine fights, the loss coming to former IBF World Middleweight Champion Soliman in December 2013.

Since the bitter defeat to Soliman that knocked him out of the world rankings, Sherrington has been looking to redeem himself in a major matchup in a major stage. This is his opportunity.

“This fight is something I have been waiting my whole career for and I plan on giving it my best shot,” he said. “I can’t wait to get over to America and showcase my skills. Fighting top-tier fighters is all I’ve ever asked.”

The well-conditioned 6-foot, 33-year-old Sherrington turned his career around after losing his pro debut in April 2002 and going 4-3 in his first seven starts. Since March 2006, he’s 25-3 while winning several minor titles. In his last start on Dec. 2014 he captured the WBA Oceania Middleweight Title with a shutout 10-round decision over Samir Santos Barbosa.

Taras Shelestyuk made his debut at the late age of 27. A prospect at 147 pounds, he was an amateur standout (195-15) in Ukraine with extensive international experience.. He was the Gold Medalist at the 2011 World Championships and a Bronze Medalist at the 2012 Olympics, both at 152 pounds.

The 5-foot-10 29-year-old, who was born in Makeevka, Ukraine, is trained by International Boxing Hall of Famer, Freddie Roach. Shelestyuk is a lefthander with solid skills, movement and punching power who has exclusively campaigned in the United States since turning pro in March 2013. He went 6-0 in 2013, 3-0 in 2014, and is 3-0 this year. He’s coming off a unanimous eight-round decision over Juan Rodriguez last April 3 in Ontario, Calif. He’s gone eight rounds twice.

Regarding his nickname, Shelestyuk said, “My nickname is ‘Real Deal,’ and it means that I prove what I say in the business that I do.”

Kozaev, 29, 5-foot-7, is making his 2015 debut and fifth U.S. start. He won his first two before losing his outing before last on a 12-round decision to prospect Ray Robinson in an NABO welterweight title fight on Feb. 21, 2014. He’s short for the welterweight class and is spotting Shelestyuk 3 ½ inches in height.

Smith, the 2008 National Golden Gloves Featherweight Champion and a 2007 Junior Olympic National Champion, turned pro in April 2010-at 130 pounds.

The 5-foot-7, 25-year-old will be making his fourth start of the year after fighting just one time in both 2012 and 2011. He’s won two of his three fights in 2015 by knockout, including any easy second-round knockout over Lavell Hadley last Aug. 15 in Atlantic City. This will be his second fight since signing with GH3 Promotions and his first since his mother died in late September.

“This has been a rough training camp as my mom passed away and we had the funeral on Sept. 29,” Smith said. “Going through that is extra motivating and I am dedicating this fight to her. I am excited to be in my first television bout. I can’t wait for Nov. 6.”

Smith went 72-4 in the amateurs. Two of the victories came against current world-ranked contender Amir Imam.

Whitaker, a 5-foot-9, 31-year-old, has fought in Texas in all but one of his fights. He’s been impressive in his three fights this year, winning them all by clear and convincing eight-round decisions.

Whitaker produced a career-best victory two outings ago when he soundly out-tallied previously undefeated knockout artist and local favorite, Skender Halili. Also, Whitaker captured the vacant WBC United States (USNBC) and U.S.A. Texas State Super Welterweight titles by outpointing Rodolfo Gomez on Jan. 16 in Laredo.

“Talk is cheap, this fight is going to be a war,” said Whitaker, a three-year pro who was victorious in his first seven pro fights and also owns a win over previously undefeated Felipe Rivas. “He wants to keep his undefeated record but I am trying to get to where I want to be.”

Foster, 22, will be making his eight-round debut. A pro since August 2012, he’s made short work of his last two opponents, scoring opening-round knockouts over Darius Jackson (1:03) and Frank Jordan (1:26) on Sept. 26 and Aug. 22, respectively.

“It is going to be a great fight. I am glad for the opportunity,” said Foster, who’s been brought along carefully after a 100-plus amateur career in which he advanced to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Games Trials where he lost to unbeaten pro prospect, Joseph “Jo-Jo” Diaz.

“I have been training really hard. I have looked at Teah and he throws a lot of wide and wild punches. I am looking forward to fighting in Las Vegas.”

The 2011 Houston Golden Gloves and 2010 PAL National Champion, Foster was a five-time Ringside National Champion and two-time National Junior Golden Gloves Champion.

Teah, 28, a lightweight, will also be making his eight-round debut. All seven of his previous starts have been scheduled for four rounds. Since suffering his lone setback on a majority four-round decision to undefeated Laviasas Williams on July 25, 2014, Teah has won two in a row, both on shutout four-round decisions, including a 40-36 whitewash against Raymond Velez in his lone start this year on July 17.

Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.