Monday, October 15, 2012

Poulter is September's choice

Ian Poulter has been named The Race to Dubai Golfer of the Month for September after he left “a continent in rapture” with his influential display as Europe surged from behind to retain The Ryder Cup against the United States at the Medinah Country Club on the outskirts of Chicago. Poulter, who receives an engraved alms dish and a jeroboam of Moët & Chandon champagne, collected four points from four matches – energising Europe on the Saturday afternoon with birdies at the last five holes to claim a vital fourball victory with Rory McIlroy on the last green, then completing his personal master-class with a singles win against Webb Simpson. The Englishman was the overwhelming choice of The Race to Dubai Golfer of the Month Panel, comprising members of the Association of Golf Writers as well as commentators from radio and television, who also praised European captain José María Olazábal in addition to Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño (BMW Italian Open presented by Cartasi) and Peter Hanson (KLM Open), both winners on The European Tour International Schedule, and Rory McIlroy, who captured the BMW Championship in America. Poulter said: “I am delighted to be named The Race to Dubai Golfer of the Month, the week at Medinah was truly incredible and something I will always cherish. It is important to note that this was a team event, and I couldn’t have played the way I did without the support and belief I had from all my team-mates including caddies, the four Vice Captains and, of course, Captain Olazábal. This accolade is for all of us. The Ryder Cup will always be very special to me, because of the pure pride and passion it brings out in everyone, and I am already looking forward to Gleneagles in 2014!” Derek Lawrenson, Golf Correspondent of the Daily Mail, said: “It was another month full of worthy candidates. Peter Hanson’s victory in the KLM Open was particularly impressive, given he was on the verge of pulling out owing to his son falling ill. José María Olazábal achieved the dream of a lifetime in captaining Europe to a Ryder Cup win, while Rory McIlroy continued his astonishing form with his third win in four events in America. “But there’s no question who was The Race to Dubai Golfer of the Month – Ian Poulter left his team-mates in awe with his Ryder Cup showing and a continent in rapture.” Iain Carter, Golf Correspondent of BBC Radio Five Live, said: “There is no doubt that the outstanding performance came from Ian Poulter at The Ryder Cup. He was the inspiration behind the greatest comeback we have ever seen. When we talk about great performances at future Ryder Cups, Poulter’s feat will be regarded as the measuring stick.” James Corrigan, Golf Correspondent of The Daily Telegraph, said: “Ian Poulter’s performance at Medinah was perhaps the most influential Ryder Cup display by any individual in the history of The Ryder Cup. He became the first player to play four and win four since Jack Nicklaus in 1981. Poulter embodies an event which stirs the passions like no other in the game. In a team competition he stood head and shoulders above the rest – and the rest happened to be the very best in the world.” And Peter Dixon, Golf Correspondent of The Times, said: “Rory McIlroy described Poulter as Mr Ryder Cup – and who could argue with him? Without Poulter, the Cup would have been lost.” Poulter follows Branden Grace (January), Paul Lawrie (February), Rory McIlroy (March and August), Louis Oosthuizen (April), Luke Donald (May), Jamie Donaldson (June) and Ernie Els (July) in winning a Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month Award this year. All eight will join subsequent recipients in being considered for The 2012 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year Award.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Khan vs Molina in L.A.

