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WILLIE MONROE, JR. TO FACE GABRIEL ROSADO IN CROSSROADS SHOWDOWN AS THE CO-MAIN EVENT TO CANELO VS. SMITH ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17

POSTED ON Thursday, August 18, 2016  - POSTED IN Events, Fights, News

LOS ANGELES (August 18, 2016) – As fans from around the world get ready to descend on the home of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas for the world championship showdown between former two-division world champion and Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) and current WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion, Liam “Beefy” Smith (23-0-1,13 KOs), Golden Boy Promotions today announced the Saturday, September 17 event will also feature three non-stop action fights as part of the HBO Pay-Per-View telecast beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

Former world title challenger Willie “El Mongoose” Monroe, Jr. (20-2, 6 KO’s ) of Rochester, N.Y. will take on blood-and-guts contender, “King” Gabriel Rosado (23-9, 13 KO’s, 1 NC) of Philadelphia, in a 12-round, middleweight bout as the co-main event to Canelo vs. Smith. The sure-fire action fight features two of boxing’s most resilient fighters who have taken on the top fighters in the division on their rise to stardom, garnering praise and respect from boxing fans. With a final run up the middleweight ladder at stake for the winner, this 50/50 fight will feature non-stop action and two warriors desperate for a win.

“I am happy to be back in championship contention,” said Willie Monroe, Jr. “Gabriel Rosado is a warrior and this should make a for a great fight. I am looking forward to this opportunity. It is a big venue, but I don’t care if I am fighting in front of 200 people or 2 million people. I am always focused and I plan to put on a great performance on September 17.”

“I am very Happy that Willie is getting this opportunity,” said Arthur R. Pelullo, President and CEO of Banner Promotions. “Willie has displayed that he is one of the top middleweights in the world, and he will show that on September 17th against a quality fighter in Gabe Rosado which should be an all-action, fan-friendly fight.”

“I’m excited for the opportunity to perform at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys,” said Gabriel Rosado. “Fernando Vargas, my trainer and I are on a winning streak and getting better as we continue to work together. We have all the confidence we’ll be victorious on September 17. Training camp is going great; despite the change in opponent, we still continue to maintain our focus. Willie Monroe, Jr. is a southpaw as well so the game plan doesn’t change much. He’s in my way of me gaining a world title so I’m working harder than ever before to get that chance again. This is going to be a great fight for all the fans, I know I am coming in with everything I got and I know Willie Monroe, Jr. will do the same. I would like to thank Golden Boy Promotions, AT&T Stadium, and HBO for having me part of such a big event, I promise all boxing fans, this is the fight to watch on September 17.”

Canelo vs. Smith, a 12-round fight for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship, is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Frank Warren and Canelo Promotions. Gabriel Rosado vs. Willie Monroe, Jr. is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Banner Promotions and Diego De La Hoya vs. Luis Orlando Del Valle is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Roc Nation Sports. The event is sponsored by “Tecate, BORN BOLD,” O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, Adriana’s Insurance and Casa Mexico Tequila and will take place on Saturday, September 17 at AT&T Stadium, doors open at 2:30 p.m. CT. and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

Tickets are priced at $750, $500, $300, $200, $100, $85, $50 and $40, not including applicable service charges with a total ticket limit of 8 per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available for purchase online at www.ticketmaster.com Additionally, walk up purchases are available at the AT&T Stadium Box Office (Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. CT to 5:00 p.m. CT).

Willie began boxing at the age of six and comes from an acclaimed boxing family, which includes his father, Willie “The Body Rock” Monroe, who fought for the USBA and NABF titles at middleweight and super middleweight; his great uncle Willie “The Worm” Monroe (39-10-1) who was considered one of the best Middleweights of the 1970’s and holds a win over the great Marvin Hagler; his cousin Marcus Hall (6-6-1), and his late grandfather, Lee Monroe, a distinguished amateur in his fighting days. Willie had a distinguished amateur career, as well, which saw him go 128-14. He was a three-time national champion and won countless regional and state championships. He was a 2-time Empire State Games champion and 4-time State Golden Gloves champion. He lost in the quarterfinals of the 2008 Olympic trials to former IBF Welterweight champion Shawn Porter. Willie’s big breakthrough was winning the 2014 Boxcino Middleweight tournament on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. Willie then took a ten-round unanimous decision win over perennial contender Bryan Vera on January 16, 2015 from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. With this impressive run of victories, Willie earned an opportunity to fight for the WBA Middleweight title of the world. On May 16, 2015, Willie took on WBA/Interim WBC Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in a bout that headlined HBO Championship Boxing at The Forum in Inglewood, California. In his last bout on June 11, 2016, Willie scored two knockdowns and went on to win an impressive ten-round unanimous decision over 2015 Boxcino Junior Middleweight Champion John Thompson. The bout took place at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.

