ATLANTIC CITY - Russian light heavyweight prospect Ilshat "The Sheriff" Khusnulgatin, 10-0, 6 KOs, is set to take his next step up the 175-pound ladder when he takes on Larry Pryor, 7-7, 4 KOs, of Frederick, MD, at Resorts International Hotel and Casino on Friday, January 24th in Atlantic City. "The Sheriff" a rangy, six-foot, three and a half-inch, boxer-puncher will make his first start under the Main Events banner as part of a growing light heavyweight stable that includes fellow Russian and WBO World Champion Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev.
"The Sheriff" is a product of the legendary Samara Boxing Club in his hometown of Samara, Russia. Beginning in 2011, this exciting battler had his first eight bouts in Russia, before making his US debut with two knockouts in California last year. The Friday, January 24th fight will be the first for Khusnulgatin on the East Coast.
Against Pryor, "The Sheriff" will face a man who won't be intimidated by his sterling record. Pryor's last three bouts were against undefeated prospects. In his most recent outing, Pryor defeated Mark Tucker, then 15-0, 7 KOs, by unanimous decision in eight rounds.
Both fighters realize that an impressive win on the 24th could have the potential to open doors in talent-rich light heavyweight division.
Egis Klimas, Kovalev's manager, said, "The light heavyweight division is one of boxing's most competitive. I believe Ilshat will be able to continue his winning streak in Atlantic City and shake things up on January 24th. If he can make a good impression and win convincingly it can put him on track for a TV date of his own in the future."
When asked about the upcoming fight Khusnulgatin said, "I am looking forward to this fight. Preparation is going well, thank God! Earlier in my career I never had the opportunity to participate in such a great night of boxing. When I am in the ring I do everything in my power to give my fans a great show and have a victory. I think everyone will appreciate this on the 24th. I will be very happy to fight on NBC (Sports Network)."
"The Sheriff's" eight-round bout will be part of the off-TV live undercard on a nationally televised double header that features knockout artist Curtis "Showtime" Stevens, 25-4, 18 KOs, against pressure-puncher Patrick "The Machine" Majewski, 21-2, 12 KOs, in a ten-round middleweight fight, and Thabiso Mchunu, 13-1, 9 KOs, versus Olanrewaju Durodola, 15-1, 14 KOs, in a ten-round cruiserweight contest for the NABF title. These two main bouts will be broadcast on Friday, January 24th's NBC Sports Network's Fight Night.
Tacoma, WA – Less than a year after making his comeback to boxing, Zahir Raheem (34-4-0, 21 KOs) will make his return to National TV this Friday when he takes on Bayan Jargal (17-4-3, 11 KOs) in the co-televised feature of Battle at the Boat 94 presented by ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, WA. Headlining the six bout card will be Juan Antonio Rodriguez (25-4-0, 23 KOs) taking on Dominican fighter, Yenifel Vicente (25-1-2, 17 KOs), in an eight round super featherweight bout.
A limited amount of tickets are still available for Battle at the Boat 94, scheduled for Friday, January 10th, and can be purchased at the Emerald Queen Casino box office and online through Ticketmaster. Prices start at $35. Fans are encouraged to arrive at the showroom early as the televised features will start at 6 PM. Doors open at 5 PM.
Since making his first appearance with Halquist Productions last March, Raheem has rolled through the opponents put in front of him going 3-0 with three knockouts; none of them lasting longer than four rounds. On Friday, Raheem will attempt to preserve the momentum in his scheduled ten round bout with Jargal, who most recently was setback on a Friday Night Fights card against Chris Howard. Training out of his “King Raheem’s Boxing and Cross Training Gym” in his current hometown of Stone Mountain, Georgia, Raheem is ready to prove that he belongs among the elite in boxing’s super lightweight division.
“We’re really excited to feature Zahir back on a national stage,” said promoter, Brian Halquist. “When he steps into the ring Friday night, he’ll let his gloves do all the talking.”
Since joining the Halquist Productions team a year ago, Raheem has seen his stock rise to be currently ranked #3 in the NABA, #4 in the NABO, and #7 in the USBA. A solid victory in front of a live national audience this Friday could set up a very appealing 2014 for the Philadelphia native whose fans all around the world believe he has what it takes to become a world champion.