The holiday season begins early this year as Golden Boy Promotions is pleased to present a Super Saturday for fight fans on Saturday, December 15 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. The event will be headlined by the return of former Unified Super Lightweight World Champion Amir "King" Khan who faces undefeated Californian Carlos Molina in a SHOWTIME /Sky Sports 1HD televised junior welterweight main event and will also feature a holiday fanfest complete with musical acts, memorabilia and gift giveaways, autograph signings, and meet and greets with some of boxing's biggest stars. All in all, it's the one day no boxing fan will want to miss. Khan vs. Molina is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Khan Promotions and sponsored by Corona. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins live at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) with preliminary fights live on SHOWTIME EXTREME®."I am looking forward to getting back in the ring and continuing my career," said Khan, who recently announced his relationship with new trainer Virgil Hunter. "I believe in myself and my abilities. With each fight I learn what I am capable of doing and these opportunities afford the chance to better myself and continue to comeback stronger than before. I fight for all of the fans that continue to support me regardless of outcome and I will not be satisfied until I give them what they want. I want to be a world champion again and that is what the goal is starting with this fight against Molina." "I look forward to this fight and the opportunity to fight someone like Amir Khan," said Molina, who will be looking for his 18th victory as he continues his quest for a world championship. "I expect him to fight with a new intensity, but I will be prepared and ready. I am the undefeated fighter in this fight and I do not plan on that changing." "I am looking forward to putting on this show, not only for boxing fans watching across the country and in the U.K., but also for the fans who will be able to attend and be part of this special Saturday of boxing," said Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya. "Amir Khan is a fighter through and through and I believe he is taking the necessary steps to continue his career and become a champion again. Carlos Molina is not going to make that task an easy one as he is undefeated and always prepared to fight. We will see what happens on December 15." "Amir is eager to regain his place at the very top of the 140lb division," said Asif Vali of Khan Promotions. "This path starts against Carlos Molina who is an undefeated fighter and someone who Amir knows he will need to be at his very best to overcome. This is going to be an exciting matchup between two talented fighters and one which we believe will lead Amir to another chance at world title glory." "This fight represents a major crossroads in each fighter's career," said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President & General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. "For Khan, this is an opportunity to demonstrate that he is still one of the elite fighters in his division. For Molina, this is a chance to knock off one of the biggest names of this era and become a player in the deep 140-pound division. "Showtime has upped the ante this year," continued Espinoza. "This is the perfect end to an incredible run of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING events in 2012." "We are very much looking forward to working with Golden Boy Promotions and Khan Promotions on this December 15th event," said Joe Furin, Senior Director of Operations of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena. "The Sports Arena was actually inaugurated with a boxing event and has hosted some momentous fights over the years, so we are very excited about an event of this magnitude coming to our venue." The former Unified Super Lightweight World Champion, British superstar Amir "King" Khan (26-3, 18 KO's) is ready to bounce back under the guidance of new trainer Virgil Hunter following a controversial defeat to Lamont Peterson last December and an upset loss to Danny Garcia the past July, and knows a win over undefeated Carlos Molina on December 15 will end the year on a high note. The 25-year-old Bolton, England native won a Silver Medal in the 2004 Olympics and has been even more impressive as a professional with wins over a series of top guns, including Marco "El Chino" Maidana, Paulie "Magic Man" Malignaggi, Zab "Super" Judah and Marco Antonio "Baby Faced Assassin" Barrera. The young former champ knows his prime years are still approaching and it's clear that the best is yet to come starting with December 15 against Molina in his SHOWTIME debut. Former National Amateur Champion Carlos Molina (17-0-1, 7 KO's) has passed all his tests thus far as a professional and the way he sees it, 'Graduation Day' is December 15 with his toughest test to date in Khan. After debuting in 2007, the talented 26-year-old from Norwalk, California has showed skill, patience and poise in the ring while defeating the likes of Manuel Leyva, Glenn Gonzales and Marcos Jimenez. Now ready to step up to the big leagues as he faces the former world champion in Khan, Molina is more confident than ever that he has what it takes to beat the best. The Los Angeles Sports Arena opened its doors to the public in July of 1959, hosting a bantamweight boxing title match between Jose Becerra and Alphonse Halimi. The 15,000 seat Sports Arena plays host to a variety of events throughout the year, including mainstream and Hispanic concerts, religious events, and frequent other cultural and musical events. Among the many notable events that have taken place at the Sports Arena are the boxing competition for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, two NCAA Basketball Championships (men in 1968, women in 1992), numerous NBA Championship series, an NBA All-Star Game (1963), the 1960 Democratic National Convention where John F. Kennedy was nominated for as a presidential candidate. Major events at the Sports Arena have included Bruce Springsteen's most two most recent, sold out Los Angeles performances (October 29th and 30th), as well as annual Halloween and New Year's Eve Celebrations and electronic music festivals. The Sports Arena is also the site of frequent Naturalization Ceremonies, where immigrants make their way to the floor of the Arena to take the Oath of Citizenship. Notable professional boxing events to have taken place at the Arena include Sugar Robinson vs. Gene Fullmer (1960), Muhammad Ali vs. George Logan (1962), Muhammad Ali vs. Alejandro Lavorante (1962), Muhammad Ali vs. Archie Moore (1962), Bobby Chacon vs. Danny "Little Red" Lopez (1974), Roberto Duran vs. Pipino Cuevas (1983) and Jose Luis Lopez vs. Luis Ramon Campas (1996).

Monday, October 01, 2012

Khan appoints Hunter as Head Trainer

Amir Khan is delighted to announce Virgil Hunter as his new head trainer, who takes charge as Khan faces the undefeated Carlos Molina in his next fight. The highly respected coach, who was last year voted as Trainer of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America, will prepare Khan for his upcoming bout against the 26-year-old American Molina, who has a record of 18 fights with 17 wins (7 KO’s) and one draw. Hunter has successfully guided the career of a number of fighters, including super-middleweight star Andre Ward, and will train Khan out of his gym in Hayward, California for the Molina clash. Khan is thrilled by the appointment of Hunter, and is looking forward to stepping back in the ring against a live opponent in Molina. “I’m really pleased that Virgil Hunter is to become my new trainer,” said Khan. “Everyone in boxing knows about his skills and the success he has enjoyed over the last few years. I’m looking forward to the start of my training camp and working on some new things with him. With Virgil in my corner, I know that I can get back to the very top of the light-welterweight division,” Khan said. "Molina is a good fighter, who has yet to taste defeat, so I know that he will be very dangerous. He's a tricky fighter who possess a lot of natural speed. I always want to face hungry young fighters and in Molina I'm up against a guy who has ambitions of world title success," said Khan. Hunter is also extremely optimistic about the future and is looking forward to his latest challenge.“Amir is an extremely talented fighter and I’m very happy to become his new trainer. I’ve seen a lot of him and he has many attributes such as his speed and heart. There are certain small aspects of his game that I’m intending to work on in order to help him fulfil his enormous potential,” Hunter said. Khan will face Molina in the United States.