Since making his film debut in last year’s Creed, the latest installment of the internationally recognized Rocky franchise, “King” Gabe Rosado is fresh off of an exciting victory over Joshua “Grand Master” Clottey this past December 2015 and an exciting decision victory over Antonio “Tony” Gutierrez on the undercard of Fight of the Year contender Vargas vs. Salido on June 4. Rosado has established himself as one of the most entertaining fighters to watch in the sport taking on some of the toughest and elite fighters in the middleweight division. The epitome of Philadelphia toughness, Rosado has been battling the best for over a decade, including Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, David Lemieux, Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin, Jesus Soto “Renuente” Karass, Alfredo “Perro” Angulo, Kassim “The Dream” Ouma and Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo. But this September, the stage is all his, and he expects to leave Texas with a victory under his belt when he takes on Willie Monroe, Jr.

Vitor Jones Freitas stops Lucio in 1

POSTED ON Tuesday, August 2, 2016  - POSTED IN News

Philadelphia, PA (August 2, 2016)–Vitor Jones Freitas record remained perfect by stopping Licelio Da Silva Lucio in the first round of their scheduled eight-round lightweight bout this past Saturday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

With the victory, Freitas of Salvador, Brazil improved his unblemished mark to 14-0, while notching his eighth knockout.

The 23 year-old Freitas registered two knockdowns, both with left hooks in the bout, which lasted just 79 seconds.

Freitas, who is the nephew of former four-time world champion Acelino “Popo” Freitas, will now look to come back to the United States in a higher profile bout.

“Vitor is coming along very nicely in Brazil. We showcased him on four of our cards here in the states to get his feet wet and now he has won four straight back in Brazil,” said Banner Promotions President, Arthur Pelullo. “Now we are looking to bring him back here in the fall and put him on television and fight for a regional title. He is becoming the fighter we thought he could be when we signed him, and we are looking forward for the American public to embrace him in the same way they did his uncle.”

Ruben Villa destroys Gerardo Molina in first round of pro debut

POSTED ON Sunday, July 31, 2016  - POSTED IN Events, Fights, News

Onatario, CA. (July 30, 2016)–Heralded amateur Ruben Villa (1-0, 1 KO) did not waste any time putting away challenger Gerardo Molina (1-2, 1 KO) this past Friday night in his professional debut. Villa landed a counter left hook early in the first round that sent Molina backpedaling onto the canvas. Seconds later, Villa, who is from Salinas, Calif., rocked Molina with a series of punches, knocking him out at the 2:25 mark of the opening round.

“It felt great to get that first win,” Villa said. “I didn’t go in thinking knockout, but I knew after the first knockdown that I was going to end it early. I had a bunch of friends and family in attendance. I’m glad I gave them something to smile about.”

“Ruben looked sensational in his pro debut,” said Banner Promotions President, Arthur Pelullo. “Even though it was just inside of one round, you could tell that Ruben is a tremendous talent, and we are looking forward to his next fight, which should be announced shortly.

“Ruben looked fantastic tonight,” said Ken Thompson, president of Thompson Boxing Promotions. “He gave us a glimpse into his immense potential. Ruben has a very bright future ahead of him and we are excited to continue to feature him on our Southern California shows.”

Villa is co-promoted through Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions.

Photos By Carlos Baeza/ Thompson Boxing

Banner Promotions & Thompson Boxing sign amateur standout Ruben Villa to a co-promotional contract

POSTED ON Tuesday, July 26, 2016  - POSTED IN News

Philadelphia, PA / Orange, CA. (July 26, 2016)–Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing Promotions are pleased to announce the signing of amateur standout Ruben Villa to a co-promotional contract.

The 19 year-old Villa of Salinas, California compiled an outstanding record of 166-17 in the unpaid ranks that included two National Junior Golden Gloves titles and two National Golden Gloves championships at 123 pounds.

