Leave a comment

Alex Hammerstone update on Wednesday’s MLW FUSION

What is the status of the reigning National Openweight Champion Alex Hammerstone?

Major League Wrestling today confirmed we’ll have a medical update on Hammerstone this Wednesday November 25 at 7pm ET on MLW’s flagship weekly series, FUSION, available on YouTube, Fubo Sports, Pluto TV. Learn more about where to watch.

Additionally, MLW can confirm Alex Hammerstone will speak exclusively with Rich Bocchini on MLW FUSION tomorrow night at 7pm ET.

While initial reports were promising, league officials can confirm the National Openweight Champion Alex Hammerstone was taken to the hospital late Wednesday night, following attack by CONTRA.

A source has confirmed Hammerstone’s injuries appear to be “significant.”

In addition to a medical update on Hammerstone, fans will see stage one of the opening round of the Opera Cup as New Japan sends Rocky Romero to take on “Filthy” Tom Lawlor while Richard Holliday competes against TJP. In other action, Calvin Tankman will make his highly anticipated MLW debut.

MLW invites you to join us as we celebrate the sport’s oldest tournament as it returns this Wednesday November 25 on MLW FUSION at 7pm ET on YouTube, Fubo Sports and Pluto TV. Fans can also watch nationwide on cable and dish via beIN SPORTS on Saturday nights at 10pm ET and on demand anytime, anywhere on DAZN.

For more information on MLW fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://mlw.com/

Leave a comment

St. John’s to Open Season with Saint Peter’s on Wednesday Night

Following the most unorthodox offseason imaginable, the 2020-21 St. John’s Men’s Basketball season is set to finally tip off on Wednesday night when the Red Storm welcomes Saint Peter’s to Carnesecca Arena.

Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. on FS2 and AM 970 The Answer. Pat O’Keefe and Tarik Turner will handle the broadcast duties on television while John Minko and Brian Mahoney will call the action live from Carnesecca Arena over the airwaves. Fans can also catch the Learfield-IMG College Red Storm Sports Network radio broadcast via TuneIn Radio and SiriusXM.

The game will serve as the opener of The Lapchick Tournament, which will be brought back to Queens following a 25-year hiatus. St. John’s hosted the tournament in honor the late great Joe Lapchick from 1975-1995 with the Red Storm turning in a 41-1 record all-time and winning 20 titles. After playing Saint Peter’s, the Red Storm will take on La Salle at 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day before the Explorers and the Peacocks square off on Friday at 4 p.m. inside Carnesecca Arena.

Entering year two of the Mike Anderson Era, the Red Storm will look to carry over March’s momentum to the new season. Before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the sporting world on March 12, the Red Storm had won three of its final four games, including a victory over Georgetown in the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament that featured a 23-0 run to end the evening. During the month of March, the Johnnies also boasted home triumphs over No. 10 Creighton and Marquette. When the BIG EAST Tournament was canceled at halftime of the Johnnies’ quarterfinal matchup with Creighton, St. John’s led the top-seeded Bluejays, 38-35.

Anchoring the Red Storm’s strong finish was Julian Champagnie, who earned a spot on the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team after averaging 9.9 points and a team-leading 6.5 rebounds during his debut campaign in Queens. On the year, Champagnie ranked in the top three among BIG EAST freshmen in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocks. Over his final 10 games, the Bishop Loughlin product poured in 13.6 points and pulled down 7.6 rebounds per game with a pair of 20-point performances. In the regular season finale against Marquette, the Brooklyn native finished with 21 points and a season-high 12 boards.

Another Kings County product, Rasheem Dunn, is the team’s leading returner scorer from 2019-20, having poured in 11.9 points per game in 29 appearances, 15 of which were starts. Dunn, a fifth-year senior, also led the Johnnies in assists per outing (3.4) and ranked eighth in the BIG EAST in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8-to-1).

