Marcus Upshaw Confident There’s Still Fight Left in Him

MIAMI (March 13, 2015) – During the course of his nine-year pro boxing career, veteran middleweight Marcus “Arillius” Upshaw (17-13-4, 1 NC, 8 KOs) has been called a spoiler, gatekeeper, professional opponent, journeyman and road warrior.
 
Upshaw has been all of the above, granted, but more than anything he’s been an honest fighter willing to take on anybody, anytime. He’s fought all comers from world champions to top contenders and promising prospects.
 
All he wants now, though, is a fight against a world-class opponent, hoping a victory could propel him into an often dreamed about world title fight.
 
If draws, split and/or close decision losses, especially if resulting from fights in an opponent’s backyard, are generally considered “wins” in boxing, Upshaw’s record could be a much different 27-8 today and the 34-year-old Floridian would have been fighting in major fights on major cable networks.
 
Upshaw’s official record is a direct result of him taking fights as a late replacement, on the road in hostile and biased markets, against protected fighters and sons of famous boxers, occasionally in a higher weight class than his natural 160-pound division.
 
His most recent fight last week in Dallas ended in typical fashion, as Upshaw fought to an eight-round draw (76-74, 74-76, 75-75) with hometown favorite Anthony Mack (12-1-1), in which Upshaw hurt his opponent several times, winning seven rounds according to his new head trainer, Orlando Cuellar, longtime manager Si Stern, and just about every person in attendance.
 
“The boxing world is crazy,” Upshaw said. “I’ve now had draws in back-to-back fights (the other against Aaron Pryor Jr.). I won’t let it get to me, though.. I guess it says a lot about me that I can go into a fighter’s backyard, after training hard, and come out with a draw in fights that really should have been wins. Now, I know I have to get knockouts to win and that was my intention going into the last fight because I fought a Texas guy in Texas. I wobbled him three different times and won every round but one.”
 
The height of Upshaw’s career was in 2010 when he traveled to Quebec City and shocked 21-1-1 local hero Renan St. Juste, winning a 10-round decision to elevate Upshaw in world middleweight rankings (IBF #6, WBO #9 and WBC #11). Prior to the St. Juste fight, Upshaw derailed the career of the then 19-1 James McGirt, son of famed world champion/elite trainer James “Buddy” McGirt, with a controversial 10-round majority draw. Two fights later, he stopped 10-0 prospect Ashandi Gibbs (10-0) in the fourth-round for the Florida State middleweight championship.
 
Upshaw has displayed his vast talents by going the complete distance in rounds, albeit in losses, with the likes of Mario Antonio Rubio, David Lemieux, Gilberto Ramirez Sanchez, Edwin Rodriguez, Patrick Majewski and Tarvis Simms. The latter opponent was another prime example of the injustice Upshaw has faced too many times. Simms was 24-0-1 in 2009 when he fought Upshaw at Mohegan Sun, which is a short drive from his home in nearby Norwalk. Simms won an eight-round split decision (77-74 X 2, 75-76).
 
Cuellar, best known for guiding the original road warrior, Glen Johnson, to a world title, added, “Marcus has always been in tough, he’s another road warrior, fighting more experienced, protected fighters including some who were super middleweights. He came close to putting this last guy away a few different times. He won seven of eight rounds and the ref even took a point away, without a warning, when Marcus’ poorly fitting mouthpiece fell out. It certainly didn’t happen because he was in trouble.
 
 
“We only had five weeks working together. We want Marcus to use his 6′ 3 ½” height to his advantage. He has to fight at a distance, using his reach from the outside. He can control a fight with a double jab, followed by a right, just like he did against Mack. I was impressed by the way he trained in the gym and even more now I’ve been with him in a fight. I think he can give anybody trouble if he fights on the outside. He gets in top shape, fights smart, and now we can plan a strategy in advance because we know each other. He has to knockout opponents to win. I train my fighters to drop and stop, which is what Marcus will be doing.”
 
Upshaw believes Cuellar is the missing link he’s needed to get back to the top. “I’ve already learned a lot from Orlando,” Upshaw explained, “but most of all I’ve learned that I can do anything in the ring. He doesn’t just tell a fighter to do this or that; Orlando gives a fighter the tools, the armor to go into battle, to be your best. He is like an old-school trainer. The hard part with him is training, not the fight. He’s put life into my career.
 
“I’ve been in with the best and also learned from those fights. My problem has not being focused the entire fight. I know I’m faster and stronger than my opponent, but I get bored sometimes and stop throwing punches. I don’t know why I do that but it’s been my mindset. Orlando has taught me that I need to stay focused and alert throughout an entire fight.”
  
With his size and rich athletic bloodlines – his uncle, the late Gene Upshaw, was an NFL Hall of Fame offensive guard for the Oakland Raiders – Upshaw clearly hasn’t reached his full potential, at least not yet.
 
“I am delighted Marcus is now training with Orlando,” manager Stern remarked. “Marcus is tall, strong and smart in the ring. I have great hope for him in the immediate future.”