Ruben did not make the U.S. Olympic team due to his struggles to make 123 pounds in the Olympic Trials. He will campaign as a professional in the featherweight division (126 lbs).

“I am excited, and I have been working very hard to get to this point. I cannot wait to turn professional,” said Villa.
“It is very cool to sign with two great promoters. We were offered the opportunity, and we took it.”

“As for the Olympic trials I was disappointed, yet happy at the same time. I was happy to make it that far, and now I am ready for the next phase of my career.”

Villa began boxing at the age of five when his family, who were big boxing fans, took young Ruben to the gym.

That spawned his amateur career, which saw him reach the number-1 national ranking at 123 pounds and saw him defeat eventual United States Olympian Shakur Stevenson.

“He is a good fighter, and I hope he wins a medal and at some point we can break the tie in our fights against each other. I see that as a big fight down the line in the pros.”

Villa defeated Stevenson in the National Golden Gloves and Olympic Trials.

The 5’6″ Villa is managed and trained by Danny Zamora. Zamora performs the same roles with world-ranked NABA, NABO, NABF and Boxicino 2014 lightweight champion Petr Petrov.

Villa describes his style as a boxer who uses angles and does not get hit much.

“My boxing influences are a bit of Vasyl Lomachenko and Canelo Alavrez.”

Ruben’s family and friends are not only a big part of his life, but also part of his success.

“My parents started me in boxing, and they have been extremely supportive in this. I also have 4 sisters (Ruben is the 2nd oldest of the 5 children), and they are very supportive as well. ”

Villa has sparred with Petrov, Bruno Escalante and Manuel Avilla, and that has given him a good gage on where he is at as he embarks on his career.

“I do well with those guys. I can hold my own, and those guys are great professionals. It gives me confidence as I start out.”

“Whenever you have the chance to sign someone as talented and as gifted as Ruben Villa, you jump at that opportunity,” said Ken Thompson, President of Thompson Boxing Promotions. “Villa comes to us from an accomplished amateur background. He has all the traits you look for in a prospect – tremendous skill set, positive attitude, and a love for the sport. He has an outstanding future ahead of him.”

Arthur Pelullo, President of Banner Promotions stated, “We are very excited by the signing of Ruben. He has all the makings of a future star. I can see big things in his future, as he has great ability, a pro-style and the intangibles to be a great fighter for a long time. We are very familiar with Ruben’s team, and we have a great relationship with his manager, Danny Zamora. We are eager to start Ruben on his journey to become a world champion.”

“Ruben is a great prospect, a top amateur and an Olympic alternate,” said Villa’s Manager Danny Zamora. “I believe he will be a world champion. I met Ruben through his trainer Rudy Puga, and I have been following him for three years. I feel that he has all the makings to be a star.”

Villa will turn professional this Friday night at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California on a Thompson Boxing card that will be headlined by Jose Roman taking on Carlos Cardenas

Photos by Carlos Baeza / Thompson Boxing

Banner Promotions signs world ranked lightweight Xolisani Ndongeni to co-promotional contract with Golden Gloves Promotions

POSTED ON Thursday, July 14, 2016  - POSTED IN Events, Fights, News
It was nip and tuck all night between Xolisani Ndongeni and Mzonke Fana, with the younger Ndongeni winning a razor-thin majority decision against the veteran former world champion in a scrap for the WBA Pan-African lightweight title – 115-113, 115-113, 114-114. The faster, busier Ndongeni, now unbeaten in 18 fights, just scraped home against the shrewd, sassy Fana. It was like a chess match between two contrasting styles: the unorthodoxy and youth of Ndongeni against the wiles and skills of the proud ex-champion. After an electric start, Ndongeni settled into an easy rhythm, but the trouble was he never quite asserted himself. He was over cautious and boxed within himself, presumably because he gave Fana too much respect. Even at 41 and with his best years behind him, Fana was in marvellous shape and fought with great ambition. Although he threw many punches, Ndongeni’s movement made him a difficult target and he either rode or avoided the many shots that came his way. It was a tremendous win for Ndongeni, his best to date, and he will have learned many important lessons. Perhaps the most significant moment of all came in the minutes after the fight as Fana warmly embraced and joked with his younger rival. It seemed like a symbolic passing of the baton from a proud old warrior to a proud younger one - D-DAY AT THE PALACE was promoted by Golden Gloves Boxing Promotions and was hosted by Emperors Palace, 6 June 2015.