Champagnie and Dunn lead a contingent of six returning Johnnies that averaged 14 or more minutes per game in 2019-20. Like Champagnie, Greg Williams Jr. also had a strong finish to his sophomore campaign, averaging 12.8 points on 48.9 percent shooting over his final five games. In the Red Storm’s upset win over No. 10 Creighton at Carnesecca Arena, Williams tallied 21 points on seven 3-pointers, tying a St. John’s single-game BIG EAST record in that category.

Williams headlines a talented junior class of returners that also features Marcellus Earlington, Josh Roberts and David Caraher. Earlington made the most of his time on the court a season ago, averaging 9.0 points despite playing just 18.2 minutes per game. Earlington, who ranked in the top 10 of the conference in offensive rebounding last season, provided the heroics in the Red Storm’s come-from-behind BIG EAST win against Georgetown, scoring 10 straight points on the 23-0 run that sank the Hoyas. Before being slowed by injury toward the end of the year, Roberts was a force inside, averaging nearly six boards per game ranking fourth in the BIG EAST with 1.5 blocks per outing. Caraher, a former Southland Conference Freshman of the Year at Houston Baptist, played the role of catalyst last season off the bench; during games Caraher scored eight or more points, the Johnnies went 8-0.

Eight players are set to make their St. John’s debut on Wednesday night, including a pair of former Junior College All-Americans in Vince Cole and Isaih Moore. Cole earned a spot on the NJCAA All-America First Team after averaging 21.4 points per game for USC Salkehatchie. The two-time Region X Player of the Year shot 51.8 percent from the field, 44.6 percent from three-point range and 90.1 percent from the free throw line. Moore, a Third Team All-American last season, led Pearl River Community College to a 28-0 record and the top seed in the NJCAA Tournament before the season was canceled in March. Moore averaged a near double-double, posting 15.9 points per game on 54.3 percent shooting to go along with 9.1 boards per outing.

Graduate transfer Arnaldo Toro comes to St. John’s after playing 99 games over four years at George Washington University. A bruising 6-foot-8 power forward with extensive international experience playing for his native Puerto Rico, Toro led the Colonials in rebounding last season with 7.0 boards per game, including an Atlantic 10 record 24 rebounds against American in November.

Freshmen Posh Alexander and Dylan Addae-Wusu will look to make an immediate impact for the Johnnies after starring together at Our Saviour Lutheran in the Bronx. A pair of ultra-athletic guards that love to push the pace, Alexander and Addae-Wusu each registered a game of 50-plus points last season at OSL and appear to be tailor-made for Anderson’s preferred style of basketball.

Two walk-ons from Long Island also joined the St. John’s roster in junior Jalen Rosemond and freshman Artemios Gavalas. Both enjoyed stellar high school careers, as Rosemond was a two-time all-conference selection at Sanford C. Calhoun while Gavalas was a two-year team captain for Southampton High School.

Saint Peter’s enters its third season under the direction of Head Coach Shaheen Holloway in 2020-21. Holloway, a former star player and assistant coach at Seton Hall, led the Peacocks to an 18-12 record a year ago, including a 14-6 mark in MAAC action that was good enough for second in the league behind Siena.

Last season, the Peacocks went deep into the rotation, as 14 players logged nine or more minutes per game. Junior forward KC Ndefo, a local product from Elmont and Abraham Lincoln High School, led the Peacocks in both scoring and rebounding in 2019-20, averaging 8.5 and 5.3, respectively. In total, Saint Peter’s returns three of its top four scorers from a year ago.

Wednesday will mark the second time in as many seasons that the Red Storm and the Peacocks will square off on the hardwood. Last December, St. John’s opened a huge lead on Saint Peter’s, moving ahead by as many as 25 with eight minutes to play before the Peacocks used a 19-2 to pull within six in the final minute of the game. Champagnie logged the first double-double of his St. John’s career in that contest, finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Last season marked the first meeting between the local programs since 1976 and just the second since 1951. Overall, St. John’s is 18-0 all-time against the Peacocks in a series that dates back to 1910. The Red Storm’s current 18-game winning streak is the longest against a single opponent in program history.

