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Lou DiBella still a factor in boxing

Boxing promoter Lou DiBella, right, jokes with Arkansas

Boxing promoter Lou DiBella, right, jokes with Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, center, and first lady Janet Huckabee at the Arkansas Governor's Mansion in 2006. Credit: AP

He was down, but never out.

The he the Neutral Corner is referring to is boxing promoter Lou DiBella. After multi-year stretch that featured several of his fighters –Curtis Stevens, Jaidon Codrington, Edgar Santana, Paulie Malignaggi, Jermain Taylor– either fall out of contention, get caught up in legal woes or try and wiggle out of promotional deals, DiBella’s reign as one of the country’s premier promoters was thought to be stalled.

Not so fast. DiBella has retooled and reloaded.

Santana, Codrington, Malignaggi and Taylor have been replaced with the likes of Sergio Martinez and Andre Berto. Martinez is the WBC and WBO 154-pound champ, while Andre Bero is the WBC 147-pound king.

Martinez will take on Paul Williams in a much-anticipated rematch on November 20, while Berto will step into the ring to face Freddy Hernandez on November 27. November will be a busy month for DiBella.

There are also up and comers like 154-pound prospect Steven Martinez (5-0, 5 KOs), who’s managed by Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, Allan Green, who’s part of the Showtime Super Six World Boxing Classic and promising middleweight Edwin Rodriguez (16-0, 12 KOs).

DiBella wouldn’t comment on the defection of Malignaggi to Golden Boy Promotions last week, nor would he talk about some of the things the former IBF 140-pound champ said in a recent interview on WUSB 90.1 FM radio, but he clearly wasn’t happy about things.

Malignaggi's departure notwithstanding, DiBella's commitment to boxing has never wavered. In fact, his latest installment of Broadway Boxing is set to take place on Wednesday night at B.B Kings on 42nd street in Manhattan.

Headling the bout will be 147-pounder Gabriel Bracero. Bracero makes his return to the ring after a seven-year absence. The 29-year-old was considered a prospect with potential until admittedly making "the wrong" decisions and getting into legal trouble.

Also on the Broadway Boxing card is local heavyweight favorite Tor Hamer and the aforementioned Steven Martinez.


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