Claiming he is not "mentally ready" to fight, Cuban light heavyweight Yordanis Despaigne has withdrawn from his scheduled rematch against charismatic light heavyweight slugger Edison "Pantera" Miranda (35-6, 30 KOs), scheduled for this Friday in the Dallas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.
In the NFL the NFC East figures to be the wildest crapshoot of all the divisions. This division used to be one of the sturdy kingpins of the NFL, with Philly, Washington, Dallas and the N.Y. Giants.
Bally Technologies Inc. (BYI) announced Monday it was partnering with Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut to install the world’s largest table game progress jackpots.
A building plan for a $925 million MGM casino and hotel near the nation’s capital has been approved by local officials in Maryland. A Prince George’s County panel meeting in Upper Marlboro voted 8-1 for the plan at National Harbor Monday.
The Iowa Supreme Court has potentially given the Argosy riverboat casino in Sioux City more time to stay open. The high court granted an emergency stay of a district court order requiring the casino to close July 22.
The managers of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas have announced plans to open one at Lake Tahoe this winter after a $60 million renovation of the former Horizon Casino Resort at Stateline.
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