It was nip and tuck all night between Xolisani Ndongeni and Mzonke Fana, with the younger Ndongeni winning a razor-thin majority decision against the veteran former world champion in a scrap for the WBA Pan-African lightweight title – 115-113, 115-113, 114-114. The faster, busier Ndongeni, now unbeaten in 18 fights, just scraped home against the shrewd, sassy Fana. It was like a chess match between two contrasting styles: the unorthodoxy and youth of Ndongeni against the wiles and skills of the proud ex-champion. After an electric start, Ndongeni settled into an easy rhythm, but the trouble was he never quite asserted himself. He was over cautious and boxed within himself, presumably because he gave Fana too much respect. Even at 41 and with his best years behind him, Fana was in marvellous shape and fought with great ambition. Although he threw many punches, Ndongeni’s movement made him a difficult target and he either rode or avoided the many shots that came his way. It was a tremendous win for Ndongeni, his best to date, and he will have learned many important lessons. Perhaps the most significant moment of all came in the minutes after the fight as Fana warmly embraced and joked with his younger rival. It seemed like a symbolic passing of the baton from a proud old warrior to a proud younger one – D-DAY AT THE PALACE was promoted by Golden Gloves Boxing Promotions and was hosted by Emperors Palace, 6 June 2015.


Philadelphia, PA / Johannesburg, South Africa (July 14, 2016)–Golden Gloves Boxing Promotions and Banner Promotions are pleased to announce the signing of world ranked lightweight contender Xolisani “Nomeva” Ndongeni to a co-promotional contract.

The 26 year-old has a perfect mark of 21-0 with 11 knockouts and currently ranked number-2 by the WBA. He is the current IBO Lightweight champion.

Ndongeni is a native of The Duncan Village area of Eastern Cape, South Africa, which produced world champions Vuyani Bungu, Mbuleo Botile and Simphiwe Vetyeka.

Ndongeni began boxing at the age of 17 and competed in 29 amateur bouts.

In just his 10th professional fight, Ndongeni captured the South African Super Featherweight title. He later added the South African Lightweight title.

Ndongeni also captured the WBA Pan African Lightweight title with a win over former world champion Mzonke Fana.

He is now looking for bigger title opportunities and with the new co-promotional agreement, Ndongeni is closer to realizing that goal.

“This is a dream come true,” said Ndongeni. “Every boxer who dreams of the big time dreams of America.”

“Every boxer dreams of making it in America. I have outgrown South Africa, where I have fought and beaten all the contenders. I’m prepared to fight anyone. All I want is the chance. I’m grateful to Banner Promotions for this opportunity. I won’t let them down.”

A member of the Xhosa Tribe, Ndongeni is a local hero, whose fans sing and dance whenever he fights. He even has his own praise song, “Nank uNivema whee Nomeva,” which his supporters sing out during his fights.

“Nomeva” means The Wasp.

He is trained by Colin Nathan, who states, “Everything Xolisani Ndongeni does is against the book, but somehow it works for him. He’s very charismatic and a great guy to work with. I think the United States audience will really warm to him.”

“Xolisani has two things going for him: a hunger to succeed borne from his impoverished upbringing, and his natural fighting ability. He’s very unorthodox, but he somehow makes it work. I’m hoping this venture into the US is the springboard to a great international career in one of the most dynamic weight divisions,”said Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves Promotions.

Banner Promotions President, Arthur Pelullo said, “We are excited to get Xolisani in a major fight. It’s always a pleasure to work with my good friend Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves. He always has the best fighters in South Africa, and we feel we have a world champion with Xolisani. We look forward to helping him get the major opportunities that he covets and deserves.”

Banner Promotions re-signs former world title challenger and Boxcino 2014 champion Willie Monroe Jr.

POSTED ON Tuesday, July 12, 2016  - POSTED IN Fights, News

Philadelphia, PA (July 12, 2016)–Banner Promotions is pleased to announce the re-signing of former world title challenger and Boxcino 2014 Middleweight champion, Willie Monroe Jr. to an exclusive promotional agreement.

Monroe of Rochester, New York has a record of 20-2 with 6 knockouts and is coming off a 10-round unanimous decision over fellow former world title challenger and Boxcino champion, John Thompson on June 11th in Verona, New York.