The main event of the night figures to be a crowd pleaser with the hard hitting Juan Antonio Rodriguez matched up with the very aggressive Yenifel Vicente who replaced Arash Usmanee earlier this week after Usmanee sustained an ankle injury while sparring over the weekend. Rodriguez had a very successful 2013 going 3-0 with three knockouts while Vicente also went undefeated in 2013 with two early stoppage victories while winning the WBC FECARBOX super bantamweight title in June against Jorge Diaz.
A press conference open to the media will take place on Thursday at 5 PM prior to the fighter weigh ins at the Emerald Queen Hotel and Casino in Fife.
WASHINGTON, D.C., - Highly regarded undefeated welterweight prospect Dusty Hernandez-Harrison (19-0, 11KOs), from Southeast Washington, D.C., will be making his 2014 and National TV debut when he faces "Terrible" Tim Witherspoon Jr. (10-3-1, 2KOs) in an eight-round bout on Jan. 31 live on ESPN 2 Friday Night Fights from West Orange, N.J.
Hernandez-Harrison, 19, is coming off a stellar 2013 campaign that saw him go 8-0, with four knockouts, and win the WBC Youth Welterweight Championship in just his second full year as a pro. Besides winning his first World Title at Madison Square Garden and selling out the University of the District of Columbia in his 2013 hometown debut, Hernandez-Harrison was named one of the "Top Prospects to Watch in 2014" by Dan Rafael of ESPN, among numerous other accolades and honors.
Hernandez-Harrison also was named the "2013 Prospect of the Year" by Boxing Along the Beltway, BoxingPulse.com, RoundByRoundBoxing.com, and StandingEightCount.com; additionally,he won the fan voting for the Go Fight Live, GFL.tv, “2013 Fighter of the Year” and the “Knockout of the Year” (for his fifth-round KO of Eddie Soto).
"The recognition from the different writers and the fans are wonderful, and I truly appreciate it," Hernandez-Harrison said. "But I know that I need to continue my hard work in the gym, watching film and otherwise doing everything I can to continue developing as a professional. Nobody can rest on their accolades as a professional athlete, and I am focused on improving in every facet of my game.”
Former two-time heavyweight champion Tim Witherspoon Sr. certainly understands what a win over a fighter of Hernandez-Harrison's notoriety will do for his son's career.
"We are looking forward to this fight with Dusty," Witherspoon Sr. said. "It's long overdue for my son to have an opportunity like this and a win over a fighter like Dusty on ESPN is the first step on the road to a championship."
"We respect Dusty, but it is Tim Jr.'s time," said Steve Witherspoon, the fighter's uncle and co-trainer. "He's going to knock Dusty out; The Witherspoons are coming, and we are wreaking havoc!"
Hernandez-Harrison's father and trainer, Buddy Harrison, believes 2014 will be a crucial year in his son's in-ring development.
"From this fight forward everyone will be gunning for Dusty," Harrison said. "During our year end recap Jeff (Fried) told us that every fight will be tougher than the last and we are preparing accordingly. Dusty is training like this is a world title fight and it will show on January 31st."
And Hernandez-Harrison recognizes that Witherspoon is a worthy challenge.
"Not only is he the son of a former heavyweight champion; he's from Philly so I know he's going to be tough," Hernandez-Harrison said. "He's slick, skillful and has tremendous experience in his corner, so we know what we have to do, and it starts and ends with my hard work in the gym."
Hernandez-Harrison has a close-knit professional team that includes Buddy and their promoter, Jeff Fried of All-In Entertainment. Fried believes January 31, is a continuation of their diverse plan for Dusty to develop as an elite level boxer.
"Exposure for a young athlete, including outside of their comfort zone, is invaluable as he gains the experience necessary to reach his goals. Whether we have Dusty as the main event in our hometown (Washington, D.C.) or the first bout in a city where he is not yet fully known, it is all part of the growth process," added Fried. "Dusty's uncanny grounded self-accountability and training work ethic will serve him very well throughout this journey."
The scheduled eight-round Hernandez-Harrison vs. Witherspoon, Jr. bout is part of the “Super Brawl” card presented by GH3 Promotions in association with DiBella Entertainment at the Richard J. Cody Arena in West Orange, NJ. For Tickets priced at $150 VIP Ringside, $100 Ringside, $75 Floor Seating and $40 General Admission please call 888-612-4191 or visit GCPBoxing.com.Tags: Dusty Harrison , Zahir Raheem , Ilshat Khusnulgatin