TORONTO, ON—Just two weeks out from a classic Grey Cup matchup between the Toronto Argonauts and the Calgary Stampeders, Toronto will be looking to bring another pair of Canadian championships back home.
On December 8, Lee Baxter Promotions returns to Danforth Music Hall, as a pair of Canadian championship bouts headline “Civil War.”
In the main event, Toronto favorite Kane Heron, looks to capture the WBA-NABA welterweight title on home soil. After battling injuries early in his career, Heron has been one of the most active Canadian fighters over the past year and a half, scoring five wins in 2017 alone.
“Kane has worked tremendously hard this year—maybe harder than any other fighter in the country. He’s in the best shape of his career, the best mental state as well, and he’s ready to cap off the year in the best way possible,” said Baxter.
Heron will battled Quebec’s Dwayne Durel, whose lone loss came in controversial fashion at the hands of the tough Jose Guillermo Garcia. If not for the split decision going the other way, Durel would have an unblemished professional record to go along with his exceptional amateur career.
“This might as well be a battle of undefeated fighters. But more importantly, it’s Toronto vs. Montreal. Ontario vs. Quebec. There’s maybe no better rivalry in all of sports, or Canadian boxing, as fans in our country know,” said Baxter.
In the co-feature, Patrice Volny defends his WBA-NABA Canadian Middleweight title against the hard-hitting Janks Trotter. Volny has established himself as one of the best fighters in Canada, and one of the top prospects in the middleweight division on the world stage as well. Since signing with Baxter and making his fighting home in Toronto, the Quebec native has scored four consecutive knockouts and rocketed to the top of the Canadian rankings.
“Patrice is truly the total package,” said Baxter. “He’s a showman inside the ring, but not the kind that will put you to sleep over 12 rounds. He’s literally looking to put his opponent to sleep from the time the opening bell rings, and he wants to do it in style.”
In Trotter, he’ll encounter the toughest test of his career, one of the country’s most feared knockout punchers. The rugged Calgary native has fought on some of the biggest stages in boxing, including the Bell Centre in Montreal, and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Trotter has scored highlight reel knockouts over top Canadian prospects such as Phil Rose and Richard Reittie, and will look to do the very same to Volny in downtown Toronto.
Additionally, in a special attraction, one of Canada’s top amateurs of this most recent era, Mazlum Akdeniz will make his Ontario debut.
Akdeniz came to Canada at the age of five, and eventually found his way to a Montreal boxing gym as a 16-year old, looking to become like the world champions he saw on HBO and Showtime. It wouldn’t be long before he had amateur titles of his own, capturing the 2015 Ringside championships in the United States.
But it was in his final bout as an amateur that the boxing world realized how special he was. Akdeniz defeated Jorge Moiran Vinent, becoming the first Quebec-based boxer to defeat a Cuban fighter since the legendary Jean Pascal in 2005.
After starting his professional career with two knockouts in Quebec, the 20-year old has relocated to Toronto, where he is now signed with Lee Baxter Promotions.
Akdeniz has goals beyond the sport of boxing though, despite the fact that many project him to be a future world champion. Mainly, he wants to be a role model and a uniting force for the Kurdish community in Toronto, and in Canada at large.
“Kurdish people are not the richest or the biggest group of people but if we get a few names to become famous we can put ourselves on the map,” said Akdeniz, who donates proceeds from his fight purses to churches in Turkey, as well as anti-terrorism efforts.
Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster, and start at just $40.
Evander Holyfield's The Real Deal Boxing, the promotional entity under his Real Deal Sports and Entertainment, hosted a media workout this afternoon at Manfredo's Boxing Gym in Cranston, RI for fighters on this Friday night's 'Real Deal Championship Boxing V' card, telecast on CBS Sports Network (9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT) from The Strand Ballroom and Theatre in Providence, RI,
Tickets starting at $45 are Now On Sale and can be purchased through www.TheRealDealBoxing.com and www.thestrandri.com.
The Strand Ballroom and Theatre is located at 79 Washington Street, Providence, RI, 02903. Doors will open on the evening of the event at 6:00 p.m. ET with the first bell at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Evander Holyfield, Hall of Famer, Real Deal Boxing:"There's a lot of pressure fighting in a big fight for the first time at home. I remember my homecoming in Atlanta, back in 1985, and there were a lot of distractions. Everybody who knew my name showed up, most looking for free tickets. I was skeptical about ever fighting there again. Everybody's different, though."
"Toka may be our first world champion. He's a very disciplined person who has been through a lot. I come from the ghetto but, when I heard his story, wow, I couldn't believe his (life) was harder than mine."
Toka-Kahn-Clary: (Toka became a father for the first time on Nov. 11, when his wife, Devanni, delivered a 7-pound girl, Adaline) "Now, I'm fighting for my family, not just Toka anymore."
"I feel good. I had to have patience and faith in my craft to get here. If you keep working hard, doors will open, and when they do you have to jump right through. I want to win impressively, dominate the fight"
"I see a lot of top fighters in my weight class. I'm not going to name any until after this fight, but I have the talent to beat them."
"I want to be recognized after I stop fighting, like Evander, who everybody knows, likes and respects."
Peter Manfredo, Sr., Kahn-Clary's head trainer: "Toka is a top prospect who is becoming a contender. A lot of fighters don't even get to this point. This fight is a major opportunity to get him closer to where he wants to be, not just a world champion, but for his name to be remembered in boxing. He wants to be a legend. He has to remain focused because this is the first time he'll have a big crowd behind him."
Fabio Turchi (Italian Amateur Champion) "Everybody here has been great, very hospitable. It's such a great honor for me to fight in America with its great boxing tradition. I want to have a great fight to be embraced by Americans, especially here in Rhode Island. It's beautiful having so many Italians, that gives me and added push to win."
Nick DeLomba: "This opportunity means the world to me because I'll be showcasing my talents in front of my hometown fans. An impressive win will, hopefully, get me to the next level, in TV fights against bigger names."
Following a year of highly-competitive national events, US amateur boxers are set to compete in the 2017 USA Boxing Elite National Championship, December 5-9, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
With up to six spots in each division already secured, based on the results of the 2016 Elite National Championships, 2017 Elite Western Qualifier and 2017 Elite Eastern Qualifier, the remaining spots have been filled based on the wild-card application process to complete the field of elite boxers.
A total of 88 boxers applied for a wild card qualification with 35 allocations awarded to finalize the Elite National Championships brackets.
"With this being the first year of the new elite athlete selection process, we are excited to see the top talent in the country compete to represent Team USA in 2018," said Matt Johnson, USA Boxing High Performance Director. "We are looking forward to a high level of competition during these championships, and are confident that the increased competitiveness at the national stage will translate to further improvement of USA's performance internationally on the road to Tokyo in 2020."
Leading contenders include bantamweight Marc Castro (Fresno, Calif.), light welterweight Delante "Tiger" Johnson (Cleveland, OH), welterweight Quinton Randall (Katy, TX), bantamweight Duke Ragan (Cincinnati, OH), heavyweights Cam F. Awesome (Lenexa, KS) and Jared Anderson (Toledo, OH), middleweight Troy Isley (Alexandria, VA), light welterweight Freudis Rojas, Jr. (Las Vegas, NV), super heavyweights) Nkosi Solomon (Brooklyn, NY) and Richard Torrez (Tulare, CA.