The 29 year-old Monroe turned professional in 2008 and won his first 10 bouts. Monroe won the 2014 Boxcino Middleweight tournament with wins over Donatas Bondorovas, Vitally Kopylenko, and Brandon Adams.

Those wins catapulted him into a bout with WBA/Interim WBC Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.

Monroe performed admirably in the bout, which took place on May 16, 2015 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

“I’m excited to re-sign with Banner Promotions. Artie has been nothing but great to me, and he’ll put me in position to fight against the Danny Jacobs and Canelos of the boxing world,” said Willie Monroe Jr.

“It feels good to have a fresh start over. I am coming off of a huge win on Showtime vs. John Thompson, and I now have a great team watching my back with my brother, Trent Monroe, TJ Nolan and Adrian Clark as my Strategic Partner.”

“Doing what was best for Willie was the focal point in negotiations. We put our heads together and structured a great deal for Willie with Banner Promotions. I am looking forward to working with Artie to map out things for Willie,” said Adrian Clark, Monroe’s Strategic Partner.

“We are excited to have Willie back in the fold,” said Banner Promotions President, Arthur Pelullo.

“Willie has showed not only in the Boxcino tournament, but in his fight against Golovkin, that he is one of the top middleweights in the world. He had a great performance against John Thompson, and now he is ready for any challenge in the division. We will be actively pursuing all of those opportunities for Willie.”

Major statement made by Undefeated Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade

POSTED ON Thursday, June 23, 2016  - POSTED IN News

PROVIDENCE (June 23, 2016) – A year after he was stripped of his world super welterweight title by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), undefeated super welterweight Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade has repositioned himself off of his sensational June 11 th stoppage of Willle “The Great” Nelson on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®.

The 28-year-old Andrade (23-0, 16 KOs) decked Nelson (25-3-1, 15 KOs) four times, finishing off his game opponent who’d never been knocked out, in the 12th round of their fight at Turning Stone Casino (Verona, N.Y).

Andrade successfully defended his WBO International title and also gained several valuable options in terms of world title and/or major fights. He is now the No. 1 mandatory contender in the World Boxing Council (WBC), waiting to challenge the winner of a mandated title fight between new champion Jermell Charlo and WBC Silver title holder Charles Hatley. The 2008 U.S. Olympian is No. 2 in the WBO, No. 3 in the World Boxing Association (WBA), and Miguel Cotto is No. 1 in both of those sanctioning organizations.

After his sensational, statement-making performance against Nelson, Andrade said he wanted to fight anybody whose name started with “C” and ended in ‘O” – the Charlo brothers (IBF champion is Jermall Charlo), Cotto and “Canelo” (Saul Alvarez).

“I am the best fighter in the 154-pound division,” Andrade proclaimed. “I’m the No. 1 contender in the WBO. Liam Smith is holding my belt but I don’t believe he’ll fight me. I’m the WBC mandatory for the Charlo-Hatley winner. Once I get that belt I’ll beat Charlo’s twin for the IBF title and I’ve been calling out (WBA champ Erislandy) Lara for a long time. But ‘Canelo’ is the big money fight out there for me and who I want the most. I can be ready for him in September for his next fight. At the end of the day, we’ll see what’s up, but I want to get right back in the ring as soon as one of these guys step up to fight me.”

During his long layoff, Andrade made a conscious effort to be a more fan-friendly fighter, building up his strength to go along with his superior quickness. Many called his last fight, ‘Mayweather-like,’ in which Demetrius displayed tremendous power and explosiveness, which complemented his incredible boxing skills and defense.

“When I first turned pro,” Andrade explained, “I was getting in the ring with some good fighters, so I was cautious and settled in on just getting a victory. I learned that I needed to change in order to put butts in seats. I don’t get hit and I also showed that I could go 12 rounds, good for experience, and still takeout a tough fighter like Nelson who had never been stopped. I wasn’t going for the knockout but, after I caught him early with a right hook, I knew that it would come if I was patient and kept up the pressure. I think Willie can give any of the other top guys at 154 a good fight. He has a big heart and came to win. It wasn’t as easy as it may have looked on the scorecards. Willie pushed me to look good. During my layoff, I worked hard on my craft to be better, concentrating on strength and conditioning, and it really showed in my last fight. I worked on my fundamentals and had a lot of success going to the body. I believe fans saw improvement in my performance and appreciated it.”