For more information on the St. John’s Athletics Department fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

St. John’s University Athletics – Official Athletics Website (redstormsports.com)

Leave a comment

40-0 Gilberto Ramirez returns to ring Dec. 18 vs. Alfonso Lopez on PPV

The long-awaited return of undefeated Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (40-0, 26 KOs) will be Friday night, December 18, when he challenges North American Boxing Federation (NABF) light heavyweight Alfonso “El Tigre” Lopez (32-3, 25 KOs), live on pay per view from Galveston Island Convention Center in Galveston, Texas.

“Battle of Rio Grande” will be available for live viewing on digital, cable and satellite, starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, on pay per view for a suggested retail price of only $24.99. FITE TV will stream worldwide on the FITE app and website (www.FITE.tv) and Integrated Sports Media will distribute throughout North America via DirecTV, iN Demand, Vubiquity, and DISH in the United States, as well as in Canada on Shaw and SaskTel.

The main event fighters, Ramirez and Lopez, are co-promoters of “Battle of Rio Grande” under their promotional company names, respectively, Zurdo Promotions and El Tigre Promotions.

The 29-year-old Ramirez, fighting out of Mazatlán, Mexico, became the first Mexican super middleweight champion of the world in 2016, when he defeated defending World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion Arthur Abraham (44-4) by way of a 12-round unanimous decision. Ramirez successfully defended his world title against 33-4-1 Maksym Bursak (DEC12), 22-0 Jesse Hart (WDEC12), 25-0-1 Habif Ahmed (TKO6), 23-0 Roamer Alexis Angulo (DEC12) and 25-1 Hart (DEC12) in a rematch.

Ramirez’ last fight, his first as a light heavyweight, was last April in Los Angeles, in which “Zurdo” stopped 29-6-1 Tommy Karpency in four rounds. Ramirez then became a promotional free agent.

Lopez will be fighting close to his home in Huntsville, Texas. “El Tigre” will be riding a 10-fight win streak into the ring for the Dec. 18th 12-round main event. He hasn’t fought in 13 months, registering a 10-round decision over 19-9-1 Denis Grachev in Lopez’ first defense of the NABF title he captured in his previous fight with a fourth-round stoppage of 21-3 Alex Theran.

“I’m looking forward to hosting my first fight and appreciate all the support and love I’ve received from everybody,” Ramirez said. I want to give special thanks to FITE.TV, El Tigre Promotions, Be Def Sports, and the state of Texas for being great partners in this event. I know it’s been a long road to return, but I feel great having full control of my career and being able to fight whenever, wherever, and however, I want. As always, I appreciate my trainers – Julian Chua, Joel Flores, and Chris Wong – keeping me in shape since my last fight and I feel better than ever to step back in the ring. I’ll see you guys December 18th in Texas!”

World-rated heavyweight Michael “The Bounty” Hunter, of Las Vegas, will take on battle-tested veteran Chauncy “Hillyard Hammer” Welliver (57-13-5, 23 KOs), the former World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental Americas champion.

Hunter is rated among the top 10 in all four major sanctioning bodies — #4 International Boxing Federation (IBF), #7 WBO, #10 WBC and World Boxing Association – in addition to being ranked # 8 by The Ring independent magazine.

Hunter’s last action was a 12-round split draw a year ago in Saudi Arabia with Alexander Povetkin (35-2), the former world heavyweight champion and 2004 Olympic gold medalist. A decorated U.S. amateur boxer, Hunter’s lone loss as a professional was a 12-round unanimous decision in 2017 to another Olympic gold medalist (2012), defending champion Oleksandr Usyk (11-0), for the WBO World cruiserweight title.

Additional fights will soon be announced.

Card subject to change.

INFORMATION:
Website: www.ZurdoPromotions.com

Leave a comment

Undefeated WBC Youth World lightweight champion Jamaine “The Technician” Ortiz Missing Thanksgiving to fight on Tyson-Jones, Jr. card in L.A.

Many if not most Americans will be enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving meal this Thursday, eating turkey, stuffing and pie, along with watching pro football all day and night. Not so, though, for undefeated lightweight prospect Jamaine “The Technician” Ortiz (13-0, 7 KOs), who will be flying from Boston to Los Angeles, to fight on Saturday night’s high-profile Mike TysonRoy Jones, Jr. show at Staples Center.

