Friday, February 21, 2014
Barrera joins Main Events
By Dan Rafael
Main Events doesn’t have a deep stable of fighters under contract, but many of the fighters it does promote are in the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions.
At light heavyweight, its central figure is titleholder Sergey Kovalev. A good promoter is always looking to build interest in a division in which it has a stake as well as build opponents for the star to fight.
That brings us to Cuban light heavyweight Sullivan Barrera (10-0, 6 KOs), who signed Thursday with Main Events, adding yet another 175-pounder to a roster that already includes Kovalev, Anatoliy Dudchenko, Isaac Chilemba, Lionell Thompson and Ilshat Khusnulgatin.
"I am very happy and very excited. I thank Main Events for the opportunity to let people know who Sullivan Barrera is,” Barrera said. “I feel I am the best in the light heavyweight division. The problem I've faced is that I wasn't given the opportunity to compete. Now that Main Events will give me the opportunity, I will be able to show my talent."
Barrera figures to gain national exposure on Main Events’ slate of “Fight Night” cards on the NBC Sports network.
"We are very excited to have Barrera on board with us here at Main Events. He has it in him to be an electrifying performer and the sky is the limit,” Main Events chief executive Kathy Duva said.
Barrera, 31, lives in Miami and turned pro in 2009, and he has had long stretches of inactivity. He fought only twice in 2011 and once each in 2012 and 2013. But as an amateur, he was 282-27 and holds victories against former light heavyweight world champion Chad Dawson and reigning titleholder Beibut Shumenov.
Barrera found his way to Main Events in part because his adviser, Egis Klimas, manages Kovalev and Khusnulgatin.
"Sullivan was always a fighter, but even as a veteran he continues to want to learn more,” trainer Milton Lacroix said. “He wants to continue progressing towards his ultimate goal, which is to be the best light heavyweight and champion of the world."
Said Klimas, “The light heavyweight division is getting to be one of the most interesting in boxing today, with champions like Bernard Hopkins, Beibut Shumenov, Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev. When we started with Sergey in 2009, the division was almost dead. We have a lot of young talents coming up into the division, young and aggressive fighters. Adding Sullivan Barrera to my list of fighters is great. He was not recognized for some time, just like Sergey Kovalev, until we signed him with Main Events."