More comfortable knowing his promotional issues are now in the past (his A Team Promotions owns 50% of his rights to go along with 25% each for Banner Promotions (Artie Pelullo) and Star Boxing (Joe DeGuardia), Andrade is prepared to clean out the 154-division before eventually moving up in weight to take on Gennady Golovkin in what Andrade believes can be a mega-fight in due time.

“I’ve always known since I first saw Demetrius in the ring at 14 years old that he was going to become a superstar,” A Team Promotions president Ed Farris commented. “There were so many doubters and obstacles along the way. It sure took a long time to get here but I’m so happy for him that his moment has finally arrived. You don’t know how good it feels to see him fulfill his destiny.”

Andrade, in fact, hasn’t lost inside the ring in nearly eight years, when he was ripped off against Korean boxer Kim Jung-Joo, 11-9, in the quarterfinals of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. The boxer named “Boo Boo” – as a kid with cuts, bumps and bruises – doesn’t plan on changing his unbeaten script.

“I’m still untouchable,” Andrade concluded. “I’ve shown my continued commitment to boxing. It’s ‘Boo Boo’ time!”

INFORMATION

Website: www.ATeamPromotions.com
Twitter: @BooBooBoxing
Instagram: @BooBooATeam
www.Facebook.com.DemetriusAndrade

JOHN MOLINA OUTPOINTS RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV; DEMETRIUS ANDRADE DELIVERS STATEMENT KO VICTORY AND DEJAN ZLATICANIN WINS 135-POUND TITLE SATURDAY ON SHOWTIME®

POSTED ON Monday, June 13, 2016  - POSTED IN News

VERONA, N.Y. (June 11, 2016) – John Molina outpunched Ruslan Provodnikov in an all-action fight by revealing a new weapon in his arsenal, a sharp and steady jab. Molina captured a surprising unanimous decision in a 12-round junior welterweight bout that featured fierce exchanges throughout Saturday on SHOWTIME from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.

In the co-feature on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, Demetrius Andrade delivered a statement, knockout victory over Willie Nelson, staking his claim as one of the world’s best in the stacked 154-pound division. In the opening bout, Dejan Zlaticanin knocked out Franklin Mamani to earn the vacant 135-pound world title and make history as the first native of Montenegro to win a world championship.

Molina and Provodnikov promised a war, and they delivered. But what surprised many was the volume of punches and effective jabbing from Molina (29-6, 23 KOs), a veteran more known for engaging in brawls than his boxing prowess. Molina threw nearly 1,110 total punches, including 643 jabs compared to just 265 for Provodnikov, who failed to close the range on his naturally bigger opponent.

“We knew we had to outwork Provodnikov,” said the 33-year-old Covina, Calif., native. “It was a fight that we needed. Ruslan Provodnikov is a very notable name. He’s a tough, tough guy. He kept moving forward.

“People don’t realize I had my amateur career in the pros, and now it’s my time to step out and shine. I have a new trainer. Shadeed (Suluki) showed me how to throw punches and use my power.”

Molina vs. Provodnikov was scored 116-112, 117-111, 115-113.

“I think it (the scorecard) was self-explanatory. A fighter knows when they won a fight. I won that fight and it was going to be hard to take it away from me.”

The judges agreed on nine of the 12 rounds, a relatively high percentage according to SHOWTIME analyst Steve Farhood.

“Today the decision was the right one,” Provnikov said. “Molina won the fight – he was better tonight. Everything was scored the way it should have been.

“We expected that he was going to box, he was going to move. We expected him to do that. It wasn’t my night. Maybe I don’t have the same hungriness as before. I’m not going to make excuses, but it was hard for me to find my groove tonight.

“I don’t think it’s that (the layoff). There are no excuses. I lost the fight tonight. I couldn’t find the hungriness. I have to sit down and think of why that happened.

“I’m sorry if I disappointed.”

Undefeated former world champion Demetrius Andrade put on a masterful performance against top-10 ranked Willie Nelson, flooring the former world title challenger four times including once in the opening round and emphatically in the final round to close the show (TKO 12, 1:38).

