HARTFORD -- Famed rapper and new boxing promoter, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, held a press conference today in Hartford to announce that his company, SMS Promotions, will present the "50 Cent's Birthday Bash" professional boxing event, July 5 live on ESPN Friday Night Fights, at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.
Headlining the stacked ESPN Friday Night Fights show, the first solo promotion by SMS Promotions, is an exciting 10-round clash between undefeated North American Boxing Organization (NABO) and North American Boxing Association (NABA) light heavyweight champion Eleider "Storm" Alvarez (12-0, 8 KOs) and former world super middleweight title challenger Allan "Ghost Dog" Green (32-4, 22 KOs).
The fast-rising, explosive Alvarez (12-0-0, 8 KOs), a 2008 Colombian Olympian who lives in Montreal, is on his way to positioning himself for a world title shot. Already ranked No. 4 by the World Boxing Association (WBA) and No. 7 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), he is stepping up in class to face Green (32-4-0, 22 KOs), fighting out of Tulsa (OK), who fought in the Super Six tournament.
The 10-round ESPN co-feature showcases former International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight champion Billy "The Kid" Dib (35-2, 21 KOs) in a 10-round bout against Hartford favorite "Machine Gun" Mike Oliver (25-3, 8 KOs). A native of Australia, Dib is coming off a highly-competitive, fan-friendly fight on March 1, also shown on ESPN Friday Night Fights, in which he lost a 12-round split decision and his IBF belt to undefeated Russian Evgeny Gradovich (18-0).
Dib is the No. 4-rated featherweight in the world by the IBF, as well as ranked No. 7 by The Ring Magazine, and No. 15 by the WBO. Oliver is a former International Boxing Organization (IBO) and United States Boxing Association (USBA) super bantamweight champion.
Unbeaten lightweight prospect Mark "Too Sharp" Davis (16-0, 5 KOs) meets Danish Robert "Super" Osobe (14-5-4, 6 KOs), fighting out of Las Vegas, in an eight-round bound. The 26-year-old Davis, of Baton Rouge (LA), has been inactive since November 12, 2011, when he won a 10-round unanimous decision over Guillermo Sanchez. Davis was a highly-decorated amateur who captured gold medals at the 2005 and 2006 U.S. National Championships.
Undefeated Puerto Rican welterweight Javier "El Chino" Flores (9-0, 8 KOs), fighting out of Hartford, takes on Rogelio De la Torre (10-3, 6 KOs), of Houston, in a six-round bout.
Also fighting on the undercard in four rounds bouts are hot prospects such as Arizona light welterweight Luis Olivares (3-0, 2 KOs) vs. undefeated Puerto Rican Jonathan Perez (4-0, 2 KOs), and Cincinnati native Donte Strayhorn, a talented light welterweight now based out of Las Vegas vs. Hartford's Oscar Diaz (0-1), as well as New Haven featherweight Nate Green (3-0, 1 KO) vs. Micah Branch (1-6-1), of Cincinnati, New Haven (CT) super bantamweight Jimmy Williams vs. TBA, plus pro-debuting light middleweights David Wilson, of New Haven, and Woburn's (MA) Rodrigo Almeida.
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Dib, Davis, Olivares, and Strayhorn are promoted by 50 Cent.
Tickets are priced at $150.00, $100.00, $60.00 and $35.00 (SOLD OUT) and available to purchase at Connecticut Convention Center (860-728-2625) or by calling Mike Criscio (203-627-7472). There is a 10-percent surcharge on all sold tickets. A $150.00 ticket entitles the bearer to free admission to 50 Cent's post-fight party at the Connecticut Convention Center. Admission to the post fight party is $30.00 per person at the door for those without a fight ticket, or $20.00 for all tickets excluding $150.00.
Doors open at 6 p.m. ET with the first fight scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET.
Press Conference Quotes
50 Cent: "I'm excited because this is the first show put together by SMS Promotions. It's been a learning experience. We've been part of shows but never did the promotional job. I'm not far from home in Farmington. We've put together a real event with some of the best fighters in the world, good prospects and some local fighters. We're creating a platform for fighters to progress and I want to be part of it. Overall, it's a great opportunity to do things a little differently. I've associated myself with some big name fighters.
"The Hartford area has a long boxing history with Hall of Famer Willie Pep and other world champions and top contenders like Battling Battalino, Marlon Starling (in attendance), Kid Kaplan, Tyrone Booze and 'Iceman' John Scully.
"I'd like to thank ESPN for this opportunity, the Connecticut Convention Center and the Connecticut Boxing Commission for participating on a holiday weekend."
Mike Oliver: "I want to thank 50 for having me on his card. I haven't fought in over a year but I'm back. My last fight was against Juanma (Juan Manuel Lopez) but that was in Puerto Rico and this fight is in my hometown, Hartford. I know you don't believe me 50 but I'm going to beat your guy. He better bring his A game. I'm back! This is going to be a good fight."
Javier Flores: "I want to thank everybody for coming out and the company for giving me an opportunity to fight July 5. I want thank 50 Cent. It's a pleasure working for him. I've been training hard for this fight because I believe it will open many doors for me. July 5th you will see the best of me."
Jimmy Williams: "I want to thank 50 Cent for putting me on my second TV card for 50. I'm so excited I want to fight right now. My mom told me when I was eight that I was going to be a boxer. I wanted to play football but I'm living the dream. I can beat somebody without going to jail. I've looked up to 50 and I'm motivated. July 5th I'm coming to fight."
Nate Green: "I want to thank my manager, Marilyn Rosa, and my trainer, Luis Rosa. It's going to be a good day July 5th. Want to know why? I'm on it."
Oscar Diaz: "I lost in Rhode Island but this won't be the same. I'm a fighter. I want to thank 50. I love Hartford."
David Wilson: "I want to thank 50 for putting me on this show. I'm training to win and that's all I'll accept."