Tony "Lightning" Luis to fight for regional championship in June 26 main event of the "Sully Huff Invitational" at Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino
The thrill of championship professional boxing is returning to Niagara Falls. Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino and Greg Cohen Promotions (produced by David Schuster's Winner Take All Productions), in compliance with the Seneca Nation of Indians Athletic Commission, announced Monday that an installment of the popular "Championship Boxing on CBS Sports Network" series will be presented in the Seneca Niagara Event Center Friday, June 26.
The night's card is being dubbed the "Sully Huff Invitational," in memory of Stanley "Sully" Huff, a successful boxer from the Seneca Nation of Indians who passed away in 2014 at the age of 84. Huff was a Courier-Express Golden Gloves champion in 1950 and later founded the Iroquois Boxing Club. He also served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, earning the rank of sergeant, and later was elected to serve on the Seneca Nation of Indians Tribal Council.
In the night's televised 10-round main event, Canada's popular, world-rated and fast-rising lightweight star Tony "Lightning" Luis (19-3, 7 knockouts) will fight for a regional championship against an opponent to be announced. This past weekend, Luis dropped a controversial decision to Derry Mathews in Liverpool, England (38-9-2, 20 KOs), where the two battled for the interim WBA Lightweight title.
In the televised co-feature, brand-new NABA-U.S. Super Welterweight Champion and WBA No. 12- and IBF No. 11-rated "Hurricane" Dennis Hogan (21-0-1, 7 KOs), of Australia, via Kildare, Ireland, will take on comebacking Kenny Abril (14-7-1, 7 KOs) of Rochester.
The televised opener will feature up-and-coming American heavyweight KO artist Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller (12-0-1, 10 KOs) of Brooklyn taking on an opponent that will be announced at a future date.
Tickets for "Championship Boxing on CBS Sports Network" start at $35 and go on sale at noon Wednesday. Tickets are available at select Seneca Resorts & Casinos retail outlets, Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations, or by phone at 800-745-3000.
"Speed, energy, action, excitement, and entertainment are the hallmarks of any visit to Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, and exactly what our guests will enjoy with this world-class professional boxing card," said Audrey Oswell, chief operating officer, Seneca Gaming Corp. "We are happy to once again bring an incredible display of athletic competition to Western New York."
Before the debatable decision loss for the world championship in mid-April, 27-year-old "Lighting" Luis, from Cornwall, Ontario, pulled off a dominant 10-round unanimous-decision upset victory over then IBF No. 15-rated Karl "Dynamite" Dargan in January. Then, on Feb. 20, he and fiancé Manon Latulippe welcomed the birth of their first child, a son named Miguel. Luis is rated No. 11 in the world by the WBA and No. 14 by the IBF.
30-year-old Hogan was a four-time national amateur champion with more than 150 fights in his native Kildare, Ireland. He now lives and trains in Queensland, Australia. Hogan is the current NABA-U.S. Super Welterweight champion. In his four-year pro career, Hogan also has won the WBA Oceania Light Middleweight, Queensland State Super Middleweight, Queensland State Middleweight and Australian Middleweight championships.
Abril, a 30-year-old southpaw, started boxing at age 7 and had 120 amateur bouts before turning professional in 2003. He has faced several undefeated and top contenders, scoring a late-2012 victory over heavily decorated veteran Dennis Laurente, which is still Laurente's only loss in the past nine years.
Prior to boxing professionally, 26-year-old "Big Baby" Miller had a three-year, undefeated (18-0) kickboxing and MMA career. As a boxer, he was a New York Golden Gloves finalist and has worked as chief sparring partner for both Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko.
"I'm excited to be helping bring nationally televised championship boxing to a world-class venue such as the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino," Cohen said. "Tony Luis has a huge fan following in his nearby native Canada. His supporters will be out in force to watch. Kenny Abril is from nearby Rochester, New York, and he'll have a giant following in attendance, as well. On the undercard will be several local favorites in exciting matchups. I'm proud to be part of this great event and the resurgence of televised professional boxing."
Several other matchups will be announced soon.
The event is being conducted under the rules and regulations of the Seneca Nation of Indians Athletic Commission, whose members are Chairman Scott Snyder, and commissioners Sean Crane and Justin Schapp
"We look forward to welcoming the boxers and their teams to Seneca territory," Snyder said. "As a commission, our primary focus is the safety and well-being of the fighters who will be competing at Seneca Niagara. We will be working with the fighters, promoters and everyone involved to ensure that we have a safe and enjoyable evening of sports entertainment."
More information about the casino is available by calling 1-877-8-SENECA (1-877-873-6322) or visiting SenecaCasinos.com.