Ortiz, the reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) Youth World lightweight champion, will take on Ugandan southpaw Sulaiman Segawa (13-2-1, 4 KOs), fighting out of Maryland, in an 8-round match for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) USNBC (U.S) lightweight title.

The 24-year-old Ortiz will travel with his head coach, Rocky Gonzalez, and cut-man Kendrick Ball, who will fill in for “The Godfather of Worcester (MA), boxing,” Carlos Garcia. He will not travel cross-country during the COVID-19 pandemic because of his advanced age. A National Golden Gloves Hall of Fame trainer, Garcia was Ortiz’ first boxing coach as an amateur, and he has worked his fellow Worcester resident’s corner during Ortiz’ 4 ½-year professional career.

“Carlos will be with us in spirit,” Ortiz said. “We understand. Fighting is my career and part of that is missing out on Thanksgiving this year. I’ll be eating on the plane. This is more important, just business, part of my job. It is what it is. I’m a big family person and I see them on a regular basis, not just on holidays. I’ll get to eat my turkey when I return home.”

Ortiz like most boxers hasn’t been active due to the pandemic. His last fight was this past February at home in Worcester when he stopped Luis Ronaldo Castillo (22-5) in the second round.

Segawa’s last fight was an 8-round split draw with Zhora Hamazaryan (9-1-1) in January. In 2018, he lost decisions to Abraham Nova (12-0) for the vacant NABA super featherweight title and William Foster (7-0) for the vacant crown. Ortiz knows both of those fighters well having defeated Nova in the amateurs and New Haven’s Foster is a fellow New Englander.

“He’s a tough dude,” Ortiz spoke about Segawa. “His fight with Nova was close (96-94, 96-94, 97-93). He took both the distance; they couldn’t take him down. And he’s beaten some undefeated fighters (10-0 Godwin Rosa, 6-0 Brian Gallegos).

“He’s a good fighter who can win rounds. A slick fighter, but he can be a little wild, and that can be dangerous. It’s going to be challenging for me. I need to be smart, listen, and be tight. I can’t get caught when he throws wild punches.”

Although Segawa is a replacement and the opposite of his original opponent, Jamaine isn’t overly concerned that Segawa is a southpaw, even though he’s only fought one lefty as a pro (Victor Rosas in 2018), because to some extent he is ambidextrous.

“Luckily,” Ortiz concluded, “I had good sparring with a southpaw. I fight left-handed a lot myself. I shoot basketballs left-handed, bat left-handed in baseball, and arm wrestled with my left hand. A friend just sent me a picture from 2007 and I was in a southpaw stance.”

Ortiz is promoted by Jimmy Burchfield (Classic Entertainment and Sports) and advised by Richard Shappy and Eddie Imondi.

Leave a comment

The late Johnny Tapia remains strong influence for Albuquerque amateur boxer Sharahya-Taina Moreu

The late, great Hall of Fame boxer Johnny Tapia played a significant role in the development of Albuquerque welterweight Sharahya-Taina Moreu, and the 3-division world champion remains a strong influence in her life.

During the COVID-19 pandemic she has been preparing to compete in the 2020 USA Boxing National Championships, December 5-12, at Shreveport Convention Center in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Tapia helped Sharahya-Taina overcome the life-changing tragedy of her mother’s automobile accident. She was only eight at the time, laying on her mother after the accident, and the first out of the car and onto the highway asking for help.

“At first,” she spoke about her relationship with Tapia, “I was regretful and angry, getting into fights and on a bad path. I got into boxing at 12, took anger management, and became motivated.”

Tapia, who was a 2-time National Golden Gloves champion as an amateur, had a tremendous impact on Moreu’s life, something that will never leave her heart and soul.

