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STAR BOXING 2008 YEAR IN REVIEW
STAR'S TOP CONTENDERS GEARING UP:"TO GET IN LINE IN 2009!"

Bronx, NY - The year 2009 is finally here and if it is anything like 2008, Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing is in for yet another extremely busy year in the boxing world. Whether it was exciting sold out shows, major signings, or watching our fighters climb the ladder in the world ratings, Star Boxing had it all, including having two of its top fighters being named to Dan Rafael's ESPN.com, Top Prospects of 2008 list. Below is a brief break down of the Star Boxing Roster and what they accomplished this past year.

HEAVYWEIGHTS

KEVIN "KINGPIN" JOHNSON (21-0-1,8KO)
It was a tremendous year for the Kingpin, going undefeated against an opposition with a combined record of 80-13-1, 63KO. He jumped four spots in the WBA, WBA #9 to WBA #5, and went from being unranked in the WBC and IBF to now ranked as the WBC #10, IBF #14 rated heavyweight in the world. ESPN.com boxing analyst Dan Rafael ranked Johnson as one of 2008's top prospects stating, "There are few notable American heavyweight prospects, but the 6- foot-3, 240-pound Johnson, of Asbury Park, N.J., is one of them." Look for 2009 to be an even bigger year for Johnson as a title shot is looming.

DEVIN VARGAS (16-0,7KO)

The 2004 Olympic team captain was impressive in his fight on ESPN's Friday Night Fights on May 9th, making the absolute most of his national television debut, destroying the usually durable Dave Brunelli in just a minute and thirty one seconds of the very first round. Vargas promises a fantastic 2009 and looks to crack into the top ten of the heavyweight division.

VINNY MADDALONE (31-5,22KO)

It was busy year for the long-time promoted Star Boxing heavyweight. The fan favorite, ultimate warrior Maddalone fought four times, going (3-1, 3KO) with his only loss coming in an all out war against undefeated, world rated heavyweight contender Denis Boytsov (23-0, 18KO). Boytsov (WBO #9, WBA #14) had all he could handle with Maddalone before going on to win a tough decision. Although Maddalone was fighting miles away from his hometown crowd in New York, (the fight took place in Germany) his performance had those in attendance chanting USA by the time the final bell had sounded.

ALBERT "THE DRAGON" SOSNOWSKI (44-2,27KO)

Itwas an up and down year for the Warsaw, Poland native. After an impressive performance in his Star Boxing and U.S. T.V. debut, (co-feature on ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights") TKO5 over Terrell Nelson on April 25th , he then dropped a disappointing loss to Zuri Lawrence in an ESPN2 "Wednesday Night Fights" co-feature on August 6th. Sosnowski bounced back with vengeance though, knocking out former Mike Tyson conqueror Danny Williams (40-7, 31KO) on November 8th, in Williams native United Kingdom. With the win Sosnowski seems to be back on track and looks to make some noise in the upcoming year.

NATE JAMES (1-0)

James, the 2007 National Golden Gloves Champion chose to bypass the 2008 Olympic games and turn pro. The Native American James had only one fight in 2008 before suffering an injury to his hand, winning a four round decision over Timo Schwarm on the undercard of the Wladimir Klitschko vs. Tony Thompson bout for the IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight championship. Prior to the bout James had served as one of the main sparring partners for Klitschko leading up to Klitschko's title defense. James expects to be fully healed and ready to go by early 2009.

CRUISERWEIGHTS

ALFREDO ESCALERA JR. (16-1-1,11KO)

Escalera is a participant on this years "Contender" which is being aired on the Versus network. He defeated Jon Schneider in his only fight in the series thus far, which was aired December 10th.

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS

ELVIR "KOSOVO KID" MURIQI (35-4,22KO)

Muriqi bounced back in 2008 from his disappointing, highly contested, majority decision loss to former light heavyweight king, Antonio Tarver, with a four round destruction over game veteran Jameel Wilson on January 31st. Muriqi, who is ranked in all of the major sactioning bodies (WBO #10, WBA #13, IBF #14, WBC #16) will be back in action in a major fight on February 14th when he takes on Clinton Woods in an official IBF Light Heavyweight Eliminator.

