DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – The best-kept secret in professional boxing today is arguably undefeated Cuban-born Alexei “Hurricane” Collado, who has won 15 of his 16 fights by knockout, and now ranked among the top 15 super bantamweights in the world.
A decorated amateur boxer who won a gold medal at the 2006 World Junior Championships, the 25-year-old had the misfortune of being in the same flyweight division as Cuban boxing legend Andry Laffita, who defeated a much younger and far less experienced Collado in the 2007 and 2008 Cuban National Senior Championships.
Collado defected from Cuba to Ireland in 2008. On September 13, 2008, he made his pro debut. along with fellow Cubans boxers Luis Garcia and Ismaikel Perez, knocking out Krastan Krastanov in the second-round in Cork, Ireland. Last November, Collado moved to Miami and signed an exclusive promotional contract with Acquinity Sports.
“I have a wife and newborn and wanted to move to Miami to be closer to my family and friends,” Collado said. “I’m also training and sparring there every day with great fighters like my Acquinity Sports stable-mates Claudio Marrero (14-0, 11 KOs, WBA-No. 2 featherweight), Felix Diaz (13-0 welterweight, 2008 Olympic gold medalist) and Hylon Williams (16-1 super featherweight). Things couldn’t have worked out better for me.”
Collado should switch his nickname from “Hurricane” to “Mexican-Cuban” because he’s changing the image of Cuban pro boxers. Established Cuban pros such as Guillermo Rigondeaux, Yuriorkis Gamboa or Erislandy Lara are not popular fighters in the U.S. because of their defensive styles. In many ways, Collado fights more like a Mexican than a typical Cuban fighter.
“Alexei has a killer instinct,” explained Collado’s promoter, Henry Rivalta, Acquinity Sports Vice President of Boxing Operations. “Alexei fights like a Mexican; he keeps coming forward, moving laterally but never backwards. His manager, Patrick Thomas, has been a friend and we’re grateful for him recommending that Alexei sign with us.”
“Acquinity Sports fighters really fight and Alexei embodies that spirit,” Acquinity Sports CEO Gary Jonas noted. “Our guys will fight any promoter’s fighter. They’re always in the gym training as a team, so they’re in top shape and ready to go. We fight, let’s go!”
Now rated No. 14 in the world by the World Boxing Association (WBA), as well as No. 15 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF), Collado is a risky opponent for any of the top super bantamweight contenders -- Fernando Montiel, Leo Santa Cruz, Scott Quigg and Carl Frampton – he needs to defeat to position him for a world title shot.
“The top two promoters control the majority of television dates,” Rivalta added. “We are doing our own thing. Why should we have to go through the gatekeepers, pay tolls all the time, just to get a fair shake? The only way for our fighters to get a world title shot is to become the mandatory challenger. We did that with Argenis Mendez, our first world champion (IBF super featherweight). Our time will come and, hopefully, the networks will notice our quality product. We have a lot of great prospects like Alexei, who is very marketable.
“My partner, Gary Jonas, always says we owe boxing fans the best fights for them to watch. We want to give fans what they want and deserve, fights like Arturo Gatti vs. Micky Ward (a trainer for Acquinity Sports), or ferocious fighters like Mike Tyson, who is my all-time favorite. Our goal is to bring quality, evenly-matched fights back to boxing fans. We will have a few major announcements coming very soon about that subject.”
Go online to www.AcquinitySports.com for additional information about Collado or any of his Acquinity Sports stable-mates. Follow Acquinity Sports on Twitter @AcquinitySports, or friend us at Facebook.com/AcquinitySports.
Barthelemy One Win Away from Lifelong Dream
Cuba's IBF #2-rated Rances "Kid Blast" Barthelemy (18-0, 11 KO) is well aware of what's at stake tomorrow night when he faces Thailand's IBF #5-rated Fahsai "Mountain Boy" Sakkreerin (39-3-1, 21 KO) in the 12-round super featherweight main event on ESPN Friday Night Fights, tomorrow night (Friday, June 21) at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The winner will win the right to face Dominican champion Argenis Mendez in a mandatory title defense in their next fight.
"This is what I've waited for," said Barthelemy through a translator. "I know what I have to do to go for my dream of a world title. Since I started boxing I have been working hard every day for the chance that only man stands in the way of now."
Barthelemy says the fact that Sakkreerin is the only obstacle left in the way of fighting for a world championship doesn't bode well for the Thai boxer.
"He has to go. I know he works hard too and I know he has come a long way to follow his dreams, but it will never happen. I will be fighting for my homeland of Cuba and for my family and for the dream I've had since a young boy. No one can beat me tomorrow night."
Barthelemy vs. Sakkreerin will be held on Friday, June 21, at the Minneapolis Convention Center and televised live on ESPN Friday Night Fights. It will be presented by Seconds Out Promotions and Warriors Boxing. Rances Barthelemy is co-promoted by Warriors Boxing and Bad Dog Productions.
Tickets to Friday Night Fights at the Convention Center start at $35 and can be purchased through www.sofights.com .
In addition to the 12-round Barthelemy vs. Sakkreerin main event, seven more fights are scheduled including the 10-round televised middleweight co-main event between local hero "Golden" Caleb Truax (21-1-1, 12 KO) of Osseo, Minnesota, and Chicago's Don "Da Bomb" George (24-3-2, 21 KO).
