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News: Ceylan, Otha Jones, Kem Ljungquist, Alejandro Jimenez

Split-T Management is proud to announce the signing of 21-time National Amateur Champion, Otha Jones III to a managerial contract.

The 18 year-old Toledo native was among the top talents in the United States, as he compiled a staggering 283-13 amateur record, highlighted by representing Team USA in several international tournaments including winning a Gold Medal at the International Youth Continental Americas Tournament and Silver Medal at the Emil Jechev Memorial Tournament as well as winning several national tournaments, such as the winning gold medals in United States National Championships (Twice) and the World Championship Qualifier.

Jones, who was also a four-time State Wrestling Champion, was influenced to sign with Split-T Management because of what the company has done for his gym mates.

"After seeing the hard work and dedication and excellence that Split-T Management has shown to my teammates Charles Conwell and Isaiah Steen, I definitely could not think of signing with anyone else," said Jones.  Split-T is definitely the best management team in boxing. I am honored to be a part of the team."

Jones' dad, also named Otha, shares the same sentiments as his son.

"Based upon the quality of boxers that Split-T Management has signed, and been successful at moving, it was just a natural progression that I would sign my son with them," said the elder Otha.

Split-T Management feels that Jones will captivate the boxing world because of his fan friendly style that is reminiscent of fellow Ohio native, Aaron Pryor, as he fights aggressively while throwing nonstop punches from all different angles with power.

Said Tim Van Newhouse of Split-T Management, "At a conventional or southpaw stance, Otha is a  relentless pressure fighter, who is composed beyond his years, with a dynamic blend of aggression, speed and power.

"Otha Jones is one of the most exciting fighters we have ever signed," Said Split-T Management CEO, David McWater. "l will never forget the first time that I saw him on tape, or the first time I saw him live. I knew right away this kid had everything. He' is exactly the kind of athlete I got into this business to represent."

There will be a major announcement Jones' future very soon.

kem-lungquist

Kem Ljungquist (6-0, 4 KOs) must face a new test as he returns to the ring on Saturday, January 19 at the Struer Energi Park on the undercard of Dina Thorslund’s WBO World Super Bantamweight title defence against Alesia Graf.
 
The Danish heavyweight hope will now meet undefeated Boldizsar Balazs Czagler (2-0, 2 KOs) following the withdrawal of his scheduled opponent Dominik Musil, who has been ruled out after breaking his nose in sparring.
 
“These things happen in boxing,” says Ljungquist. “I have no problem preparing for a new opponent. I’ll be ready. He is unbeaten now, but not after Saturday!”

The 28 year-old was last in action at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, where he recorded a second-round stoppage win over Egypt's Mourad Omar.

In preparation for his seventh professional bout, Ljungquist has been in Berlin sparring top German heavyweight Albon Pervizaj, who also fights in Struer.

“I had some really good sparring with Albon,” he says. "We did many rounds together, and his coach Ulli Wegner told me I was big a talent. He also pointed out some things I need to work on, but it would be strange if I was perfect at this stage of my career, and it's nice to get praise from such a big name.

"I've had great preparations for this fight in general, so I'm really looking forward to giving the fans in Struer a good performance on Saturday night!"

Dina Thorslund tops the bill in Struer, defending her WBO Female World Super Bantamweight title against Alesia Graf, while former European Champion Dennis Ceylan rematches Jesus Sanchez for the EU Featherweight crown.
 
Oliver Flodin faces Abdul Khattab in a Scandinavian middleweight thriller, heavyweight hope Kem Ljungquist takes on Dominik Musil, Lolenga Mock continues his World title chase against Mateo Damian Veron, Mikkel Nielsen meets Bulgaria's Angel Emilov, and Adam Bashanov faces Ivan Nikolov.
 
Tickets are available via www.ticketmaster.dk or by calling 70 15 65 65.

Dennis Ceylan (19-2-2, 8 KOs) says he will retire if he loses his rematch with Jesus Sanchez (9-1, 2 KOs) on Saturday, January 19 at the Struer Energi Park.

Ceylan will be looking to avenge his shock knockout loss to Sanchez at the same arena on March 10 as they contest the EU Featherweight crown on the undercard of Dina Thorslund's WBO World title defence against Alesia Graf.

“One thing is for certain, I will give my everything in the ring, and that should be enough for me to win on Saturday. Most fighters are in trouble when I’m boxing at my best," says the former European Champion from Aarhus.

“I’m expecting a tough fight. I know Jesus Sanchez will do everything possible to show it was not just a lucky punch last time, but if I don’t beat Sanchez, then I will lose heart and hope, and I might as well hang up my gloves.”

Despite offering this career ultimatum, Ceylan is confident of victory, even if this means going against his instincts, and knows he must beat Sanchez to get the big fight he craves, including a rematch with IBF Champion Josh Warrington.

"I will need to patient, at least that’s the tactics, but patience, to be honest, is not exactly my strong suit," he says. "I’m an eager beaver, and it can quickly become unbearable for me when nothing is happening in a fight, and I would rather give the fans some action for their money.

“However, the most important thing is that I get revenge against Sanchez so I can move forward with my career. I believe one hundred percent that I have a future, and that I'm not finished at all. I have my eyes on some of the big boys, such as Josh Warrington, who I would like to smash, but I have to earn it, and my dreams can only become a reality, if I get a victory on Saturday."