YATHOMAS RILEY (4-0,3KO)

The former amateur standout burst onto the scene on February 15th stopping Borngood Washington in the fourth round. Riley steam- rolled his way through the rest of his opposition, finishing off the year at a perfect 4- 0, 3KO. Riley, who hails from Miami, Florida, will be back in action on January 14th at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHTS

CURTIS "SHOWTIME" STEVENS (19-2,14KO)

Stevens signed with Star Boxing in early 2008 and had a perfect year, going 2-0, 2KO, and getting his once very promising career back on track. The Brownsville native Stevens seemed to get back to his old form under his new promotional team, delivering two devastating knockouts in both his performances, reminiscent to the beginning of his career when he had people referring to him as a little Mike Tyson. Steven's management team has stated they are looking to drop him down in weight, which could spell serious trouble for the middleweight division.

JR. MIDDLEWEIGHTS

DEMETRIUS "BOO BOO" ANDRADE (2-0,2KO)

The 2007 amateur world champion, and 2008 U.S. Olympian Andrade, viewed by many to be the most highly touted prospects to come out of the amateurs in years, turned pro on October 23rd in a national televised bout on the Versus network, stopping his opponent Patrick Cape in the second round. Andrade was equally as impressive in his second fight, fighting in front of his hometown fans in Rhode Island on the Seasons Beatings card on November 29th Andrade handed his opponent a four round brutal beat down before the ref finally called a halt to the contest. Along with Kevin Johnson, Andrade was also listed as one of Dan Rafael of ESPN.com's top prospects of 2008. "He has everything you like to see in a rising talent: good size (he's 6- foot-1), a deep amateur background, fast hands, power and ring smarts," stated Rafael. Andrade, who is co-promoted by Star Boxing and Banner Promotions, is scheduled to be in action in Paris, France on February 14th and again in the U.S. in early March.

JESUS "EL MARTILLO" GONZALEZ (24-1,13KO)

The Mexican-American southpaw was one of the most decorated amateurs to ever come out of Arizona, and was widely considered to be America's top medal contender for the 2004 Olympic Games before Gonzalez opted to bypass the games and turn pro. Gonzalez's decorated amateur career includes wins over 2004 Olympic gold medalist, Andre Ward (16- 0, 11KO), top rated, undefeated light middleweight Alfredo Angulo (14-0, 11KO), and an astonishing four wins over WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto (23-0, 19KO). Gonzalez is slated to make his Star Boxing debut on February 20th on ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights" telecast against Richard Guiterrez (24- 2-1, 14KO) in Miami, FL.

ANDREY TSURKAN (26-4,17KO)

Tsurkan fought two times in 2008, stopping dangerous warrior Jesse Feliciano in April, and then losing to world rated Alfredo Angulo (WBC #1, WBO #5, WBA #6, IBF #8) on October 4th on HBO's Boxing After Dark. Although he lost to Angulo, Tsurkan showed why many consider him to be one of boxing's ultimate blood and guts warriors as he refused to go down throughout the fight, taking Angulo's best shots and landing many good ones of his own, which made the fight an exciting bout to watch for those in attendance and those tuning in at home. Tsurkan looks to bounce back in 2009, and might do so in the welterweight division which could be a very smart move for the Russian.

WELTERWEIGHTS

DELVIN RODRIGUEZ (23-2-2,14KO)

Rodriguez (IBF #6) went unbeaten in 2008, (2- 0-1, 1KO) culminating his year with a highly disputed draw against Isaac Hlatshwayo (28-1- 1, 10KO) in Hlatshwayo's native South Africa. The fight was an official IBF Welterweight Eliminator for the number one spot. Rodriguez hopes to be able to avenge the draw in 2009 and has vowed that this time he will not leave the scoring up to the judges and will dispose of Hlatshwayo inside the distance.

SHAMONE "THE TRUTH" ALVAREZ(20-1,11KO)

Alvarez signed with Star Boxing in 2008 and made his long-awaited return to the ring after almost a year layoff, by winning a ten round unanimous decision over Terrance Cauthen in Atlantic City on November 7th. Alvarez, whose only defeat came at the hands of now IBF welterweight champ Joshua Clottey, will look to reassert himself as one of the top fighters in 2009.

RAYMOND "TITO" SERRANO (8-0,5KO)

Serrano who resides in Philadelphia, PA tore through his competition going a perfect 6-0, 4KO in 2008. Serrano was chosen as one of the "Sweet 16: Philly Boxing Prospects on the Rise," and at just 19 years old is one of boxing youngest and hottest prospects. Serrano is slated to be back in action in March.