“We became like family,” the 21-year-old explained. “At first, he (Johnny) didn’t like girls boxing, so he worked me really hard. I was a good basketball player and he kept telling me to go play basketball. But he became a big person in my life, I think, because I had lost my mother at such a young age. He helped me in and out of the ring in so many ways. Johnny Tapia was the nicest, most humble man I’ve ever met. We became family until the gym fell apart. He only coached me for about eight months, but he taught me that boxing defines you as a person. I feel safe in the ring. I’m a better person because of Johnny and boxing.”

Training with her father/coach Yoruba Moreu during the pandemic, although it was challenging to find good sparring, hasn’t been as much of a problem as for others because her gym is in the backyard. She hasn’t been in a fight since last December’s Olympic Trials.

“I’m excited to get back in the ring because I’ve gone too long without competition,” Moreu looked ahead to Shreveport. “It’s definitely going to be different, because there are a bunch of new faces coming for the number one spot, which makes it fun and worthy to fight.”

Proud to represent the United States in competition, Sharahya-Taina is proud of her Native American and Puerto Rican heritage, and she’s taken up the cause fighting for women.

“I love to embrace both sides of my culture,” she commented, “representing my Acoma side from my mother and Taino lineage from the Puerto Rican blood in me, and that’s why my name is Sharahya-Taina. Every day is a fight for women. I’m just making it known and clear that we are here to stay. I’m not just fighting for myself. I’m also fighting for my family, ancestors and the next generation of females who choose to pick up a pair of gloves. The goal is not to be just a champ in the ring, but on the outside, too.”

Moreu has been very successful in her development from youth to the elite division, winning the 2017 Youth National Championships and Western Regional Open, as well as the 2016 and 2017 Youth Open. She’s also been runner-up at the 2018 Elite National Championships and Western Elite Qualifier, plus the 2015 National Junior Olympics.

Sharahya-Taina Moreu is a young woman on a mission. She hopes to compete in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, particularly with her younger brother if they both qualified to be, as she says, “an iconic brother/sister duo in Olympic boxing.”

INFORMATION:
www.usaboxing.org

Leave a comment

Updated Schedule for Bluegrass Showcase

Gazelle Group today announced a schedule update to the Bluegrass Showcase. Games will be played at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky November 25 – November 29, 2020. The updated schedule is:

—– Wednesday, November 25 —–

Morehead State vs. Kentucky – 6:00 p.m. (ET) SEC Network

—– Friday, November 27 —–

Morehead State vs. Richmond – 9:00 p.m. (ET)

—– Sunday, November 29 —–

Richmond vs. Kentucky – 1:00 p.m. (ET) ESPN

Detroit Mercy’s previously scheduled games will be rescheduled at a later date.

The Bluegrass Showcase is produced by the Gazelle Group and the University of Kentucky. The event will follow all NCAA and conference health and safety protocols and will be a safe, controlled environment/bubble for its participants.

About the Gazelle Group
The Bluegrass Showcase is produced by the Gazelle Group of Princeton, N.J. The Gazelle Group is a sports marketing firm, specializing in event production and management, client representation, and sponsorship consulting. Gazelle produces numerous nationally-recognized events, such as the 2K Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project presented by Continental Tire, Roman Legends Classic presented by Old Trapper, the Gotham Classic, the Sunshine Slam, the College Basketball Invitational, and the inaugural Holiday Face-Off hockey tournament. For more information on the Gazelle Group, please visit gazellegroup.com.

Leave a comment

Updated Schedule for 2K Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project presented by Continental Tire

Gazelle Group today announced a schedule update to the 2K Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project presented by Continental Tire. Games will be played in “Bubbleville” November 25 – November 26, 2020 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The updated schedule is:

Semifinal Doubleheader
Mohegan Sun Arena – Uncasville, CT
November 25 – 7:00 p.m. (ET) ESPN
#18 Arizona State vs. Rhode Island
#3 Villanova vs. Boston College

Championship Doubleheader
Mohegan Sun Arena – Uncasville, CT
November 26 – 7:00 p.m. (ET) ESPN
Consolation Game
Championship Game

Bubbleville will house several events relocated and reimagined due to COVID-19 and provides a controlled environment with teams and event staff adhering to tribal, government, and NCAA health and safety protocols and testing requirements. At this time, all games are expected to be played without fans in attendance. The Bubbleville game schedule may continue to evolve due to COVID-related circumstances beyond control.

