News: Leon Bauer, Havnaa-Rashid, Ray Ximenez, Richard Rivera

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Leon Bauer (15-0-1, 9 KOs) has signed a contract extension with promoter Team Sauerland as the 20 year-old super middleweight continues his promising career on April 6 at the CongressPark in Wolfsburg, Germany.
 
One of the rising stars of Team Sauerland’s German stable, Bauer has been touted as one of the country’s hottest super middleweight prospects. Having made his debut at just 16 years of age, he is now undefeated in sixteen professional contests and is the current IBF Youth World Champion.
 
“Leon is a great boxer, who has a lot of experience for a fighter of his age,” said promoter Nisse Sauerland. “We look forward to working with him, his father Bernd, who is also his trainer, and his management, to ensure he fulfills his potential. We’re positive Leon has a very exciting future ahead of him.”
 
“It is important to have a strong promoter behind you for planning and security,” says Bauer. “And I am happy I can now fully concentrate on the future. Of course, I want to win titles as quickly as possible, but everything has to fit, and working in close cooperation with my promoter, we will take those next steps.”
 
“We are pleased that we can continue our cooperation with Team Sauerland, and we look forward to celebrating many more successes together,” adds Bauer’s coach and father Bernd.
 
Bauer will return to the ring on April 6 in Wolfsburg, following his unanimous points win over Jorge Silva on December 8 in Zagreb, and joins stablemates Patrick Wojcicki and Denis Radovan in action at the CongressPark.
 
Patrick Wojcicki defends his IBF Intercontinental Middleweight title against Marcelo Fabian Caceres, while Denis Radovan rematches domestic rival Ronny Mittag for the IBF European Middleweight crown.

Rad Rashid (16-4, 13 KOs) is confident of upsetting local hero Kai Robin Havnaa (13-0, 11 KOs) when he travels the SØR Amfi in Arendal to face the undefeated Norwegian for the IBO International Cruiserweight title on March 2.
 
Having also campaigned at heavyweight, Rashid returns to his preferred weight class to face Havnaa at the cruiserweight limit, and the Frankfurt-boxer believes his strength and power will prove the difference in what promises to be an explosive contest, with both men boasting impressive knockout statistics.
 
Rashid, known as ‘Thunder’ due his concussive punching power, has ended 13 of his 16 wins inside the distance, while the heavy-handed Havnaa has finished 11 of his 13 opponents before the final bell, including the show reel stoppage of Frank Bluemle at the Baden-Arena in Offenburg, and the sensational second-round stoppage of Daniel Vencl last time out at the SØR Amfi.
 
“I can’t wait for this fight. I’m looking forward to coming to Norway to face Kai Robin Havnaa in his home country,” said Rashid, the former WBO European Heavyweight title challenger. “He is a good boxer. He is tall and I can see he is in good shape, but I’m focusing on myself. I don’t think about him too much.
 
“I think my strength will be the difference in this fight. I am fighting like thunder when I step into the ring. At this level, everybody has the power to stop their opponents, and I know I have the power to stop Havnaa.
 
“I’m coming to win. It doesn’t matter to me how or when I win. The only important thing is that I win. I have been training hard for this fight. I won’t reveal what I’ve been doing, that‘s a secret, but I’ll be coming in great shape.”
 
Kai Robin Havnaa tops the bill at the SØR Amfi in Arendal with a historic IBO International Cruiserweight title fight against Rad ‘Thunder’ Rashid.
 
Katharina Thanderz provides chief support with a super featherweight contest against Rachel Ball, Hadi Srour is back in the professional ring to meet Zoltan Szabo, and Kristiansand’s Jamshid Nazari takes on Ivica Gogosevic.

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Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions heads to the great Northwest for the first time, presenting its third event live-streamed on UFC FIGHT PASS®, on Thursday, February 28, from the Event Center at Legends Casino Hotel in Toppenish, Washington.
 
The newest member of RJJ Boxing’s growing stable of fighters, Ray Ximenez, Jr. (18-1, 4 KOs) squares off with his gritty Mexican opponent, Luis Alberto “El Venado” Lopez (16-1, 8 KOs), in the 10-round main event for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) International Featherweight Championship.
 
Ximenez vs. Lopez will headline a card to be streamed live on UFC FIGHT PASS, starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. The show is the third under a new agreement between Palicte’s promoter, RJJ Boxing, and FIGHT PASS, to live stream up to 72 professional boxing events over the next three years.
 
