Chad Dawson Returns on Showtime Doubleheader feat. Gary Russell Jr. vs Patrick Hyland

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MASHANTUCKET, CT (April 11, 2016) – A stacked undercard of action featuring former world champion “Bad” Chad Dawson (33-4, 18 KOs), featherweight contender Ryan Kielczweski (24-1, 7 KOs) and undefeated prospects Antonio Russell (5-0, 4 KOs) and Carlos Gongora (4-0, 3 KOs) comes to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT., on Saturday, April 16.
 
The event is headlined by a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader of world title fights: WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. battles Ireland’s Patrick “The Punisher” Hyland and IBF Junior Lightweight World Champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza takes on top contender Stephen “Swifty” Smith from the UK, with televised coverage beginning live on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT.
 
Dawson will face the veteran Cornelius White (23-4, 17 KOs) in a 10-round light heavyweight bout, Kielczweski enters the ring for eight rounds of featherweight action,  Gongora competes in a super middleweight attraction while Russell takes on Leonardo Reyes (3-9, 1 KO) in a bantamweight fight.  
 
Also entering the ring is popular super bantamweight contender Shelley Vincent (16-0, 1 KO) out of Providence, RI., who will have plenty of support behind her when she takes on New Mexico’s Elizabeth Anderson (4-7, 1 KO) in a six-round bout.
 
Rounding out the action are a pair of prospects making their pro debuts as Providence’s Anthony Marsella Jr. fights in a four-round junior welterweight match and Connecticut’s Mykquan Williams in a four-round welterweight contest. Williams is a highly touted local prospect who fought to a 45-13 amateur record including three gold medal performances at the Ringside World Tournament.
 
A former world champion at light heavyweight, Dawson returns to the ring looking for the 34th victory of his successful career. The 33-year-old owns victories over former world champions Bernard Hopkins, Antonio Tarver and Tomasz Ademek and most recently defeated Shujaa El Amin in December 2015. The veteran owns a 17-1 record in fights in his home state of Connecticut. He takes on the veteran White out of Houston who picked up victories in his last two starts over Marcus Oliveira and William Johnson.
 
A runner-up in the 2008 National Golden Glove tournament, the 25-year-old Kielczweski has become a staple fighting in his native New England. Born and raised in Quincy, Mass., he bounced back from his first defeat to deliver a first-round knockout over Anthony Napunyi in May 2015 and followed that up with a victory over veteran contender Rafael Vazquez in October of last year. During this camp, Kielczweski served as a chief sparring partner of the 126-pound champion Russell Jr.
 
Twice a National Golden Gloves runner up, Russell won the national championship in 2013 and he now looks to follow in the footsteps of his older brother and current 126-pound world champion Gary. A 23-year-old fighting out of Washington, D.C., Antonio has won four of his five fights inside of the distance. He faces the 22-year-old Mexican Reyes.
 
Fighting out of Brooklyn but originally from Esmereldas, Ecuador, Gongora was an Olympian in 2008 and 2012. Since turning pro in 2015, the 26-year-old has picked up four victories, including a fourth-round stoppage of Derrick Adkins in his most recent triumph in January.
 
For more information, visit www.SHO.com/Sports, follow on Twitter @SHOSports, @MrGaryRussellJr, @PajPunisher, @Sniper_Pedraza, @SwiftySmith, @LouDiBella, @FoxwoodsCT and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports, and www.Facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment.
 

Gary Russell Jr. Defends Title Nov. 14 vs Oscar Escandón on SHOWTIME

LAS VEGAS (Oct. 26, 2015) – Gary Russell Jr. (26-1, 15 KOs) will make the first defense of his WBC Featherweight World Title when he takes on Oscar Escandón (24-2, 16 KOs) in the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® main event on Saturday, Nov. 14 from Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, live on SHOWTIME (10:45 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are priced at $155, $105, $80, $55 and $30, not including applicable fees, and are on sale now. Tickets may be purchased at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino box office, by calling 888-9-AXS-TIX, or online at www.axs.com.

“It’s going to take all of my skills and my whole arsenal to defend my belt on November 14,” said Russell Jr. “Escandón is a strong, durable fighter with a lot of power. I will have to be on my A-game and I believe I will be able to showcase my skills when I get in the ring.”