"THE NEW" RAY ROBINSON (9-0,3KO)

Along with his stable-mate Serrano, Robinson was also chosen as one of the "Sweet 16: Philly Boxing Prospects on the Rise." Robinson who was chosen as one of the top prospects to watch going into 2008 did not disappoint, fighting three times, (3-0, 1KO) and looking equally impressive each time out. Look for a busy 2009 for both Philly prospects.

TERRANCE "THE HEAT" CAUTHEN (33-5,9KO)

Cauthen went 1-1 in 2008, winning a close decision over previously unbeaten, knockout artist Alexis Camacho (17-1, 16KO) on ESPN2 on July 16th before losing a close majority decision to fellow welterweight contender Shamone Alvarez (20-1, 11KO) back on November 7th. Although Cauthen lost it was an extremely entertaining bout with both fighters giving as good as they got for the entire ten rounds. 2008 saw Cauthen drop back down to welterweight after fighting at jr. middleweight for the previous three years. The loss in weight seemed to really fit Cauthen, as he once again showed the boxing ability that enabled him to medal at the 1996 Olympics.

ALEXIS CAMACHO (17-1,16KO)

Camacho, who was born in Mexico but now resides in Austin, TX, was the former Mexican Amateur World Champion. In his first fight under the Star Boxing banner he lost to fellow staple-mate Terrance Cauthen in an exciting, closely scored co-feature bout on ESPN2's "Wednesday Night Fights" back on July 16th in San Antonio, TX. The knockout artist Camacho got back into the winning column when he brutally TKO'd Edvan Dos Santos Barros at just fifty two seconds of the second round. The fight was the co-feature bout of the evening and shown live on TeleFutura. Camacho looks to continue his winning ways in the year to come.

LIGHT WELTERWEIGHTS

"MIGHTY" MIKE ARNAOUTIS (21-2-2,10KO)

The Pride of Greece "Mighty" Mike revived his career and showed that he is still one of the top light welterweights in the world by reeling off four consecutive wins in 08'. Ranked as the IBF #6, WBO #7, WBA #11, and WBC #11 light welterweight in the world, Arnaoutis repositioned himself at the top of the division and put himself in line for a major fight in 2009. After consecutive losses in 2006 (Ricardo Torres - WBO Light Welterweight championship) and 2007 (Kendall Holt - WBO Light Welterweight Title eliminator), Arnaoutis got back on track in 08' has issued challenges to all top contenders and champions. Arnaoutis has also recently began working with famed trainer Buddy McGirt to get him prepared for when his oppurtunity comes.

ALI "THE HURRICANE" OUBAALI (22-3,18KO)

In his second year under the Star Boxing Banner, Oubaali turned in two very impressive performances, both aired live on ESPN2. On February 15th Oubaali took a unanimous decision from Ashley Theophane who at the time was (20-2-1, 7KO). On August 6th Oubaali fought as the main event in that evening's ESPN2's "Wednesday Night Fights", against Chris Fernandez. Lightweight champion Nate Campbell, who was doing commentary that night, stated that the fight was one of the best fights he had seen all year, as Oubaali and Fernandez fought the majority of the bout in a phone booth. Oubaali, who is perhaps one of the most exciting fighters to watch watch with his non- stop punching style, displayed a ferocious, double fisted attack, eventually breaking down the game Fernandez, and causing the referee to call a halt to the contest in the 8th round. Since joining the Star Boxing roster Oubaali is (3-0, 2KO) and seems to get better and more dangerous each time out. Look for Oubaali to make a charge for the top of the light welterweight division in the upcoming year.

OTHER NOTABLE ACTION FROM 2008

2008 might have been the last year we will see long-time middleweight contender, and former IBO middleweight champion Joval lace up the gloves. The 40-year-old Joval took on up and coming contender James "Buddy" McGirt Jr. on July 25th, losing a ten round unanimous decision and most likely his last chance at challenging for a middleweight championship. If it is indeed the last time Joval fights, what a career he had. Joval was known for his non- stop punching, pressure style that excited fans each time he stepped in the ring.

Previously unbeaten jr. welterweight Lanardo "Pain Server" Tyner (19- 2,11KO) saw his 0 go in 08', but against top level competition. Tyner dropped a twelve round decision to Arnaoutis in May and a ten round decision to unbeaten propsect Lamont Peterson (25-0,12KO) in November.

 

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2008 by Fightnews.com.