“HOMETOWN HEROES” HITS RIO CASINO ON FRIDAY, APRIL 2ND
SHARIF BOGERE & LEO SANTA CRUZ IN HEADLINE BOUTS
SENSATIONAL UNDERCARD FEATURES PRO DEBUT OF BRADLEY BLANKENSHIP, LONNIE SMITH, EDDIE SALAS, TERENCE CRAWFORD, ROBERT RODRIGUEZ, FIDEL MALDANADO AND MICHAEL FINNEY
World class professional boxing hits the RIO CASINO in Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday, April 2nd as Guilty Boxing in association with TKO Boxing Promotions presents HOMETOWN HEROES featuring some of the finest prospects in the sport.
Advance tickets, priced at $100, $50 and $30, can be purchased through Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com., 1-800-745-3000) and the RIO CASINO box office (www.riolasvegas.com., 1-888-746-7784).
The RIO CASINO is located at 3700 W. Flamingo Road in Las Vegas. Doors on the night of the event will open at 6pm with the first bell scheduled for 6:30pm.
“This exciting boxing showdown will perfectly complement the nightlife and resort entertainment we offer at the Rio,” said Jeff Solomon, General Manager “Guests who regularly plan travel holidays during the Easter weekend will especially enjoy this addition to the city’s calendar of must-see weekend events.”
Headlining the HOMETOWN HEROES event is a sensational eight round lightweight matchup between Las Vegas native, Sharif “THE LION WARRIOR” Bogere and Puerto Rico’s Carlos “SPECIAL EDITION” Claudio.
The 21 year old Bogere, sporting an undefeated record of 14-0-0 (8KO’s), is amongst the most exciting prospects in boxing. From his colorful ring walk in full lion’s headdress to his electrifying fighting skills, Bogere is excitement personified for fight fans in Las Vegas.
Bogere fought nine times in 2009, winning five by knockout in the first two rounds. The former captain of the Ugandan National Boxing Team, Bogere stopped fellow prospect Jose Hernandez in the third round on February 26, 2010 in El Paso, Texas, his first bout of the new year.
Now based in Kissimmee, Florida, the 22 year old Claudio, 10-4-2 (3KO’s), is coming off his finest win of his four year professional career. On July 17, 2009, he won a ten round decision over undefeated Fernando Torres in Coamo, Puerto Rico, earning the WBA Fedecentro Lightweight Title. The southpaw is currently riding a three bout unbeaten streak.
The eight round co-main event will feature junior featherweight prospects as undefeated Leo “EL TEREMOTO” Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights, California battles Johnathan Arias of the Dominican Republic.
Also just 21 years old, Santa Cruz, 12-0-1 (4KO’s) has become among the finest prospects in boxing with his excellent boxing technique coupled with his ability to adapt to a multitude of his opponents styles leading to victory. This will be Santa Cruz’s first bout of 2010, his last two wins in 2009 coming by first and third round knockouts.
With a record of 9-6-0 (8KO’s), the heavy handed Arias will be making his debut in the United States. He is currently riding a five bout winning streak, all by early stoppage.
The undercard features the highly anticipated pro debut of UNLV standout Bradley Blankenship. The 20 year Blankenship is a former standout running back for Sierra Vista High School in Las Vegas.
After graduating high school in 2007, Blankenship enrolled at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas where he joined the boxing team and quickly lost forty pounds of his ready made football build of 5’11”, 200 pounds. In 2009, he won the Nevada State Golden Gloves and was ranked #3 in the country by USA Boxing.
Two other popular Las Vegas fighters featured on the HOMETOWN HEROES card include junior lightweight Lonnie Smith and super middleweight Eddie Salas.
The 23 year old Smith, with a record of 9-2-2 (6KO’s), is currently riding a four bout winning streak dating back to January 2009, all of the victories coming in Las Vegas.
Veteran Salas returns to action following a seven year absence from the ring. With a record of 7-3-0 (5KO’s), the Las Vegas native is looking towards a hometown victory in his scheduled four rounder.
The action packed undercard is rounded out by four world class prospects; lightweight Terence Crawford, 10-0-0 (7KO’s), bantamweight Robert Rodriguez, 2-0-0, lightweight Fidel Maldanado, 1-0-0 (1KO) and welterweight Michael Finney, 1-0-0 (1KO).
ABOUT TKO BOXING PROMOTIONS
Formed in early 2008, Chet Koerner’s Las Vegas based TKO BOXING Promotions, originators of the “HOMETOWN HEROES TO WORLD CHAMPIONS” national boxing series, stable includes; heavyweight Lenroy Thomas, cruiserweight Andres Taylor, super middleweight Fedor Chudinov, middleweights Peter Manfredo Jr., Elvin Ayala, James Countryman, Dmitry Chudinov and J’Leon Love, junior middleweights Bastie Samir, welterweights Demetrius Hopkins, Bradley Blankenship, Mikael Zewski, Leti Leti and Eric Mendez, junior welterweights Francisco Contreras and Joseph Elegele, lightweights Edner Cherry, Rolando Reyes, Terence Crawford and Fidel Maldonado, featherweights Matt Remillard, Carney Bowman, Dat Nguyen, Delvin Placencia, Rafael Lora, Maxwell Awaku and Robert Rodriguez, super bantamweights Rafael Valenzuela, bantamweight Leo Santa Cruz and flyweights Rayonta Whitfield and Randy Caballero.