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity to fight Gary Russell Jr. for his world title,” said Oscar Escandón. “I feel strong going into this fight. Moving up to featherweight has given me the added weight to be at my full strength. I’ve been training hard with Ruben Guerrero, who’s been doing a great job preparing me for Russell’s southpaw attack. I guarantee that I’m going to make it a rough fight.”

“Gary Russell Jr. is one of the sports brightest young stars,” said Tom Brown of TGB Promotions. “Winning the featherweight world title against Jhonny Gonzalez was an outstanding feat and he’s chosen a very tough initial defense against the heavy handed Oscar Escandón. We’re very excited to work with the great teams at SHOWTIME and
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on this terrific event.”

The evening’s co-main event will be announced shortly, as will the full undercard of action.

Russell Jr., of Capitol Heights, Md., makes his first start since dethroning defending champion Jhonny Gonzalez via fourth round TKO in March in Las Vegas. The talented and quick-fisted southpaw dropped the veteran Gonzalez three times en route to capturing his first world title. The only blemish on the record of the 2008 U.S. Olympian is a close majority decision loss to Vasyl Lomachenko in a bout for a vacant world championship in June of 2014 on SHOWTIME.

Escandón, of Ibague, Colombia, is a former interim WBA World Super Bantamweight titlist – he lost the belt in April in a close, split decision to Moises Flores at StubHub Center but complained after the loss that a broken finger in his right hand prevented him from throwing any meaningful punches. A former amateur standout who represented his native Colombia in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Escandón won his U.S. debut and the interim WBA belt with a 12-round split decision over Tyson Cave last December. He has knocked out 10 of his last 14 opponents and is trained by Ruben Guerrero, father of long-time welterweight contender Robert Guerrero.

Escandón, who holds a career-best seventh-round TKO over then-undefeated Jesus Cuellar in 2011, will be making his third consecutive start in the U.S. as he moves up in weight to 126 pounds to challenge Russell Jr.

For more information visit www.SHO.com/Sports follow on Twitter @SHOSports, @MrGaryRussellJr, @Escandonbox; @TGBPromotions, @HardRockHotelLV and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports.

Photos: Guerrero & Kamegai Wage War, Lomachenko Out Guns Russell Jr. to Capture Title.

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CARSON, Calif. (June 22, 2014) – Former four-division world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (31-2-1, 18 KOs), of Gilroy, Calif., capped a spectacularly exciting night of ferocious non-stop action where each fight was better than the last with a Fight Of The Year candidate 12-round unanimous decision over Yoshihiro Kamegai (24-1-1, 21 KOs), of Sapporo, Japan, Saturday on SHOWTIME.

In a collision of two highly-skilled, exciting southpaw featherweights in the co-feature on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, international amateur standout Vasyl Lomachenko (2-1, 1 KO), of Ukraine, won a hard-fought 12-round majority decision over previously undefeated yet untested Gary Russell Jr. (24-1, 14 KOs), of Capitol Heights, Md., to capture the vacant WBO world 126-pound crown.

The telecast opened with former two-division world champion Devon Alexander (26-2, 14 KOs), of St. Louis, winning a hard-fought unanimous 10-round decision in a terrific, fast-paced scrap over determined Jesus Soto Karass (28-10-3, 18 KOs), of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico

“Golden Boy Promotions is accustomed to putting on tremendous fights at the StubHub Center, and tonight was no exception,” Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya said afterward. “Each and every fight was fast-paced and action-packed, and all the fans who turned out to watch boxing at its best went home fully entertained. We look forward to the July 12 and Aug. 9 fights on SHOWTIME and to many more in the future.”

Guerrero, making his first start in 13 months, won by the scores 117-111 twice and 116-112. There were no knockdowns but both warriors pounded on each other and were battered and bruised at the finish at which time they were given a standing ovation by the 5,711 in attendance.

“It was a rough fight,” Guerrero, whose left eye was cut and swollen shut, said. “I didn’t want to get caught into his style, but right out of the gate I did. I’m not a runner, I will fight. He is a tough, great fighter. I want to give the fans what they want. I was in great shape. I took the shots very well because of the shape I am in because of CrossFit.” “I wanted to get on my toes but I fell right back into banging with him. I have been out for a year and it’s time to get back to work again. I am getting back in the gym right away. He hit me with a great shot to the left eye and I had to get right back up and keep fighting. There’s no backing down.”