Riding a five-fight win streak, Dallas product Ximenez (18-1, 4 KOs) was a standout amateur boxer, compiling a 120-9 record, highlighted by three gold-medal performances, both in the National P.A.L. Championships and Ringside World Championships. A six-time Dallas Golden Gloves champion, Ximenez started boxing at the age of 10 and he also captured gold at the 2009 Silver Gloves National Championships and Junior Olympic National Championships. He represented and captained Team USA at the 2009 Youth World Junior Olympics.
 
The 25-year-old Ximenez (pictured here), who is the former Texas State featherweight champion, won a 10-round unanimous decision in his most recent action against 111-fight veteran German Meraz last July.
 
Lopez has won four in a row. His most notable career win was a 10-round unanimous decision over 10-1 Christian Bielma, on October 28, He will be fighting outside of his native Mexico for the first time in his 3-1/2-year pro career.
 
“I feel very motivated for the opportunity to fight on UFC Fight Pass against such a great fighter like Ray Ximenez,” Lopez commented. “I took this fight because I am 100-percent confident that I can defeated Ximenez and become the new WBO International featherweight champion. I want to thank Legends Casino Hotel for inviting us and Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions for the opportunity.”
 
Also scheduled to fight on the card, all in four-round matches, are OR light heavyweight John Peak (3-0, 1 KO) vs. Tacoma, WA’s Juan Jackson (1-0), Kent, WA junior welterweight Shae Green (3-0-1, 1 KO) vs. Medford, OR’s Gerardo Esquivel (0-1), Fairbanks, AK light heavyweight Taylor Shirley (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Vancouver, WA”s Luis Iniguez (1-1-1), Bonney Lake, and Pasco, WA light heavyweight Roman Avetisyan (0-1) vs. Moldova-native Alex Cazac (0-2), fighting out of Portland, OR, and Roman Avetisyan (7-0. 5 KOs) vs. Antonio Neal (4-0, 3 KOs), of Granger, CA, in a battle of unbeaten prospects.

Undefeated prospect Richard “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera returns to the South this Saturday night (Feb. 23) in another “stay busy” fight on the “Christy Martin Fight Night” card, presented by Christy Martin Promotions, at [email protected] in Charlotte, North Carolina.
 
Last November 30th, Rivera fought in Charlotte for the first time, knocking out local favorite Joshua Robertson in the sixth round.   On Feb. 23 he will face veteran Mexican fighter Jose “Olimpico” Corral (20-23, 12 KOs) in a scheduled six-round bout to be contested at a 187-pound catch-weight.
 
The Puerto Rican-American fighter didn’t have many supporters last time around but, based on his impressive performance, he won some fans over to his side, and he fully intends to add more this trip.
 
“Fighting there the first time was an interesting experience,” Rivera said. “I had some mixed emotions, but the fans there showed me a lot of love. People came up to me after the fight saying how much they enjoyed watching me fight. It was a good experience for me. I beat up a local fighter, but they want me back, and I’m going there to get the job done again.
 
“The plan is for me to have more fights this year to increase my ring experience. I feel more confident each fight. All I’m lacking is experience in big fights and that’s coming. The more confident I become in the ring helps me focus better on what I’m doing in there.
 
“I’ve had a few obstacles along the way, but I love boxing and fighting as ‘Popeye’. I wake up every morning ready to go.”
 
Rivera (9-0, 8 KOs), the reigning Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) All America light heavyweight champion, is part of a trio that formed Hartford Boxing Promotions (HBP) last year, which also includes Rivera’s manager/head trainer Tony Blanco and their other partner, Michael Tran.

Blanco noted that this fight for Rivera has added importance. “We’re talking to a big promoter about a deal to co-promote Richard,” Blanco explained. “So, he has to look good February 23rd in Charlotte. He has the right combination of talent and marketability that fans love.
 
“Going to Charlotte to fight the first time was a good experience. They liked and respected him so much that he’s heading back by popular demand. We really love Christy, to be honest. She has already asked if Richard would fight on a card that she’s promoting in March in Jacksonville, Florida.”
 
Martin feels the same way about Team Rivera. “He’s an awesome kid,” she added. “He’s talented, a solid pro in the ring, and very charismatic outside the ring. Fans here love him as a fighter and person. I’ve been saying ‘Popeye’ is coming back and fans here are excited.
 
“And now he’s stepped out of his comfort zone, fighting outside of New England, in front of different crowds, and against fighters with different styles The sky’s the limit for him. I think he’s the real deal.”




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