An eight-round crosstown battle will highlight the night's undercard, as St Paul's Jeremy "Lights Out" McLaurin (10-5, 5 KOs) will face St Paul's Tony "2Sharp" Lee (7-1, 3 KOs) for the vacant Minnesota State Lightweight Championship.
Local bragging rights will be on the line for these two local scrappers, so expect fireworks. McLaurin has been in with the better opposition in his career, while Lee has fewer losses.
Also scheduled is an eight-round junior middleweight scrap between "Sir" Charles Meier (7-2, 3 KOs) of Coon Rapids, MN and Tyler Hultin (5-1-2, 3 KOs) of Fergus Falls, MN and a four-round junior middleweight contest between Gavin Quinn (1-0) of Circle Pines, MN and Kenneth Glenn (2-0, 1 KOs) of Minneapolis
Several fighters will make their professional boxing debuts that night, including a four-round junior middleweight match-up of pro debuters between LeWayne Hardiman of Las Vegas and Dustin Petron of Rosemount, MN; a four-round heavyweight bout featuring the pro debut of Pat Quinn from St Paul, MN against John Schimon (0-1) of Minneapolis; and a four-round lightweight tilt between Milwaukee's pro debuting Adrian Martinez and Kurtis Erhorn (0-1) of Grand Rapids, MN.
HARTFORD -- Australian boxer-puncher Billy "The Kid" Dib (35-2, 21 KOs) returns to the United States on a mission to recapture his world title belt. The former International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight champion takes on local favorite "Machine Gun" Mike Oliver (25-3, 8 KOs), in the 10-round co-feature on the July 5thESPN Friday Night Fightsshow, airing live from the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford .
"50 Cent's Birthday Bash," the first solo venture by rapper/promoter 50 Cent's (Curtis Jackson) SMS Promotions, is headlined on ESPN Friday Night Fights by a potentially explosive 10-round war showcasing undefeated North American Boxing Organization (NABO) and North American Boxing Association (NABA) light heavyweight champion Eleider "Storm" Alvarez (12-0, 8 KOs) against former world super middleweight title challenger Allan "Ghost Dog" Green (32-4, 22 KOs). Alvarez-Green is being presented in association with Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM).
Dib is coming off an exciting slugfest that headlined the March 1st ESPN Friday Night Fights, in which he lost a 12-round split decision (114-112, 112-114, 112-114) and his IBF belt to undefeated Russian challenger Evgeny Gradovich (18-0). IBF No. 4-rated Dib, ironically, gained more respect among American fans from his loss to Gradovich than he had in his 35 victories.
"I fought the wrong fight and paid the ultimate penalty," Dib spoke about fighting Gradovich's fight instead of following his game plan. "It was really hard for me to lose my IBF belt, which meant so much to me, but the great news is I know I can win it back. I have to give Gradovich credit for his performance but it'll be a different outcome in a rematch. I will make a statement in this fight to let world featherweight champions know that Billy Dib is still here."
Oliver, a former International Boxing Organization (IBO) and United States Boxing Association (USBA) super bantamweight champion, handed 18-0 Gary Stark, Jr. his first professional loss in 2007 by 12-round decision. The 33-year-old Oliver's other notable victims include Adam Carrera, Al Seeger and Mauricio Pastrana.
"I know he (Oliver) was a great amateur champion who will enjoy fighting in front of his hometown fans," Ring Magazine No. 7-rated Dib remarked. "He's a crafty southpaw. People are going to see a rejuvenated Billy Dib, an aggressive fighter who is coming to fight Oliver. I was shown a lot of love and respect after my last fight in America and I will return that love with a devastating performance and knockout victory."
Dib is promoted by 50 Cent, who has opened up many doors for the Australian boxer. "It has been amazing to work with 50," Dib explained. "My manager and brother, Emaid Dib, deals with him on a regular basis. He says 50 really gets involved and is hands-on with the promoting side of boxing. He's a great person with a great heart, who has great energy for boxing and actually loves the sport. He has built a great team around him at SMS Promotions. My twitter account (@BillyDib) went crazy when 50 sent out a couple of tweets to follow me. The social media side of things has been huge and my crossover fans have really increased. I guess that's the power he brings that other promoters probably can't. I want to thank all my fans for their loyalty and support."
Undefeated lightweight prospect Mark "Too Sharp" Davis (16-0, 5 KOs), who captured gold medals at the 2005 and 2006 U.S. National Championships, meets Danish-import Robert "Super" Osobe (14-5-4, 6 KOs), fighting out of Las Vegas, in an eight-round bound.
In a six-round bout, unbeaten Puerto Rican welterweight Javier "El Chino" Flores (9-0, 8 KOs), fighting out of Hartford, faces Rogelio De la Torre (10-3, 6 KOs), of Houston.
Also fighting on the undercard in four rounds bouts is hot prospect Arizona light welterweight Luis Olivares (4-0, 3 KOs) vs. undefeated Puerto Rican Jonathan Perez (4-0, 2 KOs), along with Cincinnati native Donte Strayhorn (1-1) vs. Hartford's Oscar Diaz (0-1), 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. Saul Almeida (0-1), of Woburn (MA), and pro-debuting light middleweights David Wilson, of New Haven, vs. Woburn's (MA) Rodrigo Almeida.
Davis, Olivares, and Strayhorn are also promoted by 50 Cent. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
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.