Claiming he is not "mentally ready" to fight, Cuban light heavyweight Yordanis Despaigne has withdrawn from his scheduled rematch against charismatic light heavyweight slugger Edison "Pantera" Miranda (35-6, 30 KOs), scheduled for this Friday in the Dallas Events Center at Texas Station.
Instead, Miranda will face South Africa’s WBC No. 6, WBA No. 13, and WBO No. 14-rated Isaac "Golden Boy" Chilemba (18-1-1, 9 KOs) in the 10-round main event of an ESPN Friday Night Fights.
Tickets for "Super Brawls" are priced at $25 and $50 and are available at the Texas Station rewards center or at Stationcasinos.com/concerts. A few VIP seats, available at a price of $100, can be purchased by phoning (954) 985-1155.
While the rematch promised to be an entertaining scrap, the addition of world-rated Chilemba to the card actually steps up the event’s significance on the world stage.
Tall and rangy with fast hands, 24-year-old Chilemba has held the IBO and African Boxing Union Super Middleweight and the WBC International, African Boxing Union and WBO Africa Light Heavyweight Titles. He made his Friday Night Fights debut last February at the Million Dollar Elm Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when he dealt then undefeated Russian Maxim Vlasov his first loss via unanimous 10-round decision.
Miranda was last seen scoring a spectacular knockout over then highly rated Kariz Kariuki in December.
"With Despaigne pulling out we lost what could have been a good fight, but Chilemba is actually a much tougher opponent for Edison," said promoter Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing. "Miranda was able to hit Despaigne fairly often, that’s not a guarantee with Chilemba. He’s very tricky and has a long reach. It’s going to be an intriguing fight."
In Friday’s eight-round co-main event, 21-year-old lightweight Hylon Williams Jr. (15-0, 3 KOs) of Las Vegas will face off against 25-year-old Cuban power-punching sensation Rances "Kid Blast" Barthelemy (14-0, 11 KOs) in a rare battle of up-and-coming undefeated prospects.
Both fighters were highly decorated amateurs and both have been pegged for future big deeds. Williams is highly skilled with blazing fast hands, while Barthelemy is building a reputation for his punching power.
The televised middle bout will feature yet another "someone’s 0 must go" battle of unbeaten prospects, as fast-rising heavyweight sensation Magomed Abdusalamov (12-0, 12 KOs) Moscow, Russia, will face Cuba’s Pedro Rodriguez (8-0, 6 KOs). The highly touted Abdusalamov is a former 2005 and 2006 Russian amateur champion at super heavyweight.
More exciting undercard bouts will be announced shortly.
A lawsuit filed by Caesars Ent. against the state’s top gambling regulator alleges he failed to disclose a potential conflict of interest in a timely manner. Caesars had been a partner of the Suffolk Downs horse track in a casino bid but withdrew after a background check.
New Jersey casino regulators have barred the world’s largest online poker website from Internet gambling in the state for two years. The state Division of Gaming Enforcement suspended the application of PokerStars, citing an unresolved federal indictment.
Atlantic City’s casino revenue increased by more than 27 percent in November compared to a year ago, and that’s only because Superstorm Sandy forced the casinos to close for nearly a week in November 2012.
Bob Christ’s Thursday NFL Football Breakdown | Spotting double digits the past three seasons has been a 50-50 proposition this season. But on the surface, if any team is a better choice than another it’s Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos,
Wide receivers are not typically expected to make heavy contributions in their first year. That’s why the performance of Chargers wideout Keenan Allen quickly catapulted the third-round draft pick to the top of the list of candidates for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
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