“There are a lot of fighters out there. We will enjoy this win and then get back to seeing who is out there. My opponent came in 110 percent better than what you see on TV because it was his opportunity to shine in the SHOWTIME main event. This was his opportunity and he came to fight.”

The gamest of the game, Kamegai, said his motivation was propelled by the fact that he flew all the way from Japan for this opportunity.

“I’m OK with the decision,” Kamegai said. “My fighting spirit stems from the fact I flew all this way to win. All through the fight I kept thinking I am here to win, I felt he shook me a couple of times and weakened my legs, but I hurt him a few times, too. But he recovered quickly.”

There were no knockdowns in the epic showdown between Lomachenko and Russell for the vacant WBO title that Lomachenko won by the scores of 116-112 twice and 114-114. Lomachenko, 396-1 as an amateur, was a two-time Olympic Games gold medalist (2008, 2012) who fought and lost for a world title in his pro debut.

“I am very happy and excited to be a world champion,” the physically strong and talented Lomachenko said. “I want to thank all the fans that came here to support me from Ukraine. To join the Klitschkos as a champion from Ukraine, I would like to thank them.” “The plan built by our team was great, I was trying to land the punches and I did. I landed punches very well. I started from the body and went to the head.” Said Russell after his first pro defeat. “It was a fair decision. It’s disappointing to lose, but we’re warriors and we will go back to the drawing board. “He had real good lateral movement, we tried to close the distance with the jab but he was moving well. I tip my hat to him.

“My past opponents have no bearing on this fight. I need to execute better going forward. I don’t think he’s better than me, we knew he was going to use the lateral movement. Honestly we didn’t execute the game plan. We wanted to close the distance between the double and triple jabs but I couldn’t get to him as easily as I wanted to. “I would definitely fight him again, anytime, any place.”

The southpaw Alexander, in his first fight since losing to Shawn Porter in December, was satisfied afterward.

“Overall I’m happy with my performance,” he said. “I’m my own worst critique, I wanted to shut him out. But he was a tough, tough competitor. I want to thank God, Al Haymon, my family and coach. We got it done St. Louis.”

“He keeps coming, tough competitor. I wanted to pace myself and see my punches more, instead of going out there and missing shots. “I’m a good fighter with skills and I will be the best one day, I promise you.” Offered Soto Karass: “I was trying to focus on the body, that was the plan, but I hurt my hand in the fifth round. Alexander was very fast. He was hard to hit and he has good skills. I was surprised he decided to hang in there with me and exchange.”

Former light heavyweight world champion “Bad Chad” Dawson (31-3, 17 KOs), of Las Vegas, ended his first start in 12 months quickly, knocking out George “Honey Boy” Blades (23-5, 16 KOs), of Indianapolis, Ind., in the first round. Dawson dropped Blades twice. Blades was counted out at 2:35 after the second knockdown.

In a one-sided give-and-take battle in the SHOWTIME EXTREME co-feature, 2012 U.S. Olympian and undefeated heavyweight Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale (11-0, 10 KOs), of Los Angeles, registered a third-round knockout over hard-trying but outclassed 2004 U.S. Olympic team captain Devin ” Devastatin'” Vargas (18-4, 7 KOs), of Toledo, Ohio.

“I was just starting to boil, just starting to get warmed up,” said Breazeale, who dropped Vargas once in the second and once in the third before it was stopped at 2:26. “After I hit him good with a couple of good right uppercuts I knew it was just a matter of time.

“He hit me a few times but I thought that was great. I finally got hit by a guy who came to fight. It’s always an honor to fight a fellow Olympian, so I’m definitely feeling happy about this performance.”

“This was my first scheduled 10-rounder and I was prepared to go 10 rounds, but I knew I had to pace myself without holding back.”

De La Hoya and Canelo Alvarez (via satellite), who faces Erislandy Lara on SHOWTIME PPV on Saturday, July 12, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, were interviewed by SHOWTIME before the main event.

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
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