INFORMATION
 
www.facebook.com/pages/Marcus-Upshaw/260365894066319

Vasily Lepikhin Training Camp Update Ahead of Clash with Isaac Chilemba

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Oxnard, CA:          
As Vasily “The Professor” Lepikhin (17-0, 9 KOs) prepares to face Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba (23-2-2, 10 KOs) for the NABF Light Heavyweight Title on March 14 in the opening bout of the Kovalev-Pascal HBO World Championship Boxing® telecast he cannot help to reflect on his career thus far.  
 
The common misconception is that Lepikhin earned the nickname, “The Professor” while attending university in his hometown of Gelendzhik, Russia. Although he does have two degrees, one in sports (similar to a US degree in athletic training) and one in management, he was coined “The Professor” when he made his professional debut back in 2005 at the age of 19. He explained, “When I had my pro debut in Russia, the promoter of the show thought I was so smart in the ring he said I was a professor of boxing. From that point on I was known professionally as ‘The Professor.'”
 

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Berridge & Lepikhin
Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events 
 
 
The undefeated Lepikhin has had a stellar career so far. He has an impressive 53% (9 of 17) knockout-to win ratio with the majority of his fights taking place in his home country of Russia. He made his US debut back in August of 2014 with an impressive fifth round stoppage of Robert Berridge of New Zealand to secure the PABA and WBO Oriental Light Heavyweight Titles. Shortly after the fight Lepikhin and his promoter, German Titov of German Titov Promotions, signed a co-promotional agreement with Main Events..   
 

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Lepikhin & Junior
Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events 
 
 
In November, he returned to the US to face Brazilian Jackson Junior. Lepikhin appeared to struggle against Junior but still managed to secure the ten-round unanimous decision victory. He explained, “In my last fight I arrived to Pennsylvania and got very sick. I went into the ring sick.”  
 
For this upcoming fight Lepikhin and his camp traveled from Russia to Oxnard, CA on February 21 to finish out the remainder of his training camp in the United States. “I came to Oxnard so I could adjust to the time difference and to get in a little sparring before heading to Canada,” said Vasily.
 

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Igor, Vasily and Andrey Lepikhin
Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events 
 
 
For Lepikhin, boxing is a family affair. He is trained by his father, Andrey Lepikhin, the same trainer that also trains fellow Main Events’ stable mate, middleweight Dmitry Mikhaylenko. His brother, Igor Lepikhin, will also work his corner for him on March 14 when he faces Chilemba in Canada. Vasily said, “I love training with my father. I love every single minute of it. It is great for me because I get to work with my family.”  
 
Early in 2015 Lepikhin, Main Events and German Titov Promotions were approached about joining forces with Interbox to co-promote Lepikhin and add a fight between Vasily and Isaac Chilemba to the HBO World Championship Boxing® telecast. Lepikhin said, “I am very excited about fighting on HBO and this new opportunity with Interbox. I am looking forward to showcasing my skills on this large international scale.”
 
The fight with Chilemba, who is currently ranked #2 in the IBF, will be a ten-round fight for the NABF Light Heavyweight Title. When asked about the fight with Chilemba, Lepikhin said, “I think Chilemba is a very good, experienced fighter. It is going to be a very good bout.” His father/trainer added, “We travelled a long road to get to this point. We are very, very happy to finally be here. We are ready.”
 
About Kovalev vs. Pascal 
Kovalev vs. Pascal is a 12-round fight for the WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Championship Titles. The fight will be televised as part of a live triple header on HBO World Championship Boxing® Saturday, March 14 from the Centre Bell in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Tickets are on sale now at the Centre Bell ticket office, at www.evenko.ca, by telephone at 1-855-310-2525 or through Club de Boxe Champion 514-376-0980. This event is a co-promotion of Main Events and InterBox, presented by Vidéotron in association with Mise-O-Jeu.

Warriors Boxing Congratulates Luis DeCubas On Induction Into Florida Boxing Hall of Fame

Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing wishes to congratulate his friend and business partner Luis DeCubas for being inducted into the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame over the weekend.

DeCubas, best-known for having promoted, and co-managed a long list of boxing greats, including Roberto Duran, Joel Casamayor and many other top Cuban fighters who escaped the island seeking freedom, was honored for his contributions to the State of Florida’s boxing scene, as well as the world.

“Luis has given his life to changing the lives of so many Cuban boxers and he deserves this great honor,” said Leon Margules. “The list of great fighters and fights he has worked with or on is endless. I am proud to call him a dear friend and business partner.”

DeCubas arrived in the United States in 1966 in Minneapolis when he was nine years old and has become one of boxing’s best-known advisors.

“It is very important to Luis that Cuban fighters who defect receive the opportunities he did in the US,” continued Margules. “I’m truly happy he has been recognized for his amazing contributions.”

Other living inductees for the Class of 2014 included former world champion Mike McCallum and top contenders Francisco Arreola and Jose Ribalta, trainer James “Buddy” McGirt, manager Fred Levin, promoters Walter Alvarez, and Felix “Tutico” Zabala, historian Don Cogswell, boxing writer Santos Perez, boxing official Paul Herman, participants Ed Levine, and Leo Thalassites.

Posthumous inductees included all-time-great Kid Gavilan, contenders Tony Alongi, Carl “Red” Guggino and James Salerno, trainers Jose Caron-Gonzalez and Moe Fleischer and boxing official Alvin Goodman.