Brandon Adams lands spot on ESPN’s Boxcino 2014

Brandon Adams (r) has his arm raised in victory by Hall of Fame referee Pat Russell. After wowing the locals, Adams will hopefully be on the road until late May in thi

Brandon Adams (r) has his arm raised in victory by Hall of Fame referee Pat Russell on September 26, 2013 after knocking out Francisco Gill at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in San Diego. After wowing the locals, Adams will now apply his pugilistic skills on the road, hopefully until late May, while competing in the ESPN2 light middleweight tournament.

When Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions and the producers of ESPN2“Friday Night Fights” unveiled their plan for a single-elimination Boxcino 2014 tournament to begin on February 21, 2014, you just knew they’d have to include at least one fighter from San Diego. 

Our local representative turned out to be 24 year-old, light middleweight Brandon “Cannon” Adams who for the last couple years has been managed and promoted by San Diego’s Bobby D Presents. Locals have had an opportunity to see six of his fights which were either staged at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in San Diego or just across the border in Tijuana at Salon Las Pulgas.

Adams, one of nine children, grew up in Watts, California, just outside of downtown Los Angeles. Always athletic, it wasn’t until the age of 17 that he got involved in boxing. Veteran trainer Dub Huntley, who trained Laila Ali, Iran Barkley and Johnny Tapia as well as served as the inspiration for Morgan Freeman’s character Eddie “Scrap-Iron” Dupris in the Oscar award winning film “Million Dollar Baby,” trained Adams at the famed Broadway Boxing Gym in Los Angeles. The now married Adams fought in just six amateur bouts with a pedestrian record of 4-2 before turning pro in San Diego on March 31, 2011 against MMA fighter Erin Beach. Since that time he has fought more or less pedestrian fighters on the way to honing his skills.

Along with his 12 pro fights, Adams has matured big time while sparring with the likes of Aaron Martinez, former Olympians Carlos and Javier Molina, Hugo Centeno Jr. and former title challenger Freddie Hernandez.

Adams considered one of the most promising, blue chip prospects under the Bobby D Presents umbrella, is dedicated, focused and charismatic.

eight of his 12 opponents have endedopponent is down for the countthe majority of his opponents have ended up on the canvashe's the banner boy for good sportsmanshipAdams' entourage

The list of middleweight competitors in the tournament include:

Brandon Adams (12-0, 7 KOs) of San Diego

Sena Agbeko (15-0, 15 KOs) of Accra, Ghana

Donatas Bondorovas (18-4-1, 6 KOs) of Chicago, Illinois

Daniel “The Haitian Sensation” Edouard (23-4-2, 12 KOs) of West Palm Beach, Florida has not fought since 1-14-11 when he lost to Peter Manfredo Jr.

Cerresso Fort (17-2-1, 11 KOs) of St. Paul, Minnesota is trained by Floyd Mayweather.

Raymond Gatica (13-1, 7 KOs) of Austin, Texas took three years off after losing to Mark Jason Melligen.

Willie Monroe Jr. (15-1, 6 KOs) is a southpaw from Ithaca, N.Y. He is the son of Willie Monroe and great nephew of Willie “the Worm” Monroe of Philadelphia fame.

Vitalii Kopylenko (22-0, 12 KOs) of Kiev, Ukraine is 29 years-old. After winning two championship belts in 2012 and another in 2013, he still has them.

The four competitors who should give Brandon Adam the most difficult time.

Four gents who should give Brandon Adams the most difficult time. (top to bottom, left to right) Cerresso Fort, Daniel Edouard, Willie Monroe Jr. and Vitali Kopylenko.

The lightweight contestants include:

Yakubu Amidu (22-4-1, 18 KOs) Los Angeles by way of Accra, Ghana

Fernando Carcamo (15-5, 12 KOs) of Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico

Miguel Gonzalez (22-3, 16 KOs) of Cleveland, Ohio

Miguel Angel Mendoza (21-2-2, 21 KOs) of Aguascalientes, Mexico

Samuel “Unbelievable” Neequaye (21-0, 15 KOs) of Accra, Ghana

Fedor “Knockout Man” Papazov (14-0, 9 KOs) of Tuapse, Russia

Petr Petrov (32-4-2, 15 KOs) of Madrid, Spain

Chris Rudd (12-1, 8 KOs) of Covington, Tenn.

The draw for both brackets will be unveiled on this week’s “Friday Night Fights” (ESPN2, 9 ET). The quarterfinal bouts will be scheduled six-rounders, the semifinal matches will be slated for eight rounds and the two finals will be 10-round bouts. The boxer who wins each weight class receives the Boxcino 2014 title belt.

“We are looking forward to showcasing this tournament on ‘Friday Night Fights’ and ‘Noche de Combates’ (on ESPN Deportes),” said Brian Kweder, ESPN senior director of programming and acquisitions. “It will give fans the opportunity to see some of the best up-and-coming fighters in the sport.”

The lightweight quarterfinals are first up on February 21 at the Edgewater Hotel & Casino in Laughlin, Nev. The middleweight quarterfinals follow the following week on February 28 at Harrah’s Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana.

The lightweight semifinal round will take place March 28 at the 4 Bears Casino & Lodge which is four miles west of New Town, North Dakota. The middleweight semifinals are on April 18 at the Turning Resort & Casino in Verona, N. Y.

The finals in both weight classes will take place May 23, at Turning Stone.

Like their competitor, Showtime, who did well when airing their Super Six Tournament, ESPN is hoping to duplicate that success. This will be the second time Banner Promotions and ESPN have put on such a tournament. Their first was back in 1997, and that tournament produced a major star in Acelino “Popo” Freitas of Brazil, who went on to win world titles at junior lightweight and lightweight and became one of boxing’s most celebrated fighters. 

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