About the 2K Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project
First played in 1995, the 2K Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project is acclaimed as college basketball’s premier early-season tournament. Featuring teams from across the nation, the 2K Empire Classic annually attracts the top programs in the sport. Four teams from the most prestigious conferences in the country play the Championship Rounds at the World’s Most Famous Arena – New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

About 2K
Founded in 2005, 2K develops and publishes interactive entertainment globally for console systems, handheld gaming systems and personal computers, including smartphones and tablets, which are delivered through physical retail, digital download, online platforms and cloud streaming services. 2K publishes titles in today’s most popular gaming genres, including shooters, action, role-playing, strategy, sports, casual, and family entertainment. The 2K label has some of the most talented development studios in the world today, including Firaxis Games, Visual Concepts, Hangar 13, Cat Daddy Games and 2K China. 2K’s stable of high quality titles includes the critically acclaimed BioShock, Borderlands, and XCOM franchises, the beloved Sid Meier’s Civilization series, the innovative Evolve, the popular WWE 2K franchise and NBA 2K, the #1 rated and #1 selling basketball franchise. 2K is headquartered in Novato, California and is a wholly owned label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO). For more information, please visit www.2k.com.

About Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project (@wwp) is the beneficiary of the 2K Empire Classic. With the mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors, WWP is the hand extended to encourage warriors as they adjust to their new normal and achieve new triumphs. Offering a variety of programs and services, WWP is equipped to serve warriors with every type of injury – from the physical to the invisible wounds of war.

About the Gazelle Group
The 2K Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project is produced by the Gazelle Group of Princeton, N.J. The Gazelle Group is a sports marketing firm, specializing in event production and management, client representation, and sponsorship consulting. Gazelle produces numerous nationally-recognized events, such as the Roman Legends Classic presented by Old Trapper, the Gotham Classic, the Sunshine Slam, the Bluegrass Showcase, the Holiday Face-Off, and the College Basketball Invitational. For more information on the Gazelle Group, please visit gazellegroup.com.

About the Northeast Conference
The Northeast Conference (NEC) is the sponsoring conference of the 2K Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project. Entering its 40th season, the NEC is a NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 10 institutions of higher learning located throughout seven states. For more information on the NEC, visit the official website at www.northeastconference.org or follow on Twitter @NECsports.

About Mohegan Sun
Mohegan Sun Arena is now ranked consistently among the top venues in the world according to Billboard Magazine, Pollstar and Venues Today. It has won “Casino of The Year” at the Country Music Awards in 2008 & 2010 and in 2013, was voted “Arena Of The Year” at the G2E Global Gaming Conference in Las Vegas. Mohegan Sun Arena was also ranked among the top 10 arena venues in the nation for 2014, regardless of size. In 2015, Mohegan Sun took home the IEBA award for “Casino of the Year.” Mohegan Sun also won “Casino of the Year” in 2 categories at the 2013 & 2016 Academy of Country Music Awards. For more information on concerts and other great events, visit Mohegan Sun. For information on this week’s schedule, call the Entertainment and Special Events hotline at ‪1-888.226-7711, ext. 27163‬. Fans are also encouraged to click here to learn more Now Open! | Casino & Resort in CT | Mohegan Sun

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was born, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting, preserving and celebrating the game of basketball at every level – men and women, amateur and professional players, coaches and contributors, both domestically and internationally. The Hall of Fame museum is home to more than 400 inductees and over 40,000 square feet of basketball history. Nearly 200,000 people visit the Hall of Fame museum each year to learn about the game, experience the interactive exhibits and test their skills on the Jerry Colangelo “Court of Dreams.” Best known for its annual marquee Enshrinement Ceremony honoring the game’s elite, the Hall of Fame also operates over 70 high school and collegiate competitions annually throughout the country and abroad. For more information on the Basketball Hall of Fame organization, its museum and events, visit www.hoophall.com