News: Murray vs. Martinez; Bonanni; Cruz-Martinez

MIAMI – The Miami Mecca of boxing, The Miami Jai-Alai, now named Casino Miami Jai-Alai, will host a boxing card on April 6th that will remind the fight game faithful of the bouts of yesteryear at this City of Miami landmark.

Longtime trainer and matchmaker Al Bonanni resurrects Tiburon promotions alongside his daughter Kristina starting with a 7-fight card that will feature a 10 round cruiserweight main-event between the “Haitian Hitman” Azea Augustama (13-1, 8 KO) and rugged veteran Paul Jennette, a 16 fight veteran with an excellent chin, and lots of heart.

After being fired in December by Don King Productions, Bonanni, who is celebrating his 35th year in boxing, assessed the situation and decided he wanted to take South Florida boxing back to its roots, and at the venue where many champions have graced the squared circle.  Some of them include: Wilfredo Benitez, Wilfredo Gomez, Aaron Pryor, Alexis Arguello, Jeff Chandler, Alfredo Escalera, Sugar Baby Rojas, Miguel “Happy” Lora, Freddie Pendleton, Randall Bailey, Frankie Randall and Antonio Tarver.

Bonanni plans on continuing the tradition in a place he holds near and dear to his heart.

“I was down, but I wasn’t counted out,” Bonanni said.  “I’m doing what I always wanted to do, and that’s bring boxing back to my old ‘barrio’ and under the Tiburon banner.  The Jai-Alai is a place where hungry fighters would leave everything inside the ring in some blood and guts battles.  We would see champions of tomorrow, and that’s what we will see on these cards—young fighters on their way to the top of the sport.”

Aside from the main event, there will be six other bouts highlighted by “The Jewish Dragon” Hunter Levy Sundberg, who is trained by Stacy McKinley, in a four round junior welterweight attraction against Jose Rivera of Puerto Rico.

A date and time for the press conference will be announced soon.

Ticket prices: $17.50 general admission, $35 ringside, and $75 VIP Ringside.

To purchase tickets call the Casino Miami Jai-Alai at 305-633-6400


MARTIN MURRAY will be coolness personified when he enters the ring against Sergio Martinez next month.

The St Helens star flies out to Argentina to face the world's number one middleweight in front of more than 50,000 passionate fans.

But Murray's manager Neil Marsh says it'll be little more than business as usual for his charge.

"Martin is a model professional so he's treating this fight the same as any other," Marsh said.

"Martin knows he's one of the best middleweights in the world and he'll make sure he prepares correctly so to him it's just about going there and doing his job.

"As a manager I'm lucky to have Martin because he's never refused a fight and he's ready for anyone anywhere. Is he daunted? No way whatsoever."

Despite this, a victory for Murray is likely to be seen as a remarkable feat, with some already comparing the magnitude of it to Lloyd Honeyghan's surprise win over Donald Curry in 1986.

Martinez is widely regarded as being amongst the top three pound-for-pound fighters on the planet, so Murray could burst into superstardom if he succeeds on April 27.

Marsh, though, insists the Brit will keep his feet firmly on the ground.

He said: "Martin's not doing this for a champagne lifestyle, he's doing this for the good of his family.

"Winning will get him a pound-for-pound status but it won't change him. He might be able to buy a new house, he might upgrade his car but as for stardom, he'll stay well away from it.

"When he won Prizefighter that could have gone to his head, same when he won the British title and again when he won the WBA interim. He just keeps his head down and keeps a professional attitude."

The undercard next month will also see Hatton Promotions' British super-featherweight champion Gary Buckland moving up to world level against Fernando David Saucedo.

Mexico's Aalan Martinez (14-1-1, 10 KOs) is a days away from the biggest opportunity of his career and a chance to jump up dramatically in the ranks as he squares off with the WBO's #2 ranked featherweight in the world Orlando Cruz (19-2-1, 9 KOs). The 12 round contest is scheduled to be the main event of a Telemundo telecast, from the Civic Center in Kissimmee, Florida.

The undertone of this fight will be the WBO Latino featherweight title on the line as well as the Puerto Rico-Mexico rivalry, which is one of the richest rivalries in all of boxing.

However, the most compelling aspect to the fight has to be the fact that you have two fighters putting it all on the line against one another in order to further themselves in a division filled with potentially lucrative payoffs. For Martinez, he has the chance to earn a victory against a highly acclaimed fighter in Cruz, who was a former Olympian.

"I'm so excited; I just want the day to get here already. This is the part of the camp where you take things easy and it's all about the mental preparation. I've played this fight out in my head and considered so many different outcomes, but every single one of them ends with me victorious," Martinez said.

Martinez is very aware of what a win would mean for his career, but he feels that merely winning isn't enough and he is looking to make a statement.

"I'm focused on the task at hand, but my goal isn't just winning the fight. I've prepared my body to outperform myself on every level and this will be my chance to really gain the attention of the entire boxing community. I'll go out there and perform the way I know how; with just one impressive performance I can totally shakeup the landscape of the division," Martinez said.

Mario Yagobi of Boxing 360 is Martinez's promoter and he isn't underestimating the difficult task that awaits Martinez on Saturday night. However, he knows that a win would put his fighter's name in the mix with all the top talent of the featherweight division.

"This will be a coming out party of sorts for Aalan and we are all very proud of what he's been able to do in boxing so far, but I know that he won't be satisfied until he is triumphant on Saturday. This is a difficult challenge and usually the more difficult the challenge the greater the reward and a win over this kind of opponent could lead to some truly interesting fights," Yagobi said.

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