With the win, Nelson, who landed a staggering 57 percent of his power punches in just his second fight in two years, moved one step closer to earning another shot at a title fight. Andrade, who never lost his belt in the ring, is now the second mandatory challenger for the WBC Super Welterweight World Title, currently held by Jermell Charlo.

“I’m coming to get those belts,” said the 28-year-old Andrade. “People can’t run no more. The best have to fight the best. I’m coming for them.

“I came back, I’m stronger. Me and my team worked hard. We figured out what we need to do to take it to the next level. I’m ready for the Charlo brothers. I want them.”

Andrade was on his way to pitching a shutout, delivering a statement performance after months of frustration from “boxing politics.” The former WBO 154-pound champion targeted the head and the body of Nelson, relying on a steady diet of combos to floor the 6-foot-3 Nelson in the first, 11th and twice in the 12th.

“I’m young enough and my reaction time is still going,” Andrade said. “Willie Nelson is a true champion. He pushed me to the limit where I had to figure out what punches to throw. But I put the pieces of the puzzle together and got the knockout, baby.

Nelson, of Cleveland, dropped to 25-3-1 with 15 KOs.

“He was tough,” Nelson said. “I was forcing my shots too much. I felt like I was getting back into the fight, but he was crafty and mobile.

“I am ready for whatever is next and, despite what happened tonight, I am here to stay. My career won’t end like this.”

In the opening bout of the SHOWTIME telecast, Zlaticanin blasted late-replacement Mamani with a third round TKO (:54) to win the vacant WBC Lightweight World Championship.

The 32-year-old Zlaticanin (18-0, 10 KOs) became the first native of the Southeastern European country of Montenegro to capture a world championship.

“I’m very proud. I made Montenegro proud,” Zlaticanin said. “I want to thank my fans that came to support me. I think I made my country proud. I think they will be delighted. I don’t think they know what this means, but in a few days they will know.”

The southpaw Zlaticanin pounced with a powerful straight left that had Mamani in trouble just seconds into the fight. The Bolivian, who was also aiming to become the first native of his homeland to win a title, survived the round but he was in trouble again in the third. Zlaticanin staggered with an overhand left and followed with a series of unanswered blows that forced referee Charlie Fitch to halt the contest with Mamani (21-3-1, 12 KOs) defenseless against the ropes.

“I knew that I would knock him out. He stood too close to me.

After the fight, Zlaticanin called out Jorge Linares, the WBC Lightweight “Champion in Recess”, who pulled out of a tentatively scheduled match with Zlaticanin due to an injury.

“I want Linares next. He can’t run from me anymore.

In undercard action on SHO EXTREME, Willie Monroe Jr. (20-2, 6 KOs) won a unanimous decision (96-92, 95-93, 99-89) over John Thompson (17-2, 6 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight matchup of former world title challengers. Monroe scored two knockdowns, one in the second and another with a straight right jab in the fifth.

In the opening bout on SHOWTIME BOXING on SHO EXTREME, Russian heavyweight Andrey Fedosov (29-3, 24 KOs) scored four knockdowns en route to a sixth round TKO (1:33) of Mario Heredia (11-2, 9 KOs, 1-2 in WSB).

Saturday’s event from Turning Stone Resort Casino was promoted by Banner Promotions and DiBella Entertainment.

Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader replays Monday, June 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME. The SHOWTIME BOXING on SHO EXTREME telecast replays Tuesday, June 14 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHO EXTREME.

Brian Custer hosted the SHOWTIME telecast, with Mauro Ranallo calling the action, Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein and former two-time world champion Paulie Malignaggi commentating and Jim Gray reporting. Barry Tompkins and Steve Farhood called. the SHOWTIME EXTREME action. In the Spanish simulcast, Alejandro Luna called the blow-by-blow and former world champion Raul Marquez served as color commentator. The executive producer of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING was David Dinkins Jr. with Bob Dunphy directing.

For more information visit www.SHO.com/Sports, follow on Twitter @SHOSports, or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports.

Visit Banner Promotions at www.banner-promotions.com, follow on Twitter at @BannerBoxing, follow on Instagram at @BannerBoxing, become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BannerPromotions, follow on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/banner-promotions-inc-?trk=biz-companies-cym, and watch on Youtube at www.youtube.com/user/bannervideo.

For Turning Stone Resort Casino: www.turningstone.com ; Twitter: @turningstone ; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TurningStoneResort/

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