Dina Thorslund tops the bill in Struer, defending her WBO Female World Super Bantamweight title against Alesia Graf, while former European Champion Dennis Ceylan rematches Jesus Sanchez for the EU Featherweight crown.

Oliver Flodin faces Abdul Khattab in a Scandinavian middleweight thriller, heavyweight hope Kem Ljungquist takes on Dominik Musil, Lolenga Mock continues his World title chase against Mateo Damian Veron, Mikkel Nielsen meets Bulgaria's Angel Emilov, and Adam Bashanov faces Ivan Nikolov.

Professional boxer Alejandro Jimenez wants to show President Trump just how wrong he is when he says Mexico "is not sending its best" to the United States.

A resident of New Hope for the last 11 years, Jimenez has shown himself to be not only one of Mexico's best, but also one of America's best.  He came to the USA at the age of 15 and is happy about his decision as he prepares for his next fight, scheduled for six rounds against Edgar Joe Cortes, of Vineland, NJ, on Feb. 8 at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.

When he steps into the ring that night, Jimenez will be wearing trunks bearing the words of Founding Father Patrick Henry:  "Give me liberty, or give me death." For Jimenez, they are more than just words. He is an inspiration to immigrants throughout Pennsylvania.

While his American counterparts were learning to drive, playing Xbox and studying for exams, 15-year-old Jimenez was standing on the border between Mexico and Arizona, looking out at the expanse of desert ahead.  His chest tight, he was frightened and thirsty. He knew the long walk ahead, through the unforgiving terrain of the summer desert might be his demise, as it had been for so many of his countrymen who made the trek.  It’s a fear that still feels fresh for Jimenez, 11 years after he began his fateful journey.

“We walked for two days and one night,” Jimenez said.  “We had no water, and at one point we had to cross a river. I couldn’t see how deep it was, because the water was brown. I was afraid of being attacked by an animal, and dying in the desert.”

His brothers had sent for him, paying a smuggler, or “coyote,” as they’re called within the Mexican community, to bring him across the border.  The future fighter joined seven other migrants and, after several legs--some by foot, some by car, the last by air--joined his brother in New Hope, leaving his hometown of Oaxaca, his parents, and his four sisters in his rear-view, possibly forever.

Jimenez began working and immediately enrolled in South Hunterton High School in Lamberton, NJ.  At 16, he walked into the boxing gym adjacent to the restaurant where he was a cook, next door to the historic Bucks County Playhouse. He approached coach Mark Roxey, and asked him to be his full-time coach.

Roxey said no.

“It’s a lifetime investment, financially, physically, and emotionally," said Roxey.  "People ask me all the time and I say no.”

It took Jimenez one month to convince Roxey he was worth the investment.  At the time, the duo had no idea how intertwined their lives would become, and that the pair, once strangers, would one day be almost like father and son.

Roxey coached Jimenez through more than 60 amateur fights across Pennsylvania.  Because of his immigration status, Jimenez was unable to travel and advance in the tournaments that led to national titles.  Lucrative professional contracts were not an option. Instead, he worked as a sparring partner for several state amateur champions, handling himself well.  Outside of the gym, they became like family with Jimenez spending holidays with Roxey and Roxey's wife and three kids.

One year after Jimenez' arrival in New Hope, the Obama Administration launched the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, allowing those young adults who had migrated to the United States as children--as Jimenez had--to “come out of the shadows” and apply to stay in the country.  It’s an expensive, bureaucratic endeavor. In 2016, Roxey helped the young fighter complete the application and come out of the shadows in the country he’d grown to love as his own.

Jimenez was granted DACA status in November, 2016, but the volatility of the country’s immigration policy remained in the back of the minds of both boxer and trainer. “It’s scary to me,” said Jimenez.  “I don’t know what I’ll do if the Trump Administration ends DACA.”

Roxey sees a role for Americans in making sure that doesn’t happen:  “As an American and an advocate for “Dreamers” and human rights overall, I feel we have to stand up.  We have to stand up for the young people who came here as kids, without necessarily having a say in that decision.  They have a chance to become mayors, senators. Alex volunteers and helps out in his community. If the Dreamers can make positive contributions in their communities, if they can add value, they should be able to do so.”

More than just a boxer, Jimenez volunteers at  Roxey's non-profit professional ballet company, is active in his church, and serves as a big brother and mentor in the gym.

Jimenez made his professional boxing debut in March, 2018, winning by knockout in two rounds, and becoming the first professional boxer ever to fight out of New Hope.  As was the case in his amateur career, Jimenez has not had it easy as a pro. He won his next three fights by decision, but always in the other guy's hometown.

His toughest fight is Feb. 8 against Cortes who is 6-4 and has won his last three fights.

“He’s (Cortes) a southpaw and he’s strong,” Jimenez said, “but we’ll be prepared for whatever he brings.  We are going to prove that we belong where we’re going. I want to win a world title. To show other Dreamers, other immigrants, what they can achieve if they keep dreaming, and keep working hard.”

Jimenez says his ultimate goal is to be free; free to live in his adopted home, the United States, and free to visit his family in Oaxaca.  A dream he has emblazoned on his fight trunks: “Let freedom ring.”

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